Corporate-level technology strategy and its linkage with corporate strategy in multi-business companies: IKCO case study


This article deals with technology strategy and its linkage with overall strategy at multi-business, diversified groups. In the last two decades, the alignment of technology and business strategy has been one of the important research fields in strategy and technology management literature. These researches has been concentrated on single companies through which different frameworks, models, and decision support tools have been developed and widely utilized by industries. Although multi-business and diversified groups play an important role in national economy of developing countries and need a comprehensive and overall plan for the management of their diversified technological capabilities, there is little research focused on corporate-level technology strategy (CTS). This paper introduces a preliminary framework based on literature review, with a deductive approach and content analysis method which tends to more reflect the context of developed countries. Its applicability in a latecomer context has been investigated in practice through a case study in Iran Khodro Company (IKCO)—the largest car manufacturer in the Middle East and a multi-business diversified group in Iran. Based on the proposed framework and through reviewing the related documents and interviewing IKCO senior and middle managers; and using thematic analysis method, we describe and explain how technology strategy is linked to corporate strategy at IKCO. This investigation reflected some mismatches with our initial framework which can be interpreted in a pleasing manner due to IKCO's latecomer context and its position in catch-up path. Process and results of this illustrating study showed that our conceptual framework makes sense as a tool for analyzing CTS in a multi-business corporation (MBC). Resulted amendments such as highlighting the importance of integration make our modified framework a good basis for further researches.