Complex Business Structures

Complex Business Structures

Complex Business Structures


  • Complex structures: Joint ventures, strategic alliances, franchising, licensing, multinationals, complex supply chains.
  • Challenges in planning, controlling, and measuring performance.

2.1. Joint Ventures (JV):

Separate business entity with shares owned by two or more business entities.

Reasons for JV:

    • New product development or market expansion.
    • Sharing: resources, costs, risks, skills, intellectual property.
    • Flexibility: Each business retains identity; bounded only for a set period.

Challenges for Performance Management:

  • Planning Difficulties:
    • Solution: Engage in thorough preparatory discussions to establish a unified vision for the JV. Utilize third-party mediators for resolving conflicts and to help align objectives. For cross-border challenges, hire local consultants to understand regional nuances.
  • Performance Measurement Difficulties:
    • Solution: Develop an integrated information system from the onset, emphasizing transparency. Establish clear guidelines on performance measures, and consider regular review meetings to discuss any differences or challenges.
  • Control Difficulties:
    • Solution: Clearly define roles and responsibilities for all parties involved. Implement a feedback mechanism for continual improvement. Use third-party audits to ensure accountability and compliance.

2.2. Strategic Alliances:

Similar to JV but without forming a separate business entity.

Comparison to JVs:

    • Reasons and challenges largely similar to JVs.

Challenges for Performance Management:

  • Greater Flexibility:
    • Solution: Draft clear contractual agreements that allow parties to leverage this flexibility without compromising the alliance's objectives.
  • Concerns about Information Security:
    • Solution: Utilize advanced data encryption, secure communication channels, and regular security audits. Establish clear guidelines and penalties for information breaches.
  • Lacks benefits of a separate entity:
    • Solution: Ensure that the alliance agreement is robust, clearly outlining each party's commitments and responsibilities to mimic the benefits a separate entity would provide.

2.3. Complex Supply Chains:

Network of organizations providing and processing materials from raw to finished goods.


    • Increased complexity in larger organizations.
    • Multiple suppliers and customers forming intricate webs.

Impact on Performance Management:

Benefits: Knowledge sharing, positive relationship-building, meeting customer needs efficiently, diversified reliance.


  • Understanding Complicated Chains:
    • Solution: Implement supply chain management software that provides real-time insights and analytics. Regular training sessions to keep all parties updated.
  • Aligning Partner Goals:
    • Solution: Regular meetings and open channels of communication with all partners. Joint training and development sessions to ensure alignment.
  • Relationship Management:
    • Solution: Assign dedicated relationship managers for key partners to ensure smooth communication and resolve potential conflicts.
  • Difficulties in Performance Measurement:
    • Solution: Develop standardized performance metrics that are agreed upon by all partners. Use technology for real-time monitoring and analytics.

2.4. Franchising:

A system where an individual or group (franchisee) is granted the rights to use a company's (franchisor) trademark or trade-name as well as certain business systems and processes.


Allows for rapid business expansion, risk is shared, and it capitalizes on local franchisee’s market knowledge.

Challenges and Solutions:

  • Maintaining Brand Consistency: Franchisees might deviate from the brand standards.
    • Solution: Regular audits and training programs for franchisees. Clear guidelines in franchisee manuals.
  • Dependence on Franchisee’s Performance: A franchisee’s poor performance might affect the overall brand.
    • Solution: Rigorous selection process for franchisees and constant performance evaluations.

2.5. Licensing:

A business arrangement where one company gives another company permission to manufacture its product for a specified payment.


Offers an additional revenue stream, expands brand presence without incurring production costs.

Challenges and Solutions:

  • Quality Control: The licensee might produce sub-standard products.
    • Solution: Regular quality checks, stipulations in the agreement regarding quality standards.
  • Intellectual Property (IP) Protection: Risk of IP theft or misuse.
    • Solution: Detailed and legally binding licensing agreements, regular monitoring, and collaboration with local authorities where necessary.

2.6. Multinationals:

Companies that operate in several countries.


Access to larger markets, diversification, and potential for higher profits.

Challenges and Solutions:

  • Navigating Different Regulatory Environments: Each country has its own business regulations and compliance standards.
    • Solution: Local legal teams or consultants familiar with regional norms.
  • Cultural Differences: Misunderstandings or conflicts arising from differences in cultural practices and norms.
    • Solution: Cultural training and sensitivity programs for employees. Employing local talent who understand regional customs and practices.

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Categories: : Advanced Performance Management (APM)