Competitive Intelligence and International Business Development Strategies for Multinational Enterprises in Conflict Zones: A Study of the Fast-Food Industry During the Russia-Ukraine Conflict


  • Luis Madureira NOVA Information Management School (NOVA IMS), Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Campus de Campolide
  • Iuliia Sergeenko SKEMA Business School, Grand Paris Campus
  • Sergei Zaimeko SKEMA Business School, Grand Paris Campus



case study, frameworks, geopolitical conflicts, strategic decision-making, VUCA


This study delves into the pivotal role of Competitive Intelligence (CI) in shaping International Business Development (IBD) strategies for multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in the fast-food industry amidst the geopolitical turbulence of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It addresses a critical gap in existing research by examining how CI influences strategic decision-making in conflict-affected zones. The research is anchored on the premise that traditional IBD frameworks exhibit limitations when applied to unstable geopolitical contexts, necessitating a nuanced understanding of the interplay between CI and IBD in such environments. Employing a mixed-methods approach, the study integrates a comprehensive literature review with case studies and empirical data analysis. It particularly leverages the Competitive Intelligence Funnel framework to assess both external and internal business factors that influence strategic decisions. This methodology facilitates a holistic examination of the strategic manoeuvres of prominent fast-food corporations, including McDonald’s, YUM! Brands, and Subway, in response to the conflict. The findings reveal that these MNEs employed adaptive strategies in various domains such as marketing, supply chain management, corporate social responsibility, and investment decisions. Notably, the study uncovers a significant reliance on real-time geopolitical analysis and ethical considerations in strategy formulation, underscoring the limitations of conventional IBD models in conflict scenarios. Conclusively, the research posits that existing IBD frameworks require integration with real-time geopolitical insights and ethical considerations to be effective in conflict zones. This study contributes to the academic discourse by highlighting the indispensability of CI in the strategic planning of MNEs in volatile environments. It provides a novel perspective on the dynamic relationship between CI and IBD strategies, offering valuable insights for both scholars and practitioners in the realms of international business and strategic management.


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