When discussing international strategies, is it reasonable to consider a business to be composed of 4 ‘super’ functions: operations, marketing, support services, and research and development (R&D)? Is it reasonable to make the distinction that the first three functions are concerned with on-going activities and the present, whereas R&D is concerned with the future, and thus R&D can be treated separately?

It is correct to consider a business to consist of 4 super functions like operations, marketing, support services and research development (R&D) in my opinion. Having said that, in my opinion, it is not necessary to treat all of these functions as a combine set of activities that lead to achieve the organizational goals. Especially, the Research and Development function can be treated as a separate function as the goals of this function are different than the other three functions. As it is already mentioned that R&D is primarily concerned with the future, I think that special emphasis should be put on this function so that the research for future development is carried out smoothly. If all of the four functions are treated combined, there is a chance that it would add up to the complexity of the overall system. Effective R&D in multinational organizations need effective strategies that should not be kept close to the headquarters but should be spread out to regional offices as well (Kuemmerle, 1996). So if the R&D is active at different levels and locations serving the same organizational goals, it must be treated as a separate function.