The Future of Global Business: A Reader

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10 must-read international business sources to prepare for 2018

Doubts about the future of globalization began to surface during the — financial crisis. But as macroeconomic conditions improved, the gloom gave way to a murky mix of perspectives. For example, within the span of just three weeks in , the Washington Post published an article by Robert J. In the face of such ambiguity, it is essential to look at the data. To see how globalization is actually evolving, Steven Altman and I compile the biennial DHL Global Connectedness Index, which tracks international flows of trade, capital, information, and people.

The two index components of greatest business interest—merchandise trade and foreign direct investment—were hit hard during the financial crisis, but neither has suffered a similar decline since then. Trade experienced a large drop-off in , but that was almost entirely a price effect, driven by plunging commodity prices and the rising value of the U.

Updated data suggests that in foreign direct investment dipped, in part because of the U. Complete data for is not yet available, but factoring in people and information flows will probably reinforce the conclusion that globalization has stayed flat or even increased.

What has nose-dived, however, is the tone of public discourse in the United States and other advanced economies. The contrast between the mixed-to-positive data on actual international flows and the sharply negative swing in the discourse about globalization may be rooted, ironically, in the tendency of even experienced executives to greatly overestimate the intensity of international business flows relative to domestic activity.

Global businesses predict a more sustainable future | Guardian Sustainable Business | The Guardian

In other words, they believe the world is a lot more globalized than it actually is. Exaggerated perceptions about the depth of globalization—that is, how much activity is international versus domestic—come at a cost. When businesspeople think the world is more globalized than it really is, they tend to underestimate the need to understand and respond to differences across countries when operating abroad.

In the public policy sphere, leaders tend to underestimate the potential gains from additional globalization and to overestimate its harmful consequences for society. Surveys suggest that people also underestimate the breadth of globalization—that is, the extent to which international activity is distributed globally rather than narrowly focused.

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These principles, set out in my book The Laws of Globalization, can be very helpful for strategy making—if they can be counted on to apply in the future. Given surging protectionist sentiments and possibly even a trade war, will they continue to hold? The best way of stress-testing them—at a time when the precise policies of the Trump administration and other governments are still unclear—is to look at the last time a major trade war broke out, in the s, which led to the largest reversal of globalization in history.

Two major lessons, corresponding to the two laws of globalization, stand out. A global trade war would hurt virtually every national economy—but some countries are more at risk than others. The first lesson is that although trade dropped precipitously in the s, it did not dry up entirely. The collapse that began in was staggering, and by early , trade flows had plummeted by two-thirds.

Even in the wake of the collapse, trade volumes continued to be far too large for business strategists to ignore. The second lesson is that distance of various sorts continued to dampen international business activity. For example, from to , the relationship between trade flows and geographic distance barely budged. The beneficial effects of a common language and colonial ties remained powerful: Country pairs with such ties continued to trade about five times as much with each other as pairs without such ties, all else being equal.

The net result was that the trading partners with whom countries or groups of countries did most of their business before the crash remained largely unchanged afterward. In fact, analyses of what a trade war under Trump might look like suggest much smaller declines in trade than occurred in the s. Of course, a wider trade war would have a more significant effect, but it is very unlikely that the consequences would be as dire as in the s. It is worth adding that with many more independent countries now, as well as more vertically fragmented supply chains, the estimated effects of geographic distance on merchandise trade are actually larger than they were in the s.

The recent Economist article on the retreat of global companies, which has stirred significant discussion, pointed to the performance problems they have experienced. But the declines over the past three to four years occurred in an environment of plunging commodity prices, dropping demand for globalization-related services, and, for U. And longer-term declines over the past decade coincide with a period in which globalization actually slowed down.

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To argue that poor performance problems over this period should force reconsideration of multinationalization would be like arguing that Singapore, the most deeply connected country in the world according to the DHL Global Connectedness Index, should pull back from globalization because of the growth problems it has experienced since the financial crisis. And even in countries much less dependent on exports than Singapore is, a wholesale pullback from globalization would be counterproductive. Even when economic conditions are favorable and globalization is advancing rapidly, as was the case several decades ago, multinationals can face performance issues.

Given the difficulties implied by the law of distance, multinationalization has always been an option, not an imperative. Some firms—and industries—clearly overdid it, especially in the years leading up to the financial crisis. As companies reevaluate their globalization strategies in light of protectionist pressures, they should also think about structural changes that can help boost performance. Two are particularly worth highlighting:. Region-based structures. Organizing according to region allows companies to take advantage of similarities between neighboring countries.

An analysis of 29 distance variables shows that in almost all cases countries from the same region average higher similarity scores than countries from different regions—and often by very wide margins.

Top Economic Expert: GEOFF COLVIN – Future of Global Business

Front-back structure. Where the line is drawn can vary: Many companies integrate only back-office functions. Others—Uber and Airbnb, for example—go to market with IT platforms that enable rapid, asset-light globalization.

Global businesses predict a more sustainable future

In addition to optimizing formal structures, companies should renew their commitment to tools that strengthen connective tissue throughout the corporation: a strong culture, internal diversity and mobility, and so forth. That said, many multinational companies do need to pay renewed attention to where they compete—in other words, to market selection. They must also resist the idea that a truly global company must compete in all major markets. Polling firm Qualtrics surveyed more than 10, people in 29 countries and asked them questions about Globalization 4. Here's a look at the main findings.

What are the biggest risks to the global economy in ? We might see slow, steady global economic growth this year - but the reality is more likely to be nerve-wracking, writes Harvard's Kenneth Rogoff. Meanwhile, the Forum's Head of Centre for the New Economy and Society offers four ways we can fix economics in , including getting proactive on job creation, while Nariman Behravesh , Chief Economist at IHS Markit, makes 10 predictions for the year ahead. In a more sideways look at the global economy, Arif Husain, a food economist at the UN World Food Programme, argues that access to nutrition is about more than counting calories , while Derek Fidler and Hicham Sabir from Sheltertech a company that uses technology solutions to help fight homelessness explore a lesser-known cause of income inequality in the US - home ownership.

Of all the risks posing a threat to our common future, climate change is perhaps the most urgent. With environmental threats dominating this year's edition of the Global Risks Report , it's clear the world needs to act now to avert catastrophic climate change. Globalization 4. Without the rest of species on the planet, there would be no prosperity, no economy, no us," they write. Elsewhere, we can turn the whole economy carbon neutral , writes Energy Transitions Commission chairman J. Finally, Cristiana Pasca Palmer, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, explains why a healthy economy and a healthy planet go hand-in-hand.

A whole new wave of change is crashing on us in the form of the high-tech digital revolution, with a wide range of impacts for all of us. It's time to get ready. Cities, for example, are investing in smart technologies to deal with rapid urbanization, including using AI to monitor crime patterns and even the weather to keep people safe. Cities failing to get smart now will quickly be left behind, argues Howard Elias of Dell. Talking of AI, it could revolutionize the world of clean energy - if we use it properly. This intermediate course covers a functional level of grammar and continued practice in oral and written French. This advanced class focuses on proper composition in French. Throughout this course you will understand how Human Resources Management is both functionally and strategically important in all management activities in any company.

You will also gain a deep understanding of the definition and concepts of Human Resource Management. The link between business and human resources strategy will be explained. Throughout the course you will constantly be explained the strategic importance of each of the covered concepts of Human Resources Management HRM , then you will gain a deeper and practical perception and understanding of each of these. The course will begin by introducing the resourcing function of HRM: recruitment, selection, retention and separation.

This course will then move on to performance management and the influence of leadership in organizational performance. The strategic importance of the development function of HRM will be discussed, as well as how to manage talent and competences and develop the career of employees in the company. Issues of employee compensation will be looked into, as well as the dynamics and the use of salaries, benefits, and rewards.

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In a final note, this course will describe the main ethical issues that human resources managers face. This course will introduce the student to theories on Human Relations in a business environment.

The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader
The Future of Global Business: A Reader The Future of Global Business: A Reader

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