The limited number of global or international strategy textbooks almost exclusively focuses on how to manage larger, multinational enterprises (MNEs), which primarily come from and compete in developed economies. While MNEs are important, such a focus ignores the fact (1) that many smaller, entrepreneurial firms have also aggressively internationalized recently and (2) that MNEs often have to compete in emerging economies, which increasingly nurture strong local competitors. Most ?mainstream? strategic management textbooks, ...
The limited number of global or international strategy textbooks almost exclusively focuses on how to manage larger, multinational enterprises (MNEs), which primarily come from and compete in developed economies. While MNEs are important, such a focus ignores the fact (1) that many smaller, entrepreneurial firms have also aggressively internationalized recently and (2) that MNEs often have to compete in emerging economies, which increasingly nurture strong local competitors. Most ?mainstream? strategic management textbooks, while seeming to address the hot theme of globalization, contain only one chapter on ?international strategy.? Finally, most international business textbooks do have a section (containing several chapters) on international strategy. However, they always carry a wider coverage of major business functions such as marketing, operations, finance, and accounting, making them unwieldy. GLOBAL STRATEGY is written to offer a number of new perspectives. These include (1) a broadened definition of ?global strategy, ? (2) a comprehensive and innovative coverage, (3) an in-depth and consistent explanation of cutting-edge research, and (4) an interesting and accessible way to engage students. In this book, ?global strategy? is defined not as MNE strategy only, but as ?strategy around the globe.? Most global strategy and international business textbooks take the perspective of the foreign entrant, typically the MNE, often dealing with issues such as how to enter foreign markets. Important as these issues are, they only cover one side of international business, namely, the foreign side. The other side, naturally, is how domestic firms compete against each other and against foreignentrants. Failing to understand the ?other side, ? at best, captures only one side of the coin.
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The best part of the book is that it gives you an example after each concept. I will use the book as a reference in the future.
Aug 29, 2007
Teach Students How to Fish
As a PhD student teaching global strategy and international business, I like this book, not only for its comprehensive theoretical framework, but also for its openness for a series of debates on globalization. The theoretical framework can help students analyze the complex global business environment. More importantly, a series of debates can open their eyes, and can help them build more skills to deal with challenges in a globalizing world (think about the current buzz on offshoring and outsourcing).
Many textbooks attempted to teach students how to arrive at "correct" answers. They just tell students what is already known, and do not describe the sorts of problems that the professional may be asked to solve and the variety of techniques available for their solution. This textbook deviates from the rest of pack, because the author tries to integrate many new fronts (and yes, even debates!) in the academic and practitioner world (see the long list of references) and cultivates a "global mental set" based on his rich experience in many countries. What is most refreshing is that the author does not give a single answer or simple evaluation for many questions, but provides many possible approaches to widen the reader's mindset. In fact, every chapter has a beefy section devoted to "Debates and Extensions," with no given conclusions.
Even vivid business cases will fade quickly and be forgotten in this dramatically changing world. So a set of "divergent thinking skills" will play a more important role in helping students develop long-term capabilities in their career success. Through this book, students will learn how to recognize and evaluate many problems to which no unequivocal solution has yet been given, find an arsenal of techniques (industry-based view, resource-based view, and institution-based view) for approaching these problems, and develop "global mental sets" to judge the relevance of these techniques and to evaluate the possible solutions.
The ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi once said: "Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day; but teach him how to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime." Truly, this exciting book may teach our students how to fish!
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