Summary of The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance on Globalizing

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This book is the product of the alliance between the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and INSEAD, a prestigious business school outside Paris, with a campus in Singapore. INSEAD’s Web site explains the book’s parentage: "The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance, announced in May 2001, combines INSEAD’s resources with those of Wharton’s campuses in Philadelphia and San Francisco, to deliver business education and research across a global learning network." This book, featuring essays by members of both faculties from a variety of business disciplines, makes the alliance tangible to the rest of us. It examines the issues driving business to globalize and the challenges confronting the managers of globalizing businesses. acknowledges this book as a milestone in the unified academic treatment of global business. Business scholars and corporate trainers may find the collaboration compelling, and readers seeking academic discussion of management theory will certainly find the essays stimulating. Yet, as can happen with academic anthologies, the filtration is spotty: Here, the irrelevant or oblique appears side by side with the new and applicable, and many essays are dryly academic in style, tone and content. As one wag said of novelist Henry James, the problem is not that they bite off more than they can chew, but rather that they chew more than they can bite off.

About the Authors

Hubert Gatignon is Research Director of The INSEAD-Wharton Alliance and Director of The Alliance Center for Global Research and Development. He teaches business administration and marketing at INSEAD, where he is dean of the Ph.D. program. John R. Kimberly is Executive Director of The Alliance and teaches entrepreneurial studies, management, health care systems and sociology at Wharton.



Globalization vs. Globalizing

Globalization has grabbed the headlines, but businesses managers face the more practical challenge of globalizing. The two are not at all the same. Globalization describes the great phenomenon of countries and cultures being drawn ever closer by links of telecommunication networks, open trading systems, capital mobility and more. Globalization inspires debates about cultural autonomy, economic equity, indigenous employment practices and similarly pressing issues. But while these issues matter to pundits and policy makers, they are not at the heart of the day-to-day practical challenge of globalizing.

Globalizing describes the practical phenomenon of managing a business in a world shaped by globalization. It refers to the managerial decisions that build businesses that are capable of surviving and prospering in that world. The managers of globalizing businesses face difficult strategic decisions that have profound consequences.

For example: Should your business pursue a global or a local product strategy? A global strategy implies one worldwide brand, one worldwide product, one worldwide supply chain, and one worldwide model of corporate...

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