Globalization: Managing Multinationals

43 Results

 

Developing the Global Leader

The shift from a country-centric company to one more global in its outlook will have a radical impact on leadership development, says Professor of Management Practice William George. Closed for comment; 15 Comments posted.

Collaborating Across Cultures

Learning to collaborate creatively with people from other cultures is a vital skill in today's business environment, says professor Roy Y.J. Chua, whose research focuses on a key measure psychologists have dubbed "cultural metacognition." Closed for comment; 24 Comments posted.

HBS Cases: Overcoming the Stress of ‘Englishnization’

CEOs of global companies increasingly mandate that their employees learn English. The problem: these workers can experience a loss of status and believe they aren't as effective in their learned language, says Assistant Professor Tsedal Neeley. Closed for comment; 18 Comments posted.

Climbing the Great Wall of Trust

New research from Assistant Professor Roy Y.J. Chua investigates the difficulties for foreigners doing business in China, and what they can do to overcome the challenge. Closed for comment; 20 Comments posted.

Ethnic Innovation and US Multinational Firm Activity

What effects do immigrant scientists and engineers have on the global activities of the firms that employ them? To what extent do these high-skilled immigrants help US multinationals capitalize on foreign opportunities? Professors Foley and Kerr analyze key data concerning US patents, direct investment abroad, research and development, and the ownership structure of firms. They show that immigration enhances the competitiveness of US multinationals. Taken together, the results have implications for immigration policies. Many debates about immigration focus on the potentially deleterious impact of low wage immigrants on the domestic workforce. However, Foley and Kerr point out that immigrants who are skilled enough to engage in innovative activity generate benefits for firms that are seeking to do business abroad. Read More

The Death of the Global Manager

The "global manager" was a coveted job description sought by many leaders for many years, but times have changed—now we are all global managers, says Harvard Business School professor emeritus Christopher A. Bartlett, coauthor of the classic business book Transnational Management. He reexamines the ever-changing nature of running multinational corporations while confirming that, six editions and 20 years later, some challenges remain the same. Closed for comment; 18 Comments posted.

KFC’s Explosive Growth in China

In China, Yum! Brands is opening a KFC store every day. But this is not the KFC you know in America. A recent case study written by professor David Bell and Agribusiness Program director Mary Shelman reveals how the chicken giant adapted its famous fast-food formula for the local market. Closed for comment; 22 Comments posted.

It Pays to Hire Women in Countries That Won’t

South Korean companies don't hire many women, no matter how qualified. So multinationals are moving in to take advantage of this rich hiring opportunity, according to new research by professor Jordan Siegel. Read More

Surviving the Global Financial Crisis: Foreign Direct Investment and Establishment Performance

In 2008 and 2009 the world economy suffered the deepest global financial crisis since World War II. Countries around the globe witnessed major declines in output, employment, and trade, and world trade volume plummeted by more than 40 percent in the second half of 2008. Using a new dataset that reports operational activities of over 12 million establishments worldwide before and after 2008, HBS professor Laura Alfaro and George Washington University professor Maggie Chen study how multinationals around the world responded to the crisis relative to local firms, and the underlying mechanisms of those differential responses. By taking into account establishments both at the epicenter and on the periphery of the crisis, their analysis also considers multinationals' role as an international linkage in transmitting economic shocks. Read More

Strategy and Execution for Emerging Markets

How can multinationals, entrepreneurs, and investors identify and respond to new challenges and opportunities around the world? In this Q&A, HBS professors and strategy experts Tarun Khanna and Krishna G. Palepu offer a practical framework for succeeding in emerging markets. Plus: Book excerpt with action items. Read More

Multinational Strategies and Developing Countries in Historical Perspective

HBS professor Geoffrey Jones offers a historical analysis of the strategies of multinationals from developed countries in developing countries. His central argument, that strategies were shaped by the trade-off between opportunity and risk, highlights how three broad environmental factors determined the trade-off. The first was the prevailing political economy, including the policies of both host and home governments, and the international legal framework. The second was the market and resources of the host country. The third was competition from local firms. Jones explores the impact of these factors on corporate strategies during the three eras in the modern history of globalization from the nineteenth century until the present day. He argues that the performance of specific multinationals depended on the extent to which their internal capabilities enabled them to respond to these external opportunities and threats. The paper highlights in particular the changing nature of political risk faced by multinationals. The era of expropriation has, for the moment, largely passed, but multinationals now experience new kinds of policy risk, and new forms of home country political risk also, such as the Alien Tort Claims Act in the United States. Read More

Looking Behind Google’s Stand in China

Google's threat to pull out of China is either a blow for Internet freedom or cover for a failed business strategy, depending on with whom you talk. Professor John A. Quelch looks behind the headlines in a new case. Read More

The Global Agglomeration of Multinational Firms

(Paper formerly titled "The Global Networks of Multinational Firms.") When and why do multinationals group together overseas? Do they agglomerate in the same fashion abroad as they do at home? An answer to these questions is central to the long-standing debate over the consequences of foreign direct investment (FDI). It is critical to understand interdependencies of multinational networks and how multinationals influence one another in their activities at home and overseas. HBS professor Laura Alfaro and George Washington University professor Maggie Chen examine the global network of multinationals and study the significance and causes of multinational agglomeration. Their results provide further evidence of the increasing separation of headquarters services and production activities within multinational firms. The differential specialization of headquarters and subsidiaries leads to distinct patterns of agglomeration. Read More

Walking Through Jelly: Language Proficiency, Emotions, and Disrupted Collaboration in Global Work

As organizations increasingly globalize, individuals are required to collaborate with coworkers across international borders. Many organizations are mandating English as the lingua franca, or common language, regardless of the location of their headquarters, to facilitate collaboration across national and linguistic boundaries. What is the emotional impact of lingua franca adoption on native and nonnative speakers who work closely together and often across national boundaries? This study examines the communication experience for native and nonnative English speakers in an organization that mandates English as the lingua franca for everyday use, and the impact of the lingua franca on collaboration among globally distributed coworkers. HBS professor Tsedal Neeley and coauthors describe in detail how emotions and actions were intertwined and evolved recursively as coworkers attempted to release themselves from unwanted negative emotions and inadvertently acted in ways that transferred negative experiences to their distant coworkers. Their findings have implications for managers who are charged with overseeing internationally distributed projects. Read More

Firsthand Experience and the Subsequent Role of Reflected Knowledge in Cultivating Trust in Global Collaboration

How can workers better collaborate across vast geographical distances? Distributed collaboration—in which employees work with, and meaningfully depend on, distant colleagues on a day-to-day basis—allows firms to leverage their intellectual capital, enhance work unit performance, face ever-changing customer demands more fluidly, and gain competitive advantage in a dynamic marketplace. Research over the last decade, however, has provided mounting evidence that while global collaboration is a necessary strategic choice for an ever-increasing number of organizations, socio-demographic, contextual, and temporal barriers engender many interpersonal challenges for distant coworkers and are likely to adversely affect trust between and among workers across sites. In this paper that examines employee relations at a multinational organization, HBS professor Tsedal Beyene and MIT Sloan School of Management professor Mark Mortensen find that firsthand experience in global collaborations is a crucial means of engendering trust from shared knowledge among coworkers. Their findings reinforce the important role of others' perceptions in our own self-definition, and suggest a means of addressing some of the problems that arise in cross-cultural global collaborations. Read More

Business Summit: Managing Human Capital—Global Trends and Challenges

Human capital needed for globalization is lacking. Progress is required in important areas such as elevating more women to leadership positions, according to panelists at the HBS Business Summit. Read More

Where is Home for the Global Firm?

Global markets are changing the relationship between firms and nation-states in important ways, says HBS professor Mihir A. Desai. His new working paper, "The Decentering of the Global Firm," offers a practical framework for business leaders to think strategically about where to locate their company's financial and legal homes, and managerial talent. Q&A with Desai. Read More

The Decentering of the Global Firm

Firms such as Caterpillar are typically considered American companies by virtue of history while Honda, for example, is regarded as a Japanese company. However, the archetypal multinational firm with a particular national identity and a corporate headquarters fixed in one country is becoming obsolete as firms continue to maximize the opportunities created by global markets. The defining characteristics of what makes a firm belong to a country—where it is incorporated, where it is listed, the nationality of its investor base, the location of its headquarters functions—are no longer bound to one country. Why are these changes taking place, and what are their consequences? This paper places the increasing mobility of corporate identities within the broader setting of transformations to the "shape" of global firms over the last half century. Read More

Podcast: The Potential Partnership of India and China

Even without cooperation between them, China and India appear headed toward economic superpower status in the coming decades. But what if they worked together? In this podcast, Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna discusses the possibility of Sino-Indian cooperation and its impact on global business. Read More

HBS Cases: Using Investor Relations Proactively

Investor relations has a delicate balancing act. It communicates with stakeholders, of course, but can also help employees take a step back and analyze their firm as outsiders do. Harvard Business School's Gregory S. Miller, Vincent Dessain, and Daniela Beyersdorfer explain where IR is going, with energy giants BP and Total leading the way. Read More

Risky Business? Protecting Foreign Investments

After a string of forced nationalizations of private enterprises in the 1960s and 1970s, the pendulum swung back and companies were again encouraged by host countries to build and run major infrastructure projects such as power and water. But a set of new property protections has done little to manage the risk in many of these politically unstable environments. Professor Louis T. Wells, coauthor of a new book on making foreign investment safe, discusses the current landscape. Read More

Report From Egypt: Studying Global Influences

On a recent trip to Cairo, Rosabeth Moss Kanter studied three international companies to better understand the effects of globalization on them and the surrounding region. In this report, she looks at current business trends in Egypt, including the increasing privatization of state-run businesses. Read More

Has Globalization Reached Its Peak?

A new book argues that globalization has led corporations to outsource too much of their work and, more important, their intellectual capital. What with the increasing fluidity of labor markets, is it all too much for global managers to handle? Closed for comment; 26 Comments posted.

What’s the Future of Globally Organized Labor?

There’s an ongoing story of fragmentation in the union movement in North America. Will the concept of cooperation and individual sacrifice for the common good work in a global labor market populated by large multinational employers? Closed for comment; 11 Comments posted.

Restoring a Global Economy, 1950–1980

In his recent book Multinationals and Global Capitalism, professor Geoffrey Jones dissects the influence of multinationals on the world economy. This excerpt recalls the rebuilding of the global economy following World War II. Read More

The New International Style of Management

Today's transnational road warriors and the businesses they work for are forging an international style of business, say Harvard Business School faculty and alumni. Do you speak their language? Read More

Should I Pay the Bribe?

How should you handle corruption in your markets? On the heels of a recent Harvard Business Review fictional case study on corruption, HBS professor Rafael Di Tella lays out the not-so-black-and-white issues in this Q&A. Read More

Rethink the Value of Joint Ventures

Why are joint ventures losing favor with transnational companies? Professor Mihir A. Desai discusses research that suggests globalization makes go-it-alone strategies pay off. Read More

How Corporate Responsibility is Changing in Asia

Expectations are changing on the role multinational corporations play in improving the Asian communities in which they serve. Read More

The New Global Business Manager

What are the critical skills global managers need today compared to ten years ago? An interview with Harvard Business School professor Christopher A. Bartlett. Read More

Geographically-Colocated Subgroups in Globally Dispersed Teams: A Test of the Faultline Hypothesis

Team diversity can harness strengths or drive a team apart. Troublesome faultlines appear when team members identify with a subgroup more strongly than with the larger team. Previous research, conducted on teams who worked face-to-face, has shown that these faultlines can be based on demographic factors (such as differences in nationality). The authors of this paper conducted a study on faultlines that arise between subgroups in different geographic locations. They found that faultline dynamics did indeed occur in teams with subgroups in different locations, and that their geographic diversity caused disruptive group relations, diminished trust, and increased conflict between subgroups. Read More

Corporate Transparency Improves For Foreign Firms in U.S. Markets

International companies that interact with U.S. markets are more transparent in their dealings, say Harvard Business School doctoral candidate Suraj Srinivasan. Read More

Unilever—A Case Study

As one of the oldest and largest foreign multinationals doing business in the U.S., the history of Unilever's investment in the United States offers a unique opportunity to understand the significant problems encountered by foreign firms. Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey Jones has done extensive research on Unilever, based on full access to restricted corporate records. This recent article from Business History Review is the first publication resulting from that research. Read More

Foreign Multinationals in the U.S.: A Rocky Road

Why do many of the world’s leading multinationals experience managerial and performance problems in the United States? The answers, as offered by Harvard Business School professor Geoffrey G. Jones, provide lessons for all companies operating on foreign soil. Read More

How to Negotiate “Yes” Across Cultural Boundaries

Myriad factors can make or break a deal, according to Harvard Business School professor James K. Sebenius. As he explains in this excerpt from Harvard Business Review, the "web of influence" in many countries is more important than meets the eye. Read More

The Trick of Balancing Business and Government

Institutions, such as a competent judiciary, an efficient civil service, and a good highway system, are all important for African countries. But who creates them? And what should be the role of business in the mix? At an Africa Business Conference panel session called "Institutional Foundations," five experts weighed in. Read More

MNCs in Asia: Investing in the Future

To be a major global player, you have to participate in Asia. But challenges facing multinationals as they take part in this market range from currency devaluation to ever-changing government regulations. Read More

The Country Effect: Does Location Matter?

How much is the success of your company pegged to the cultural and economic traditions of the country you do business in? Not much—at least that is what is suggested by Rohit Deshpandé's research on high-performing companies. Read More

Governance in India and Around the Globe

India is not known for rigid corporate governance standards. Is software giant Infosys changing all that? A working paper by HBS professors Tarun Khanna and Krishna Palepu looks at how globalization may—or may not—foster convergence of corporate governance. Read More

The Dubious Logic of Global Megamergers

Many of today's huge—and pricey—cross-border mergers are based on a mistaken assumption, write Pankaj Ghemawat and Fariborz Ghadar in the Harvard Business Review. In the face of globalization, they say, companies may have better alternatives than the pursuit of the big deal. Read More

New Game, New Rules: Developing Managers for a Competitive World

Gaining competitive advantage in the 21st century will be a very different game than it has been in the past, as companies confront issues from the rapid-fire expansion of the service-based economy to the impact of deregulation and globalization. In this interview about HBS Executive Education's Program for Global Leadership, Professor Christopher Bartlett discusses the challenges facing managers in today's global environment. Read More

Companies, Cultures and the Transformation to the Transnational

Often overlooked in the move into the international arena, a comapny's heritage can have a major impact on how it adapts to the new environment. In this excerpt from the second edition of their pioneering book Managing Across Borders: The Transnational Solution, HBS Professor Christopher A. Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal examine one aspect of that heritage: the influence on a company of its nation's history, infrastructure and culture. Read More