Globalization is more than gobbling up markets
August 30, 1999
(CNN) -- To ensure their company's survival in the new millennium, business executives may think they should gobble up markets around the world.
But companies pursuing such a global strategy could find themselves far behind their competitors, argue a team of business consultants in "Race for the World: Strategies for Building a Great Global Firm."
In the past, 90 percent of the competitive advantage for businesses derived from geography, according to authors Lowell Bryan, Jane Fraser, Jeremy Oppenheim and Wilhelm Rall, all with McKinsey & Co.
But due to rapid changes in the business world -- caused by deregulation, the integration of national economies and new technologies like the Internet -- geography soon will account for only 10 percent of that edge.
"That means the goal of globalization must shift," Bryan and his colleagues say, "from capturing countries and markets to capturing values," or leveraging assets like superior talent and brand identification in a market niche.
The authors research Fortune 500 companies, offer loads of charts and divide winners and losers into "geographic integrators" and "geographic incumbents" as they predict the future of globalization.
Some of their findings:
Kudos for the 384-page book, published by the Harvard Business School Press with a list price of $29.95, come from many quarters, including the Yale School of Management.
It "provides pathbreaking insights into winning global strategies," says Dean Jeffrey E. Garten. "It will quicken the pulse of every CEO concerned with succeeding in a brutally competitive global marketplace."
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