An Ideas-Based Online Magazine of the Global Network for Advanced Management

Future of Globalization: More Benefit Than Harm

To coincide with the fifth anniversary of the Global Network for Advanced Management in April 2017, Global Network Perspectives asked faculty across the 29 schools in the network: "What do you think the future of globalization looks like? How will this affect the economy in your country or region? How is your school preparing students for this world?" Read all of the responses. Also, in a session at the anniversary symposium, a panel of experts—including former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry—led a discussion of the future of globalization and its implications for business and management education. Watch the video.

Globalization is the free flow of capital, goods and services, people, and knowledge. It crosses political and geographical borders. It is intertwined with the acceleration of the technological developments. It is the technology, and specifically the communication technology (ICT), that enables the expansion of globalization around the globe. Multinational companies, rather than political governments, serve as the driving force of globalization. Globalization enables the free flow of information and knowledge, which are the building blocks of learning and innovation.

Globalization enables new collaborations among organizations that together develop new technological solutions and reach out to more new markets than even before. Globalization also enables culturally diverse people to get to know each other and to work together in multinational and global organizations toward the accomplishment of joint goals that are mutually beneficial.

Although we hear today at the political levels voices against globalization and cross-national collaboration, such as the Brexit in Europe and the motto of “America First” in the United States, these voices cannot stop the technological advancement which enable people and organizations to work together and to exchange goods and services electronically via electronic commerce, virtual communication and virtual, multicultural work teams. These processes cannot be stopped. Therefore, in my view, in the long run, globalization will bring more benefit than harm, as it pulls individuals, teams and corporations to new and advanced way of managing their actions.

Globalization changes the work context to become more dynamic and complex. Managers and employees have to adapt to the increased level of complexity and ambiguity.

Globalization creates tension between the local and the global, and individuals and organizations are learning to live in this duality—and to maintain their competitive and sustainable advantage in this global competition.

At the individual level, this duality convey new opportunities—including job opportunities in multinational organizations or in other countries—that have not existed before. But on the other hand, it also brings competition from outside on the same job openings, limiting the chances of getting a job offer in one’s own country.

At the team level, globalization leads to the emergence of multicultural and virtual teams that differ than co-located face-to-face culturally homogenous teams. This tension can be resolved by learning to work together toward the same goal accomplishments and by recognizing the emergence of a new identity, the global identity, that exists side-by-side with one’s local national identity.

At the organizational level, organizations begin to recognize the advantage of collaboration and of open innovation, and we notice more alliances between companies and even “coopetition,” which is the collaboration with competitors.

Therefore, in my view, in the long run, globalization will bring more benefit than harm, as it pulls individuals, teams and corporations to more innovative and effective management of their behaviors.
How is your school preparing students for this world?

My school has recently made changes in the curriculum to better prepare the students for this world.

We are now preparing to open two new tracks in our MBA program:

a. One track is in entrepreneurship and innovation, which aims to educate our MBA students to be entrepreneurial and innovative, either within the companies in which they work, or as founders of new start-ups. We offer tools and methods that are based on academic knowledge, to enable students to implement entrepreneurship and innovation in their workplaces.

b. The other track is in the management of big data and electronic commerce. This track teaches the MBA students how to manage and analyze big data and how to harness the management of big data to the benefit of the organizations. In addition, this track teaches the MBA students how to exploit electronic commerce to the benefit of the organization.

Our MBA program is constantly changing to adjust to the changing work contexts.