Globalization

Globalization is a featured research topic and an initiative at Harvard Business School.
 
The globalization of business has long encouraged Harvard Business School (HBS) faculty to research international business practices and the effects of globalization. Seminal contributions - Christopher Bartlett on managing across borders, Michael Porter on competition in global industries, and Louis Wells on foreign investment in emerging markets - helped pave today’s global research path. Supported by eight Global Research Centers that facilitate our contact with global companies and the collection of international data, key investigations concentrate on the effectiveness of management practices in global organizations; cross-cultural learning and adaptation processes; the challenges of taking companies global; emerging-market companies with global potential; and international political economy and its impact on economic development.
  1. Bayern Munich in China

    Karim Lakhani, Sascha L. Schmidt, Michael Norris and Kerry Herman

    In 2015, German football club Bayern Munich is considering how to enter the Chinese market. Should it build its own infrastructure or rely on third-party partnerships to reach this massive football fanbase?

    Keywords: football; soccer; Sports; China; Germany; Bundesliga; Digital technology; Market entry; Sports; Global Strategy; Online Technology; Sports Industry; Germany; China;

    Citation:

    Lakhani, Karim, Sascha L. Schmidt, Michael Norris, and Kerry Herman. "Bayern Munich in China." Harvard Business School Case 617-025, November 2016. View Details
  2. Yili Group: Building a Global Dairy Company

    William C. Kirby and Nancy Hua Dai

    From its humble beginnings as a local Chinese dairy company, the Inner Mongolia Yili Group has become one of the largest dairy companies in the world. To achieve this Yili has aggressively expanded its footprint overseas including building the world’s largest integrated dairy production base in New Zealand and forming R&D partnerships in Europe and North America. As the company continues its growth in the context of a slowing Chinese economy, how can Yili integrate its new global resources and supply chain to meet local market needs and become a top five global dairy company in the process?

    Keywords: global strategy; Globalized Markets and Industries; Global Supply Chain; growth and development strategy; brands and branding; competition; culture; Agribusiness; Animal-Based Agribusiness; Business Growth and Maturation; Food; Global Range; Local Range; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Global Strategy; Globalized Firms and Management; Nutrition; Employee Relationship Management; Growth and Development Strategy; Growth Management; Brands and Branding; Supply Chain; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; China;

    Citation:

    Kirby, William C., and Nancy Hua Dai. "Yili Group: Building a Global Dairy Company." Harvard Business School Case 317-003, October 2016. View Details
  3. DO & CO: Gourmet Entertainment

    Juan Alcacer and Esel Çekin

    This case is about a global catering, restaurant, and hospitality company, DO & CO, growing geographically with its existing businesses while also adding new brands to its portfolio. The company had $1 billion in revenues in 2015 from its three divisions: airline catering; international event catering; and restaurants, lounges, hotels, and retail. DO & CO had limitless opportunities to grow along three dimensions. It had operations in only 10 countries, while its competitors in airline catering were active in up to 50 countries. Thus, geographic expansion was one of the key growth options. DO & CO could also offer more to its existing clients in existing markets, providing vertical growth opportunities. It could also pursue an added-value approach by bringing new formats to existing markets. The last avenue of growth was more opportunistic and came from acquiring new brands in existing or new markets. However, the company had a policy of promoting from within, particularly with its chefs, and it took time to develop the necessary talent. Now DO & CO faced a decision: What type of growth should it pursue, and at what pace?

    Keywords: strategy; corporate strategy; international expansion; operational constraints; three-dimensional growth; value-added approach; value creation; competition; brand acquisition; airline catering; airline industry; event catering; hospitality; profitable growth; team management; Competition; Talent and Talent Management; Corporate Strategy; Operations; Brands and Branding; Value Creation; Globalized Firms and Management; Expansion; Acquisition; Growth and Development Strategy; Food and Beverage Industry; Air Transportation Industry; Service Industry;

    Citation:

    Alcacer, Juan, and Esel Çekin. "DO & CO: Gourmet Entertainment." Harvard Business School Case 717-416, October 2016. (Revised November 2016.) View Details
  4. Zurich Insurance: Global Job Structure and Data Analysis

    Boris Groysberg and Katherine Connolly

    Zurich Insurance was undergoing organizational change after implementing five new people practices focused on manager development, diversity and inclusion, job model and data analytics, recruitment, and talent pipeline. The case “Zurich Insurance: Fostering Key People Management Practices” (HBS No. 417-035) provides background for the company and an outline of each people practice. This case takes a closer look at the implementation of a global job model and how it has enabled the use of data analytics in the human resources function.

    Keywords: managing change; human capital; human resources; leadership; Insurance; Organizational Change and Adaptation; organizational culture; organizational behavior; organizational architecture; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Leadership; Human Capital; Change Management; Organizational Structure; Insurance; Organizational Culture; Globalization; Human Resources; Insurance Industry;

    Citation:

    Groysberg, Boris, and Katherine Connolly. "Zurich Insurance: Global Job Structure and Data Analysis." Harvard Business School Case 417-038, September 2016. View Details
  5. Monitoring Global Supply Chains

    Jodi L. Short, Michael W. Toffel and Andrea R. Hugill

    Firms seeking to avoid reputational spillovers that can arise from dangerous, illegal, and unethical behavior at supply chain factories are increasingly relying on private social auditors to provide strategic information about suppliers' conduct. But little is known about what influences auditors' ability to identify and report problems. Our analysis of nearly 17,000 supplier audits reveals that auditors report fewer violations when individual auditors have audited the factory before, when audit teams are less experienced or less trained, when audit teams are all-male, and when audits are paid for by the audited supplier. This first comprehensive and systematic analysis of supply chain monitoring identifies previously overlooked transaction costs and suggests strategies to develop governance structures to mitigate reputational risks by reducing information asymmetries in supply chains. Firms seeking to avoid reputational spillovers that can arise from dangerous, illegal, and unethical behavior at supply chain factories are increasingly relying on private social auditors to provide strategic information about suppliers’ conduct. But little is known about what influences auditors’ ability to identify and report problems. Our analysis of nearly 17,000 supplier audits reveals that auditors report fewer violations when individual auditors have audited the factory before, when audit teams are less experienced or less trained, when audit teams are all-male, and when audits are paid for by the audited supplier. This first comprehensive and systematic analysis of supply chain monitoring identifies previously overlooked transaction costs and suggests strategies to develop governance structures to mitigate reputational risks by reducing information asymmetries in supply chains.

    Keywords: Monitoring; transaction cost economics; industry self-regulation; auditing; Codes of conduct; supply chains; corporate social responsibility; globalization; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Supply Chain; Globalization;

    Citation:

    Short, Jodi L., Michael W. Toffel, and Andrea R. Hugill. "Monitoring Global Supply Chains." Strategic Management Journal 37, no. 9 (September 2016): 1878–1897. (Video abstract (4 minutes). Working Knowledge article for practitioners.) View Details
  6. Location Fundamentals, Agglomeration Economies, and the Geography of Multinational Firms

    Laura Alfaro and Maggie Xiaoyang Chen

    Multinationals exhibit distinct agglomeration patterns, which have transformed the global landscape of industrial production (Alfaro and Chen, 2014). Using a unique worldwide plant-level dataset that reports detailed location, ownership, and operation information for plants in over 100 countries, we construct a spatially continuous index of pairwise-industry agglomeration and investigate the patterns and determinants underlying the global economic geography of multinational firms. In particular, we run a horserace between two distinct economic forces: location fundamentals and agglomeration economies. We find that location fundamentals including market access and comparative advantage and agglomeration economies including capital-good market externality and technology diffusion play a particularly important role in multinationals' economic geography. These findings remain robust when we use alternative measures of trade costs, address potential reverse causality, and explore regional patterns.

    Keywords: multinational firm; economic geography; agglomeration; location fundamentals; agglomeration economies; Geographic Location; Industry Clusters; Multinational Firms and Management; Economics;

    Citation:

    Alfaro, Laura, and Maggie Xiaoyang Chen. "Location Fundamentals, Agglomeration Economies, and the Geography of Multinational Firms." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 17-014, August 2016. View Details
  7. Mapping the Economic Grand Tour: Travel and International Emulation in Enlightenment Europe

    Sophus A. Reinert

    As the itinerant wizard (technically one of the Maiar, if not the Istari) Gandalf wrote to the then domestically-inclined hobbit Frodo Baggins in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Indeed, as the recent brouhaha over the “wanderlust gene” DRD4-7R testifies to, travel is a constant of human experience, inflected in myriad ways by history, literature, and life, from the Homeric epics and the Jungian archetype of “the wanderer” to Tripadvisor.com and Ibiza stag parties. People have traveled to learn, to conquer, to evangelize, in search of architectural inspiration and for reasons of health, not to mention because other places were “there,” in Edmund Hillary’s famous formulation, but within this spacious swath of human history my interest lies with a particular kind of purposeful travel that I would define as “economic,” by which I do not mean frugal or “low cost,” but pursued to improve the management of the material world—theoretically or practically, individually or collectively; more the Jesuit François Xavier d’Entrecolles discovering the secrets of Chinese porcelain in 1712 than, say, Ryanair.

    Keywords: Behavior; Globalization;

    Citation:

    Reinert, Sophus A. "Mapping the Economic Grand Tour: Travel and International Emulation in Enlightenment Europe." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 17-005, July 2016. View Details
  8. The EC Rains on Oracle/Sun (A)

    Lena G. Goldberg

    Oracle's proposed acquisition of Sun was on a fast track until the EC's antitrust concerns about open-source MySQL ignited a transatlantic war of words delaying the deal. Sun's performance suffered and its customers were approached by competitors while regulatory objections were debated and tensions rose between U.S. and EC regulators.

    Keywords: law; antitrust; EC regulation; Mergers and Acquisitions; Multinational Firms and Management; Laws and Statutes; Monopoly; Business and Government Relations;

    Citation:

    Goldberg, Lena G. "The EC Rains on Oracle/Sun (A)." Harvard Business School Case 317-009, July 2016. View Details
  9. Beyond Symbolic Responses to Private Politics: Examining Labor Standards Improvement in Global Supply Chains

    Andrea R. Hugill, Jodi L. Short and Michael W. Toffel

    Worker rights advocates seeking to improve labor conditions in global supply chains have engaged in private political strategies prompting transnational corporations (TNCs) to adopt codes of conduct and monitor their suppliers for compliance, but it is not clear whether organizational structures established by TNCs to protect their reputations can actually raise labor standards. We extend the literature on private politics and organizational self-regulation by identifying several conditions under which codes and monitoring are more likely to be associated with improvements in supply chain working conditions. We find that suppliers are more likely to improve when they face external compliance pressure in their domestic institutional environment, when their buyers take a cooperative approach to monitoring, and when their auditors are highly trained. We find, further, that a cooperative approach to monitoring enhances the impact of auditor training, and that auditor training has a greater impact on improvement when coupled with a cooperative approach than with external compliance pressures. These findings suggest key considerations that should inform the design and implementation of monitoring strategies aimed at improving conditions in global supply chains as well as theory and empirical research on the organizational outcomes of private political activism for social change.

    Keywords: Monitoring; supply chain; supplier relationship; supply chain management; corporate social responsibility and impact; labor; Working Conditions; sustainability; Sustainability Management; Sustainable Operations; sustainable supply chains; NGO; Globalization; Corporate Accountability; Operations; Supply Chain; Supply Chain Management; Business Processes; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Performance Evaluation; Safety; Risk and Uncertainty; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Electronics Industry; China; Indonesia; India; Bangladesh;

    Citation:

    Hugill, Andrea R., Jodi L. Short, and Michael W. Toffel. "Beyond Symbolic Responses to Private Politics: Examining Labor Standards Improvement in Global Supply Chains." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 17-001, July 2016. View Details
  10. Why Brexit Is a Big Deal

    John A. Quelch

    The consequences of yesterday's vote by the British people to leave the European Union will be far-reaching, but there is no reason for global markets to panic.
    Brexit is a vote against the European Union. Once heralded as the engine of a one-for-all and all-for-one economic growth, the EU is now seen by many Britons as an expensive, interfering and sclerotic bureaucracy.

    Keywords: British Vote; Brexit; European Union; Impact; Historical Result; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Disruption; Transition; Volatility; Decision Making; Globalization; Government and Politics; History; Leadership; Outcome or Result; Risk and Uncertainty; Strategy; European Union; Republic of Ireland; United Kingdom;

    Citation:

    Quelch, John A. "Why Brexit Is a Big Deal." Harvard Business School Working Knowledge (June 24, 2016). (Republished by Forbes.com on June 24, 2016 at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/hbsworkingknowledge/2016/06/24/why-brexit-is-a-big-deal/#2c5e5c587297.) View Details
  11.  
See all faculty publications on Globalization »