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. Korea

    Forest Reinhardt, Jonathan Schlefer, Keith Chi-ho Wong and Mayuka Yamazaki

    South Korea's economic success and its transition from authoritarianism to democracy teach important lessons in national strategy and political economy. Now, though, its famous chaebols may need reform, the population is aging, and relations with the North are as tense as ever. What should the country's leaders do?

    Keywords: Economics; Governance; Government and Politics; Leadership; Globalization; Demographics; Asia;


    Reinhardt, Forest, Jonathan Schlefer, Keith Chi-ho Wong, and Mayuka Yamazaki. "Korea." Harvard Business School Case 715-047, April 2015. (Revised April 2015.) View Details
  2. Immigration Policy in Germany

    Matthew Weinzierl, Katrina Flanagan and Alastair Su

    Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel faced economic and moral pressure to encourage greater immigration from struggling European, and especially Eurozone, countries after the economic downturn that began in 2008. In fact, it was possible that both the Euro currency union and the European political union depended on increasing migration across member countries, including into Germany. But German domestic politics made Merkel’s decision a difficult one.

    Keywords: citizenship; optimal currency unions; Globalized Economies and Regions; Immigration; Germany; European Union;


    Weinzierl, Matthew, Katrina Flanagan, and Alastair Su. "Immigration Policy in Germany." Harvard Business School Case 715-029, March 2015. View Details
  3. Delhaize Group: Developing Leaders

    Boris Groysberg and Sarah L. Abbott

    Delhaize Group, the Belgian-based global food retailer, was focused on competing in the food retailing industry by developing leading positions in key markets via localized retailing strategies. Delhaize was committed to offering its customers superior value while maintaining high social, environmental, and ethical standards. For Frans Muller, Delhaize's president and CEO, the key to executing on this strategy was ensuring that the Group was developing leaders with the requisite skills and competencies. In light of this, Muller felt it was important to assess the Group's leadership development practices. Were the current training and development programs effective? What were the leadership skills that would be needed to execute on Delhaize's strategic plan, both today and in the future?

    Keywords: leadership development; strategy; organizational alignment; organizational culture; talent management; human capital; Leadership Development; Globalized Firms and Management; Human Capital; Talent and Talent Management; Corporate Strategy; Organizational Culture; Retail Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Belgium;


    Groysberg, Boris, and Sarah L. Abbott. "Delhaize Group: Developing Leaders." Harvard Business School Case 415-019, February 2015. (Revised February 2015.) View Details
  4. The Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities of Global Project Management: Evidence from Chinese and Dutch Cross-Cultural Project Management

    Ying Zhang, Christopher Marquis, Sergey Filippov, Henk-Jan Haasnoot and Martijn van der Steen

    This study investigates the role of national and organisational culture in day-to-day activities of multinational project teams, specifically focusing on differences between Chinese and Dutch project managers. We rely on fieldwork observation and interviews with representatives from a diverse set of organizations in China and the Netherlands. Analyses focus on the impact of cultural differences on five project management processes — (1) project planning, (2) cost and quality management, (3) risk management, (4) scope management and project promises, and (5) communication. Although there are many differences observed in these five processes, research subjects report no significant impact of cross-cultural collaboration on project performance. We conclude that cross-cultural project teams can provide critical elements for an effective combination of different project management practices: people from various national and organisational cultures, enriched by different experiences and management theories, with a mix of skills. This study provides insights for those who work cross culturally (especially between western and eastern contexts) and is also a contribution to both the project management and cross-cultural management literatures.

    Keywords: Management; Organizational Culture; Projects; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; China; Netherlands;


    Zhang, Ying, Christopher Marquis, Sergey Filippov, Henk-Jan Haasnoot, and Martijn van der Steen. "The Challenges and Enhancing Opportunities of Global Project Management: Evidence from Chinese and Dutch Cross-Cultural Project Management." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 15-063, February 2015. View Details
  5. Continental Hope Group

    Christopher Marquis and Qi Li

    This case provides an opportunity to examine and discuss how a traditional Chinese private business was launched and developed into a globalizing, multi-industry corporation. It also highlights how second generation entrepreneurs successfully developed an innovative industry model to sustain a green and profitable business, how the company valued, motivated and retained its talent, and how Chinese private enterprise can go global.

    Keywords: globalization; family business; China; technology; real estate; talent retention; incentives; global strategy; Talent and Talent Management; Diversification; Family Business; Business Growth and Maturation; Entrepreneurship; Global Strategy; Construction Industry; Tourism Industry; Energy Industry; Real Estate Industry; Chemical Industry; China;


    Marquis, Christopher, and Qi Li. "Continental Hope Group." Harvard Business School Case 415-050, February 2015. View Details
  6. Location Choices under Strategic Interactions

    Juan Alcacer, Cristian Dezso and Minyuan Zhao

    The literature on location choices has mostly emphasized the impact of location and firm characteristics. However, most industries with a significant presence of multi-location firms are oligopolistic in nature, which suggests that strategic interaction among firms plays an important role in firms' decision-making processes. This paper explores how strategic interaction among competitors affects firms' geographic expansion across time and markets. Specifically, we build a model in which two firms that differ in their capabilities enter sequentially into two markets with different potentials for profit. The model is solved using game theory under three learning scenarios that capture the ability of a firm to transfer its capabilities across markets: no learning, local learning, and global learning. Three equilibrium strategies arise: accommodate, marginalize, and collocate. We identify how these strategies emerge depending on the tradeoff between the opportunity costs of absence (giving competitors a lead in a market) and the entrenchment benefits (the cost advantage firms develop through learning-by-doing when they enter early). Both the opportunity costs of absence and the entrenchment benefits vary according to initial relative firm capabilities, relative market profitability, and learning rates. Our model offers a comprehensive approach to understanding the drivers of firm location choices by modeling not only the impact of location and firm heterogeneity, but also the strategic interaction among firms.

    Keywords: Location strategies; multinational strategy; oligopolistic competition; game theory; firm heterogeneity; Geographic Location; Multinational Firms and Management; Balance and Stability; Decision Choices and Conditions; Game Theory;


    Alcacer, Juan, Cristian Dezso, and Minyuan Zhao. "Location Choices under Strategic Interactions." Strategic Management Journal 36, no. 2 (February 2015): 197–215. View Details
  7. CJ E&M: Creating a K-Culture in the U.S.

    Elie Ofek, Sang-Hoon Kim and Michael Norris

    Buoyed by the success of K-pop music and K-drama television shows in Asian countries, Chairman Jay Lee, of the South Korean conglomerate CJ Group, believed that the time was ripe for taking Korean cultural content to the West. One initiative, carried out by the Group's Entertainment & Media (E&M) division, was a daylong fan convention, called 'KCON', that was held in Irvine, CA in October 2012 and which featured various Korean cultural elements, such as music, dance, film, and food.

    In the spring of 2013, Miky Lee, the Group's Vice Chairman (VC), called a meeting with key executives to review the results of KCON 2012 and make a recommendation to the Chairman on whether to hold a similar event in 2013. As part of their deliberations, the executives were expected to consider where a potential 2013 convention should be held, which artists to invite, which target consumers to focus on, how to price tickets and how to attract more sponsors. With KCON 2012 having lost money, despite a robust turnout, it was far from clear whether to repeat the event and, if so, whether its scale should be expanded beyond 2012's $1.1 million budget. With CJ recently opening a chain of mid-market Korean food restaurants in the Los Angeles area called Bibigo, the meeting would also touch on the restaurant's U.S. growth plans and how they might be connected to KCON.

    More broadly, the executives had to wrestle with the question of whether Americans would ever really embrace Hallyu, the Korean Wave, beyond one-off success stories like PSY's "Gangnam Style." And even if they believed so, was KCON the right vehicle to make it happen, or was the event just a waste of the company's time and money?

    Keywords: global strategy; Cultural Consumption; Media Businesses; international marketing; event marketing; Creative Industries; cross-cultural adaptation; ethnic marketing; South Korea; Marketing Strategy; Entertainment; Global Strategy; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Entertainment and Recreation Industry; United States; South Korea;


    Ofek, Elie, Sang-Hoon Kim, and Michael Norris. "CJ E&M: Creating a K-Culture in the U.S." Harvard Business School Case 515-015, January 2015. View Details
  8. Aura Light: From a Light Bulb Manufacturer to an Energy Savings Solutions Provider

    Krishna Palepu and Elena Corsi

    A Swedish light bulb manufacturer reviews its strategy to better compete against large global multinationals.

    Keywords: global strategy; outsourcing; new markets; Lighting Industry; Global Strategy;


    Palepu, Krishna, and Elena Corsi. "Aura Light: From a Light Bulb Manufacturer to an Energy Savings Solutions Provider." Harvard Business School Case 115-027, January 2015. View Details
  9. Dalian Wanda Group: The AMC Entertainment Acquisition (A)

    Willy Shih

    When Dalian Wanda Group of China announced its plan to acquire the AMC Entertainment theatrucal exhibition chain in the Unityed States, many people in the U.S were mystified. Unlike China where theatrical exhibition was experiencing rapid growth, the U.S. market was viewed as mature, and rapidly changing technology was giving consumers a widening range of choices for movie viewing. AMC was owned by a group of private equity firms, and their pessimistic view of the industry influenced their strategies and investment decisions. AMC's management team had yet a different view on the prospects of the industry. Thus three present or potential stakeholders, all looking at the same data, had distinctly different views of future prospects. How could this be?

    Keywords: Dalian Wanda Group; AMC Entertainment; Wang Jianlin; Theater Entertainment; Film Entertainment; Acquisition; Mergers and Acquisitions; Foreign Direct Investment; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Growth and Development Strategy; Business Strategy; Corporate Strategy; Expansion; Motion Pictures and Video Industry; China; United States;


    Shih, Willy. "Dalian Wanda Group: The AMC Entertainment Acquisition (A)." Harvard Business School Case 615-033, December 2014. View Details
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