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. On Wealth and the Diversity of Friendships: High Social Class People around the World have fewer International Friends

    Maurice H. Yearwood, Amy Cuddy, Nishtha Lambaa, Wu Youyoua, Ilmo van der Lowe, Paul K. Piff, Charles Gronin, Pete Fleming, Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Dacher Keltner and Aleksandr Spectre

    Having international social ties carries many potential advantages, including access to novel ideas and greater commercial opportunities. Yet little is known about who forms more international friendships. Here, we propose social class plays a key role in determining people's internationalism. We conducted two studies to test whether social class is related positively to internationalism (the building social class hypothesis) or negatively to internationalism (the restricting social class hypothesis). In Study 1, we found that among individuals in the United States, social class was negatively related to percentage of friends on Facebook that are outside the United States. In Study 2, we extended these findings to the global level by analyzing country-level data on Facebook friends formed in 2011 (nearly 50 billion friendships) across 187 countries. We found that people from higher social class countries (as indexed by GDP per capita) had lower levels of internationalism—that is, they made more friendships domestically than abroad.

    Keywords: friendships; Social Class; internationalism; Wealth; Relationships; Globalization;


    Yearwood, Maurice H., Amy Cuddy, Nishtha Lambaa, Wu Youyoua, Ilmo van der Lowe, Paul K. Piff, Charles Gronin, et al. "On Wealth and the Diversity of Friendships: High Social Class People around the World have fewer International Friends." Personality and Individual Differences 87 (December 2015): 224–229. View Details
  2. Business Groups Exist in Developed Markets Also: Britain Since 1850

    Geoffrey Jones

    Diversified business groups are well-known phenomenon in emerging markets, both today and historically. This is often explained by the prevalence of institutional voids or the nature of government-business relations. It is typically assumed that such groups were much less common in developed economies, and largely disappeared during the twentieth century. This working paper contests this assumption with evidence from Britain between 1850 and the present day. During the nineteenth century merchant houses established business groups with diversified portfolio and pyramidal structures overseas, primarily in developing countries, both colonial and independent. In the domestic economy, large single product firms became the norm, which over time merged into large combines with significant market power. This reflected a business system in which a close relationship between finance and industry was discouraged, but there were few restrictions on the transfer of corporate ownership. Yet large diversified business groups did emerge, which had private or closely held shareholding and substantial international businesses. The working paper argues that diversified business groups added value in mature markets such as Britain. In the domestic economy, Pearson and Virgin created well-managed and performing businesses over long periods. The much-criticized conglomerates of the 1970s-1990s era such as Hanson and BTR were also quite financially successful forms of business enterprise. The demise of many of them appears to owe at least as much to management fads as to serious financial under-performance.

    Keywords: business groups; business history; Economic History; conglomerates; Entrepreneurship; Globalization; Management; Organizations; United Kingdom;


    Jones, Geoffrey. "Business Groups Exist in Developed Markets Also: Britain Since 1850." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 16-066, November 2015. View Details
  3. Case Study: Is a Promotion Worth Hiding Who You Are?

    Karthik Ramanna

    A manager decides whether he should hide his sexual orientation for an overseas assignment.

    Keywords: case studies; globalization; Career advancement; Leadership Development; Globalization; Technology Industry; Korean Peninsula; United States;


    Ramanna, Karthik. "Case Study: Is a Promotion Worth Hiding Who You Are?" Harvard Business Review 93, no. 10 (October 2015): 123–127. View Details
  4. Doing Business in the Philippines

    Andy Zelleke and Dawn H. Lau

    This case provides an overview of some of the opportunities as well as challenges that those who plan to do business in the Philippines may face. It includes a summary of the current economic, political, and social situation in the country, and offers up-to-date perspectives and insight from individuals who are familiar with the region.

    Keywords: Philippines; Cross-Cultural and Cross-Border Issues; Philippines;


    Zelleke, Andy, and Dawn H. Lau. "Doing Business in the Philippines." Harvard Business School Case 316-073, September 2015. View Details
  5. Turkish Airlines: Widen Your World

    Juan Alcácer and Esel Çekin

    This case tracks Turkish Airlines' transition from regional player to global powerhouse. With an order for 212 aircraft in the first half of 2013, the airline had moved to double its size and become one of the industry's top-ten players. Growing its fleet would allow Turkish Airlines to fly many more destinations, boost revenues, increase aircraft utilization, and achieve higher cost efficiency. But it would also increase the already intense competition with European giants like Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, and the fast-growth Gulf airlines Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways. Critical questions faced CEO Temel Kotil and his team: How would Turkish Airlines keep growing without jeopardizing profitability? How would it manage the operational complexities and other external factors? Recruit the best people? Continue to differentiate itself in a fiercely competitive industry?

    Keywords: strategy; corporate strategy; operational complexity; capacity constraints; profitable growth; competition; alliances; subsidiary management; externalities; emerging market; Globalized Firms and Management; Competition; Air Transportation; Alliances; Corporate Strategy; Emerging Markets; Growth and Development Strategy; Air Transportation Industry; Turkey;


    Alcácer, Juan, and Esel Çekin. "Turkish Airlines: Widen Your World." Harvard Business School Case 716-408, September 2015. (Revised November 2015.) View Details
  6. The Impact of Globalization on Argentina and Chile: Business Enterprises and Entrepreneurship

    G. Jones and Andrea Lluch

    This book compares the effects of globalization on two Latin American countries, Argentina and Chile, over time. The chapters examine the impact of multinationals, the growth of business groups, and the conflicted relations between business and government. The book represents a unique comparative study of the complex and non-linear impact of globalization, and the evolution of business systems in two neighboring but very different countries. The book draws on literatures and archives which have previously only been available in Spanish, while the concluding chapter makes use of Harvard Business School's new project known as Creating Emerging Markets, which features lengthy interviews with the most iconic business leaders in Argentina and Chile over recent decades.

    Keywords: business history; globalization; Latin America; Argentina; chile; entrepreneurs; business groups; Entrepreneurship; Globalization; Growth and Development; Agriculture and Agribusiness Industry; Banking Industry; Food and Beverage Industry; Chemical Industry; Energy Industry; Mining Industry; Latin America;


    Jones, G. and Andrea Lluch, eds. The Impact of Globalization on Argentina and Chile: Business Enterprises and Entrepreneurship. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015. View Details
  7. Codes in Context: How States, Markets, and Civil Society Shape Adherence to Global Labor Standards

    Michael W. Toffel, Jodi L. Short and Melissa Ouellet

    Transnational business regulation is increasingly implemented through private voluntary programs—like certification regimes and codes of conduct—that diffuse global standards. But little is known about the conditions under which companies adhere to these standards. We conduct one of the first large-scale comparative studies to determine which international, domestic, civil society, and market institutions promote supply chain factories' adherence to the global labor standards embodied in codes of conduct imposed by multinational buyers. We find that suppliers are more likely to adhere when they are embedded in states that participate actively in the ILO treaty regime and that have stringent domestic labor law and high levels of press freedom. We further demonstrate that suppliers perform better when they serve buyers located in countries where consumers are wealthy and socially conscious. Taken together, these findings suggest the importance of overlapping state, civil society, and market governance regimes to meaningful transnational regulation.

    Keywords: Transnational regulation; Labor standards; Consumer politics; Codes of conduct; Compliance; Governance Compliance; Operations; Globalization; Labor;


    Toffel, Michael W., Jodi L. Short, and Melissa Ouellet. "Codes in Context: How States, Markets, and Civil Society Shape Adherence to Global Labor Standards." Regulation & Governance 9, no. 3 (September 2015): 205–223. View Details
  8. The Value of Breadth and the Importance of Differences

    David J. Collis

    Honoring Pankaj Ghemawat's receipt of an Academy of Management award, this chapter examines his contribution to the global strategy field. It notes the continuing importance of country differences to international strategy and how geographic scope contributes to competitive advantage.

    Keywords: global strategy; Pankaj Ghemawat; multinationals; Globalization; Management; Strategy;


    Collis, David J. "The Value of Breadth and the Importance of Differences." In Emerging Economies and Multinational Enterprises. Vol. 28, edited by Laszlo Tihanyi, Elitsa R. Banalieva, Timothy M. Devinney, and Torben Pedersen, 29–33. Advances in International Management. Emerald Group Publishing, 2015. View Details
  9. Horst Dassler, Adidas, and the Commercialization of Sport

    Geoffrey Jones, Michael Norris and Sophi Kim

    The case focuses on the career of Horst Dassler, the son of the founder of the German-based sports shoe manufacturer Adidas. The origins of the firm were in the interwar years, and it rose to public prominence after it provided spikes for Jesse Owens, the famous African-American sprinter, in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. From the 1950s Horst cultivated relationships with athletes and national associations to expand his sports apparel business and develop sports sponsorship, competing fiercely against competitors such as Puma and Nike. During the 1970s he played a key role in commercializing the international soccer federation FIFA, including creating a television market for soccer, and he subsequently became a key force behind arranging sponsorships and broadcasting rights for the Olympics. The case explores the drivers of success of this major consumer brand and provides the opportunity to discuss the positives and negatives of the globalization and commercialization of sport.

    Keywords: corruption; Economic History; business history; entertainment; business; strategy; media; Sports; Digital technology; blockbuster; superstar; film; television; music; publishing; performing arts; nightlife; Crime and Corruption; Entrepreneurship; Globalization; History; Sports; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Consumer Products Industry; Fashion Industry; Sports Industry; Germany; South America; Europe; Asia; North and Central America;


    Jones, Geoffrey, Michael Norris, and Sophi Kim. "Horst Dassler, Adidas, and the Commercialization of Sport." Harvard Business School Case 316-007, July 2015. View Details
  10. WeChat: A Global Platform?

    Willy Shih, Howard Yu and Fang Liu

    WeChat was developed by Tencent Holdings as a lightweight messaging platform. As it grew quickly to become the most popular messaging app in China, it added a range of products and services that sat on top that were designed to appeal to a broad range of consumers and businesses. Official accounts, WeChat payment, and online to offline features expanded its reach, but the core question was whether the company could break out from its home market and offer the rest of the world something that its competitors could not.

    Keywords: online platforms; globalization; China; WeChat; Tencent Holdings; Globalization; Online Technology; Telecommunications Industry; Information Industry; China;


    Shih, Willy, Howard Yu, and Fang Liu. "WeChat: A Global Platform?" Harvard Business School Case 615-049, June 2015. View Details
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