The Globalization of Business

Although the movement toward business globalization began decades ago, the extent and pace of international trade has accelerated during the past decade. Companies in the developed world (traditionally identified as the United States, Europe, and Japan) seek access to new markets as well as low-cost labor abroad—although high unemployment at home is casting a pall on global outsourcing. Countries in the less-developed world (for example, in the poor countries of Africa and Latin America) are seeking jobs, investment, and a higher standard of living for their people. Countries in the middle—the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China)—are industrializing rapidly, moving away from economies based on producing products created elsewhere to creating, producing, and distributing their own technology-based products into worldwide markets.

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan is a good example of how globalization has affected the world ecosystem. Japanese suppliers have been slow in ramping up production stopped by the earthquake, which has caused slow sales in the United States and around the world for cars, consumer electronics, and more. More and more global economies are interconnected, and a disruption in one country can have dramatic effects around the globe.

Patents and Politics: National IP Policy

National governments have now recognized the power of IP as an important tool in trade negotiations. We routinely see newspaper ...

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