Global Business: Origins, Viewpoints and Six Cornerstones

This essay sketches the historical and conceptual aspects of globalization and global business; and, highlights the cornerstones of global business. The perspectives offered are those of a practitioner and policy expert, and hence the discussions and analyses presented are guided by both experience and a long-standing and deep interest, and role played over the years, in matters of business, economics, policy and strategy. However, my viewpoints are tempered by the opinions and arguments of others on the subject. An important contribution of this paper is the delineation of the six cornerstones of global business – which are: business mission, policy and strategy; culture; leadership; technology, innovation and creativity; human capital; and business environment -- and the recommendations offered have a bearing on research, policy-making and teaching.

Policy Implications:

  • In a rapidly changing world where global businesses are seen as central to the health and expansion of economies, the difference between success and failure of a global firm can sometimes rest on what the cornerstones of GBiz are perceived to be as indeed the cases of several firms illustrate (Microsoft, Apple, RIM, for example).
  • In addition to the cornerstones that are often perceived to exist in global business – that is, strategy, culture, technology, and human capital -- it is of critical importance that mission, policy, leadership and the business environment are not overlooked as they are also of central importance in all matters.
  • Businessmen, policymakers, researchers, academics and others interested in the subject can gain a better insight into GBiz and take appropriate action if the approaches taken are comprehensive, rather than limited in scope, content and application.