"Thomas Friedman is renowned for claiming that the world is flat, in not one but two best-selling, highly lauded, and widely quoted books— The World is Flat (2005) and Hot, Flat, and Crowded (2008). Friedman posits that information technology is revolutionary in that all people and countries bear an increasing resemblance; he suggests that borders between countries are becoming increasingly irrelevant. It follows that companies that fail to globalize and capitalize on this convergence trend will be left behind.Trechos retirados de "Global Vision: How Companies Can Overcome the Pitfalls of Globalization"
While advances in information technology are indeed increasing at a rapid rate, and those advances have certainly facilitated the coordination, connectedness, and efficiency of communications across borders, it does not follow that all peoples and countries will converge so as to become nearly indistinct. Despite what business pundits who exhort globalization would have us believe, important differences between countries remain, and information technology simply does not fully bridge the political, economic, and cultural divides between countries.
Pankaj Ghemawat and Richard Florida, for example, have demonstrated that the world is not as flat as Friedman purports. There is still substantial difference in the world. People are not the same the world over. Countries vary on a host of dimensions, and the ways in which they differ have important implications for how companies ought to globalize and how globalizing businesses will perform. These differences make it incredibly challenging to manage far-flung global corporations.
And therein lies the managerial challenge. It seems that managers of global and globalizing companies have taken Friedman’s words to heart, and as a result they are either unsure or unaware of how differences between countries will impact their business. They therefore make dangerous assumptions, underestimating the extent to which such differences are likely to negatively influence the bottom (or top) line, only to learn through a series of costly and painful lessons that the challenges of globalization are real and complex."