Globalization Gone Sideways?

Dec 15 2017
Written by NYU Shanghai

On December 8, leading global strategist, management thinker and NYU Professor Pankaj Ghemawat sat down with Vice Chancellor Jeffrey Lehman to discuss business globalization -- a theme he brought to campus from then convening Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou.

Joined by Israeli entrepreneur Ami Dror and venture capitalist Ken Miller, Ghemawat started with a question for the audience: Is globalization stoppable?

“I am not suggesting globalization is going to stop, but it has been going sideways. Therefore, business practitioners might have to be prepared to deal with both expected and unexpected consequences,” Ghemawat said.

He also pointed out potential dangers of business localization using Lenovo’s expansion into India as an example, saying it is likely to “cause inter-state intension and populism,” adding that the process of localization is even harder for some ultra-sensitive businesses.  

The panelists agreed that the trend of globalization should be led by not only merchandise trade, but also information and talent flow among international education and healthcare.

Noting that only 2-3 percent of university students around the world are currently studying in a country other than where they come from,” Ghemawat said, “there is large potential for education to be globalized”.

He suggested that companies should rethink their non-market strategies over their traditional market strategies, in the face of current backlashes to globalization.   

“Non-market strategies such as careful consideration for the overall political climate and economic policies have become more important for enterprises, than simply considering their market competitiveness,” Ghemawat added.