New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Sarianna M. Lundan
Chapter 12: Accelerated internationalization from the periphery
John A. Mathews INTRODUCTION Globalization is widely seen to be the dominant tendency of our time. It is a shorthand expression for a variety of processes encompassing worldwide integration of financial systems, trade liberalization, deregulation and market opening, as well as pressures towards cultural, economic and social homogeneity. In one sense it refers to the emergence of a single, global business civilization - a remarkable event, but one that is feared as much as it is celebrated. Most of the discussion of globalization focuses on the pressures from the centre (the Triad countries of North America, Europe and Japan) to create worldwide uniformity, convergence, homogeneity. This understandably arouses concern in the periphery as to what might be sacrificed in this process of convergence - no matter what the material gains may be.1 But there is another aspect to the process of globalization that has attracted much less attention. This is the countervailing pressure exercised by the periphery on the centre, as firms and institutions in the periphery move rapidly to take advantage of the new opportunities generated by the creation of global markets and global patterns of industrial development. It is not just firms and institutions from the centre that can respond to the new opportunities. Indeed, a plausible case can be made that as globalization proceeds, it is firms and institutions from the periphery that can be expected to most clearly articulate the global perspective and approach needed to exploit the new opportunities. This is based squarely on the...
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