From Polar Winds to Tropical Breezes
Chapter 4: Beginning the Research in a Tropical Breeze
Betty Jane Punnett and Lawrence Nurse The research began in earnest in a tropical breeze, but of course the project began substantially before the data collection did. The birth of the project was actually somewhere between a tropical breeze and a polar wind, at the Academy of Management annual meeting in Chicago, Illinois. A professional development workshop was organized to consider a research agenda focusing on the Americas – it was called ‘From polar winds to tropical breezes: developing research for the Americas’. At this workshop, Betty Jane Punnett put forward the idea that the attempt to develop a free trade area of the Americas was a more daring attempt at regional integration than had ever before been contemplated. The diversity contained within the Americas is literally staggering – from the very rich to the very poor, from the very large to the very small, from excellent to poor (in terms of education, health care, infrastructure and so on), from fragile to stable (in terms of economies, politics and so on). Some economies are agriculturally based, others service or manufacturing oriented, still others have a mixed economy. Some countries see the USA, the dominant proponent of the FTAA, as a neighbour and friend, others are wary and distrustful of the USA. There is an array of currencies, cultures, customs and languages through the region, as well as an array of climates – the region really does range from polar winds in the Arctic and Antarctic to tropical breezes in the well-known tourist attractions...
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