Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Shintaro Okazaki
Wei-Na Lee and Jinnie Jinyoung Yoo INTRODUCTION Countries around the world today are connected into a global community. Changes that take place in one part of the world almost always impact the rest of the world. These changes can be political. For example, in early 2011, the political uprising that first erupted in Egypt quickly rippled through the mid East with protests in several other countries. Economic changes such as China surpassing Japan as the world’s second largest economy in 2010 are felt globally. During the same year, the economic meltdown that started in Greece and triggered domino effects in Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain is another prime example of this connectedness. In a globally connected world, countries are increasingly dependent on one another for survival and growth. In his book titled The Post-American World, Fareed Zakaria (2008) alluded to “a great transformation taking place around the world” (p. 1). He remarked that there is a diffusion of power from what used to be a single superpower to many countries around the world and called this the “rise of the rest”. In other words, many countries around the world have experienced significant economic growth in recent years. This has resulted in an increase in consumption power for people in many places. Instead of the G-8, we now have the G-20 representing the world’s economies. Along with this development is, inevitably, the rise of competition in the global marketplace and changing consumer demands in product offerings, quality, services and benefits. Business...