The Strategies of Firms in the Global Economy. Review of the French Translation of Suzanne Berger's How We Compete
Suzanne Berger, a professor of political science at MIT, where she is head of the International Science and Technology Initiative, has recently published the results of a five-year study of 500 multinationals (in North America, Europe and Asia) carried out by her research team, looking at the ways that firms are adapting to the global economy (New York: Doubleday, 2005). Contrary to what one often hears, the opening up of the world economy is not leading to the creation of a single model of firm - far from it. It turns out that shifting production abroad simply in order to reduce wage costs is rarely a good move: as this study shows, success internationally is far more often a matter of using "classic" methods and building on national traditions and/or the culture of the parent firm.
Michel Drancourt reviews the French edition of the book (Made in monde. 500 multinationales face à la mondialisation. Paris: Le Seuil, 2006, 356 pp.). He presents the main conclusions, showing in essence that economic globalization can be an opportunity for those who know how to make good strategic use of it.