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International Strategy: Context, Concepts and Implications by David Collis

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Chapter 1 The Ubiquity and Importance of International Competition

MOTIVATION

On my birthday, my wife, who usually buys most of my clothes, included among my presents several shirts. I admired the colors – bright, because she accuses me of dressing like an English schoolboy – and the styling, but, in all honesty, I was more impressed by the origin of the shirts. One was from Mexico. A second was from Malaysia. No surprises there. But the third was from Mongolia. Mongolia! With the alliterative three Ms, I knew I had the opening for this chapter. What more evidence do you need for the ubiquity of international competition than three shirts, purchased at the same US store, coming from three countries as different as Mexico, Malaysia, and Mongolia?

But that is not all. The UN currently lists 17 countries beginning with the letter M. As a quick test of your global awareness, can you list all 17?1 Would it have surprised you if that third shirt had come from any one of those 15 other “M” countries? I think not. The fact that today a basic commodity could come from literally any of 17 countries beginning with the letter M is indicative of just how interconnected the world economy has become. To confirm this, do what I ask my students to do to their neighbors on the first day of class – look at their underwear! Where was it manufactured?2 Point made.

But it is not just the products you buy that are affected by international competition. So is your job and the salary you receive in ...

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