How does a firm looking to expand internationally build an effective global supply chain network from scratch?
Masaaki ‘Mike’ Kotabe, Washburn Chair Professor of International Business and Marketing at the Fox School, addresses this question by studying the strategies employed by Uniqlo, a Japanese apparel firm which successfully built a world-class global supply chain network in a relatively short period of time.
In his article, ”A Dynamic Process of Building Global Supply Chain Competence by New Ventures: The Case of Uniqlo,” which was published in the Journal of International Marketing, Kotabe proposes a dynamic model on how new firms can create a flexible supply chain network internationally. “By effectively developing partnering flexibility and exerting competitive pressure on partner suppliers,” Kotabe says, “new and small firms can overcome initial business challenges associated with the lack of local reputation, limited capacity for large orders and the presence of locally established competitors.”
Historically, major Japanese manufacturers invested significantly in manufacturing activities with advanced technologies and building close-knit suppliers. But with the rapidly changing global markets in the 1990s and 2000s, these relationships turned out to be a major financial burden with huge fixed costs.
Newly internationalizing Japanese firms began to develop more “asset-light” flexible relationships with local suppliers. But Kotabe says, “They still faced serious gaps due to the lack of initial large-scale production capability and bargaining power with local suppliers.”
However, Kotabe notes a transformational change in the strategy employed by new Japanese companies like Uniqlo. “They focus primarily on building relationships with their suppliers by providing them economic and technological rewards frequently,” Kotabe says. “They also maintain flexibility in their partnership by avoiding suppliers’ over dependence on the relationship.”
By examining Uniqlo’s successful supply chain development, Kotabe proposes a three-stage model that can serve as a guideline for small companies looking to build competitive advantages while expanding internationally.
In the first stage, building close relations with suppliers is crucial. “Suppliers are more cooperative when the partnering firm rewards them with large volume orders,” says Kotabe. By limiting not only the number of suppliers but also the variety of products to be manufactured, companies can ensure that every chosen supplier has a satisfactory share of the business, along with a large volume order per variant.
The second stage focuses on developing collaborative relationships with the suppliers by helping them build their competencies. Uniqlo hired a team of retired experts skilled in Japan’s textile industry to provide technical support to their suppliers’ factories. Kotabe says, “This move was key to Uniqlo’s success story as it helped in building trust and avoiding conflicts with its suppliers.”
“By receiving both economic and technological rewards continuously in the first and second stages of the process,” Kotabe notes, “the partners’ attitude toward the principal firm stays positive and cooperative.”
In the last stage, companies need to create flexibility in their supply chain by encouraging their suppliers to have other secondary customers. This allows them to grow their own business volumes independently and prevents excessive dependency on the partner. “Uniqlo enforced a compulsory non-exclusivity arrangement,” Kotabe says.”Therefore, even when Uniqlo canceled a transaction with a partner supplier, the supplier could easily find new clients.”
With more companies becoming involved in international markets to achieve better product quality and lower costs, it is important to effectively devise strategies to stay competitive. Kotabe’s study serves as detailed guidance for firms with limited international business experience to build a flexible global supply chain network from scratch.
For further reading on a similar topic, check out “What Is the Role of International Business Researchers?”
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Last month, a team of four Fox School juniors took a road trip to the University of Missouri-St. Louis to compete in the 2018 International Business Case Competition. They placed second and returned to Temple with a cash prize of $500.
The Fox School team—consisting of students Tyler Ascione, Sonali Patel, Nathan Pham, and Tarun Sangari—was one of the 12 teams to participate in the live competition sponsored by Nidec Motor Corporation and judged by business leaders from the St. Louis area. The challenge focused on developing strategies for the Japanese company to position, sell, and introduce its new FORECYTE sensors used for monitoring the vibrations and temperature of motors. The team was given the case Friday evening, and had to develop strategies and provide two rounds of presentations to the judges the next day. It was a hectic 24 hours.
“We had to figure out how to consolidate our ideas and put together a cohesive PowerPoint deck within the 24-hour time limit,” the team said. “In the first four hours, we individually researched and tried to get a holistic understanding of Nidec’s business model and the ‘Industrial Internet of Things’ industry. The next six hours, we wrote our ideas on a blackboard and deliberated our strategy. After dinner, we were all extremely fatigued, and did not have a single slide ready. However, at around midnight, we found a second wind. We began motivating each other, and our energy showed through the slides.”
The team ultimately developed a prize-winning recommendation for Nidec.
“Our solution was multi-faceted,” the team said. “First, we recommended they license out its new sensor technology to MROs (maintenance, repair, and overhaul) and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). Then, for the next five years, we recommended they collect and analyze the data aggregated from those MROs and OEMs. Once the firm had a sufficient level of data, we suggested opening up a new line of revenue: providing insights to OEM and MRO clients. These insights would give the firms a better way to manage their human capital and assess business needs. To maintain security, we considered a distributed ledger technology, providing a way to record digital interactions that are highly resistant to outages.”
4 Most Valuable Lessons Learned
1. “The greatest lesson I learned was to accurately assess and portray different qualitative options with a quantitative model. I had struggled with recommending businesses to pursue different strategies, but I have since gained the tools to quantify the strength of one strategy over another.” – Tyler Ascione, Finance and Management Information Systems double major
2. “Participating in my first case, the greatest lesson I learned is how important it is to decide on a strategy that everyone agrees on and be able to present. It is important to ensure the strategy is a success by conducting a lot of research and having data. It took us a lot of effort to put together the case. However, at the end of the day we all worked as a team and had fun!” – Sonali Patel, Finance major
3. “My lesson was the power of teamwork and team chemistry. We were given a tough case with limited data about a new product from the company. It took us 10 hours to come up with an outline and a general strategy. By then, we were all very tired. But once we came together, each of us tried to motivate each other by talking and even joking around. It seemed trivial but some late-night laughs helped a lot in keeping us up and finishing the presentation. Because we liked each other and understood unique strengths of each team member, we were able to overcome difficult challenges and have a lot of fun along the way.” – Nathan Pham, Management Information Systems major, Finance minor
4. “The greatest lesson I learned from the case was how important it is to tell a story with your numbers. While having a ton of great data is very helpful to support your argument, having the ability to analyze that data and present it in an interesting manner is far more important than anything else.” – Tarun Sangari, Finance and Accounting double major
Learn more about the Fox School’s undergraduate programs.
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded The World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia (WTCGP) a $1M, three-year matching grant to implement key strategies of the Greater Philadelphia Export Plan. As part of the nationwide Global Cities Initiative (GCI), supported by the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, the plan aims to increase the number of exporting companies and accelerate regional job and revenue growth through economic exports. Specifically, the plan will build capacity among the region’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s), and bolster export growth in the Greater Philadelphia region’s health and professional services, architecture, design, engineering, and construction management companies.
Academic partnerships are key to the success of the GCI. Partners, such as Temple University’s Fox School of Business, help supply research to uncover data, trends, and analysis that directly impacts the professional and academic international business community. The end goal for such partnerships are to fuel economic growth, help companies’ increase their sales, and attract more investors in key industries for the region.
A recent study from Team Philadelphia, with Temple University leading the research and data analysis, sought to support GCI and uncover the global network analysis of the region. According to Brookings, Philadelphia ranks fifth among U.S. cities in terms of pharmaceutical exports. The region’s strengths in R&D and the innovation is needed for biotechnology, according to Dr. Ram Mudambi, professor at the Fox School, and his team. Philadelphia is higher up on the value chain, focusing in innovation rather than manufacturing. It remains a challenge for cities to learn how to balance this expertise at innovation with the desire for job creation at all levels, which would historically have been supported by manufacturing. In addition, Dr. Bertrand Guillotin, professor and academic director at the Fox School, contributed to the data collection efforts, which were crucial for the GCI’s first annual Philadelphia report.
For Pennsylvania, promoting exports from Philadelphia is a key economic development tool. It leads to job creation, higher wages, more stable companies, and a diverse market base for firms. Imports play an important role too. The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany, and Ireland are key trading partners both in terms of exporting and importing, which demonstrates that Pennsylvania is part of the pharmaceutical global value chain, interacting actively with these key country partners.
Temple University’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) is currently implementing more than 70 events to improve U.S. competitiveness in the world marketplace and to produce globally competent students, faculty, and staff. Temple CIBER at the Fox School has received a grant from the Department of Education since its inception in 2002 and is one of 17 such centers in the country. The CIBER grant supports academic research for the international business community, including helping produce research that meets the needs of global business objectives.
The program recognizes these figures in its efforts to help U.S. companies connect to global markets:
- 95% of the world’s consumers live outside the U.S.
- <1% of America’s 30 million companies export
- 58% of U.S. companies that export do so to only one country
Learn more about the Fox School’s programs in International Business.
A conversation with Alain Verbeke about how the international business research community should adapt to today’s global context.
*The opinions expressed are the personal opinions of the interviewee and not of the Fox School of Business.
In late 2017, the Fox School of Business hosted the Academy of International Business U.S. Northeast Conference. For the second consecutive year, scholars from around the world—this year, there were representatives from 32 countries—met at Alter Hall to examine and discuss the most pressing issues facing the international business community.
The keynote speaker was Alain Verbeke, a professor at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and the editor-in-chief of the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS), who talked about corporate globalization and what it means for international business researchers. We connected with Verbeke after the conference to discuss these issues further.
What’s the biggest challenge JIBS, and international business researchers as a whole, now face?
I see JIBS as the last intellectual barrier against the hordes trying to destroy the vestiges of globalization. One problem is that most of the defenders of globalization have a self-interest in globalization. For example, the CEOs of large multinational enterprises want maximum freedom for their firms. Academics who do speak out in favor, are mostly economists, political scientists, and geographers who do not talk to managers of firms. That is what JIBS does—talk to firms. You can’t say anything reasonable about globalization if you don’t know what’s happening at the firm level. And our role is becoming more important in this new global context where the anti-globalization forces are clearly gaining momentum and power.
I don’t like to use the phrase “fake news,” but when we’re talking about the cost and benefits of globalization, there’s an enormous amount of fake news that literally crowds out what is factually correct in terms of the great benefits that typically accrue to countries involved in international exchange. This is a big problem JIBS addresses.
How do you cut through the noise with more reasonable arguments?
Unfortunately, people see problems in their community and they blame others for them. I call this “the new geography of discontent.” Basically, people blame some individual or group or set of people—preferably those who don’t look like them—for all the problems happening in their community. Easily, one third of people in any community—whether rightly or wrongly, or based on fake news or real news—is aligning with populist movements. There’s a renewed, built-in reflex that says, “Nation first.” One positive element that may come from this is more awareness in policy circles about the adjustment costs that will need to be addressed after freer trade deals, freer investment deals, and freer movement of human capital.
What can policy makers do to adjust for the actual detrimental aspects of globalization?
What has been neglected in the past are the forgotten men and women of trade deals. Globalization has led to outcomes that benefit consumers, but also trigger concentrated job losses and vicious cycles of de-clustering. One positive outcome of populist movements may be that the mainstream parties with common sense will think more carefully about how to deal with those dynamic adjustment costs, and how to anticipate them and how to avoid creating unfortunate reservoirs of forgotten people. Workers need to be retrained, re-tooled, and reintegrated into the economy. That doesn’t mean a former steelworker will tomorrow be operating robots, but other things can be done for those individuals and groups. Policy makers must think about what resources are needed to help with each transition.
What’s the role of academic business researchers in all this?
The anti-globalists often turn to that maligned presence of global firms and the supposedly malevolent processes of corporate globalization. The way I see it is that these critics are attacking imaginary enemies—they’re the equivalent of Don Quixote, who said to Sancho Panza, “Look at these monstrous giants, we’re going to defeat them.” But they were looking at windmills. We must teach the Don Quixotes and the Donald Trumps of the world—it is quite interesting how similar their names are, isn’t it? —that it’s not wise, when you have limited time and resources, to attack windmills. This is the responsibility of the international business research community.
Learn more about Fox School Research and International Business.
There has been a backlash against globalization and multinational corporations lately, but as new markets emerge, people, knowledge, capital, raw materials, finished products, services, and culture will increasingly flow across national boundaries. This flow is the essence of international business, and its success hinges on understanding the new configurations that will emerge. It is essential that we prepare for the new world order.
Why is it important to study the flow of international business? First, comprehending the nuts and bolts of how business is conducted across borders expands knowledge and skill sets. Second, knowing other languages and having overseas experience shows employers that students have an open global mindset. It differentiates them from others competing for a job. The Fox School of Business specializes in teaching the international business flow and in giving students that employment edge. For this reason and more, the Fox International Business (IB) program attracts top students from the Philadelphia region and beyond.
Students also choose the Fox School as a result of its world-leading faculty, beginning with Arvind Phatak, who studied globalization and multinationals in the 1960’s long before these words became popular. Today, Professors Mike Kotabe, Ram Mudambi, and Charles Dhanaraj are driving the Fox School’s IB program to the top. The popular press regularly cites the research output of these three scholars, and the Academy of International Business has elected them Fellows of the Academy—the highest honor that the academy can bestow.
The Fox School’s IB program is committed to providing outstanding internship and career placement help for graduates. The Fox Center for Student Professional Development (CSPD) has close contacts with many international companies and international organizations in the city, region, and beyond. IB student recruiters include GSK, Bank of America, Vanguard, Lockheed Martin, BDP International, BNP Paribas, Alibaba Group, LinkedIn Corporation, Amazon, and various U.S. and foreign government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Salaries reported by IB students cover a wide range based on specific elements (e.g., industry, cost of living, etc.) and have sometimes exceeded $100,000. On average and according to the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia’s export plan, IB jobs and export-related jobs pay 20% more.
A Brief History of IB Education at Fox
Professor Hart Walters offered the first course in International Business at the undergraduate level in 1971, and in 1984 IB became an undergraduate major. The Fox School continues to be a pioneer in developing a state-of-the-art curriculum. For example, it is a founding member of the Consortium for Undergraduate Business Education (CUIBE), a group of nationally recognized IB programs that aims to improve the way IB is taught to undergraduates.
Opportunities to Study IB at Fox
Some scholars see globalization as a continuum: companies start local, and then expand nationally, go on to become continental or regional, and then finally global; all strategy therefore has to be global in scope. Because of this, students are advised to specialize in one functional area and add IB as a second major. Fox students can also minor in IB or get specialized area certificates.
Undergraduates usually take six courses comprised of a core and a menu of electives towards the IB major. Through these courses, students learn both the analytical aspects of IB, such as accounting, economics, finance, insurance and risk, and the behavioral side of IB, such as human resources, legal, marketing, supply chains, offshoring, and strategic management. IB students are also encouraged to join the IB Student Professional Organization (SPO), the fastest growing on campus. The IB SPO hosts practitioners who share their experiences with the students. IB students also work with Temple’s Small Business Administration and the World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia, advising local clients who would like to take their products or services abroad. IB students get hands on experience by helping these clients enter emerging markets or help foreign clients enter the U.S. market.
At the master’s level, the IB the concentration has remained a popular choice among students. The Fox School offers an Executive MBA in many major countries in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Temple University and the Fox School have campuses in Rome and Japan. The university has also had a presence in China through the Fox School and Temple’s Beasley School of Law. Additionally, the Fox School has agreements with many foreign schools where students can spend a semester or year. Undergraduate and graduate students have studied at many of these locations and immersed themselves in the cultures of these places.
Through the Fox PhD program, multiple students have earned a doctorate with an international business concentration. The Fox School’s IB doctoral students have won dissertation awards at the Academy of International Business Annual Meetings. Today these alums are major knowledge creators and occupy prestigious positions in major universities.
The IB Program has also been the beneficiary of a Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) grant from the U.S. Department of Education for more than 15 years. This grant provides funding of more than $1 million every four years to selected research institutions that are on the cutting edge of finding ways to improve U.S. competitiveness and trade. Specifically, the grant requires grantee institutions to become regional and national centers for the research and teaching of critical languages, politics, economic geography, culture, laws, and trade practices vital to enhance U.S. trade. Only 17 universities currently hold this grant.
Contact Us: The Fox IB Program is strong in terms of teaching expertise, research impact, rankings, job placements, and in total provides great value for money. To learn more about the program, contact Dr. Bertrand Guillotin via email at Bertrand.Guillotin@temple.edu.
According to the research findings of a professor from the Fox School, business ownership doesn’t always equate to entrepreneurship.
Dr. Kevin J. Fandl, assistant professor in the Department of Legal Studies in Business, and his coauthor, Juana Paola Bustamante of the International Finance Corporation, analyzed a law passed in 2010 in Colombia to assess the impact of business streamlining laws on small, gray market firms. The law aimed to convince owners of gray market or legally non-compliant firms to become part of the formal marketplace, which entails steps such as acquiring licenses, registering with the local chamber of commerce, complying with labor laws, and paying taxes.
They found that a majority of business owners in Colombia had no interest in becoming entrepreneurs and scaling their firms. Instead, they preferred to operate within informal markets as a means of generating enough capital to support their cost of living, and not much more. In fact, in most cases, these firms utilized informality as a market advantage, securing economic advantages by avoiding the very things that make firms formal, like taxes and labor costs. Fandl’s research paper, “Incentivizing Gray Market Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets,” was published in Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business, the world’s top-ranked international trade law journal, according to Washington & Lee.
Colombia’s 2010 formalization law, Fandl explained, was an attempt by the country to streamline the process through which businesses registered with the government. The law offered these “shadow” businesses a transition period during which they would pay no taxes, registration fees, or contributions to the government for the social security and health of their employees. The costs eventually would be phased in, according to the law, allowing businesses to be more successful in the immediate term and contribute to employee benefits at a later date. But this approach was based on an economic theory that high costs are the principal barrier to business formalization, a theory that Fandl appears to debunk in some cases.
Fandl’s study explored the level of informality exhibited within Colombian firms and found practically no significant change before or after the law was enacted. While some larger firms used the law as an opportunity to take advantage of the benefits of formal operations at virtually no additional cost, most small firms targeted by the law chose to stay informal.
“The World Bank and a number of other institutions have studied this, and economists have generally concluded that firms operate informally as gray market firms, because it is too difficult or too expensive to formalize their operations,” says Fandl, who added that roughly 50 percent of firms in Latin America qualify as gray market firms. “It’s a huge problem, because, in essence, these firms are engaging in anti-competitive behavior that undercuts the formal market and allows them to lower their overhead costs, giving them an unfair advantage.”
Prior studies in this area relied heavily on anecdotal evidence, according to Fandl, and found that bureaucracy and escalating costs were cited as reasons for holding back owners of gray market firms, providing them with no incentives for registering their businesses. Fandl’s research, however, revealed the opposite.
“We found that while a few use the informal economy as a means to build businesses in a cost-effective manner, the majority of small firms operate informally only to accrue basic income. These inefficient firms are what we call ‘survivalist firms,'” he says. “They operate their firms to maintain a basic standard of living, and without the desire to become a successful entrepreneur.”
Since passing its 2010 law, Colombia and its Ministry of Commerce have developed pilot programs to educate the owners of these firms to become more entrepreneurial, teaching basic business skills such as accounting and management, helping them differentiate between strong and weak markets, offering mentorship, and providing collaborative opportunities with other survivalist firms. These efforts, Fandl says, are intended to find and spark the entrepreneurial spirit the Colombian government believes lies within some of these firm owners.
Fandl’s study concludes that there’s no single solution to Colombia’s efforts to legitimize its informal marketplace. The nation struggles to combat a high unemployment rate, which prompts its people to seek work and find a living any way possible, even if that means doing so by operating a gray market firm.
“’Forced entrepreneurship’ is the term we use in our paper, and until the unemployment crisis is addressed, this issue will not have a solution,” says Fandl, who adds that follow-up studies in this area are ongoing.
This story originally appeared in On the Verge, the Fox School’s research magazine.
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Is working remotely in your future?
For many, it already is. A 2016 poll from Gallup found that 43 percent of Americans are working remotely at least part of the time, up from 39 percent in 2012. According to a survey at the London Global Leadership Summit, executives anticipate more than half of their employees will be remote by 2020. With a workforce less attached to a physical office, how does this affect businesses?
Dr. Ram Mudambi, professor in the Fox School, seeks to understand this question and others like it, which play at the intersection of business, geography, and technology.
To do that, he launched International Business, Economic Geography, and Innovation (iBEGIN), a now-annual conference that aims to enhance research around the knowledge economy—based on intellectual capital and human talent—that sustains international business today.
“iBEGIN is based on the idea that connectivity across space is the ‘invisible web’ that underlies all human civilization,” Mudambi explains.
This past December, Mudambi and several of his fellow Fox School faculty and doctoral students attended iBEGIN at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. The conference—sponsored by the Fox School’s Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and the Office of Research, Doctoral Programs, and Strategic Initiatives, as well as Ca’ Foscari University—brings together experts from the fields of business, geography, and technological innovation to explore international connectedness in time, space, and economy.
“Innovation is the outcome of social interactions among people, through either organizations or personal relationships,” says Mudambi, “Studying such complex phenomena requires a holistic approach.”
This year, attendees sought to learn more about how employees who work remotely, away from their companies’ main offices or headquarters, impact how international businesses function and grow.
When remote employees spend time with their colleagues face-to-face, the parties are more likely to value their time together, increase their level of attention, and emphasize knowledge and information exchange. The conference attendees discussed how international businesses were using remote work, what forms of temporary co-location increased creative interaction and long-term relationships, and which mechanisms improved knowledge exchange.
iBEGIN expands upon the work of the CIBER, Temple University’s premiere program to promote academic research, curriculum development, and outreach programs in international business.
Funded by the Department of Education, CIBER plays a vital role in producing cutting-edge international business research, promoting international ideas within the community, and fostering worldwide learning among Temple students and faculty. As one of only 17 centers in the country, CIBER has received continuous federal funding since its inception in 2002.
Learn more about Fox School Research.
The media’s buzzing this year about the coming artificial intelligence revolution and how it will impact U.S. jobs. Robots of varying shapes and sizes have graced the covers of nearly every business and technology publication, and experts are weighing in on the threats and opportunities.
But there has been little discussion in popular media about how AI and automation will impact emerging markets. To learn more about the issue, we spoke with Bertrand Guillotin, the Fox School’s International Business program’s academic director and an assistant professor of instruction.
Fox’s International Business program was recently ranked No. 1 in North America and No. 2 in the world for research by the University of Texas, Dallas Business School Research Rankings, and it is one of the Top 15 International Business programs according to U.S. News & World Report. The program’s research is published in the Journal of International Business Studies, and it includes three Academy of International Business (AIB) fellows (Charles Dhanaraj, Masaaki Kotabe, and Ram Mudambi).
Since one of the hot research topics in international business today is the rise of automation and how emerging markets are positioning themselves for it, we asked Guillotin to share some insight.
Is there a particular emerging market you find especially interesting, in that it exemplifies some of the big changes happening with the global economy?
Take China, for example, because there are widespread changes happening there. The economy is trying to get away from an export based model; they are trying to change to a consumption based, more robust national economy. They have to be leaders in all kinds of industries to do that, including green technologies—though they are the number one global polluter—and they have to be strong in all the value-added industries. If you look at Dalian Wanda, which purchased AMC Theaters a few years ago, they are strong in entertainment and real estate; they understand the importance of diversification in our global economy.
There has been a lot of recent talk about how AI and automation will impact the U.S. workforce, but we don’t hear much about how other countries, like China, are responding to this possibility.
China could lose 50% of their manufacturing jobs in the foreseeable future, maybe the next 10 years, due to automation and AI. If you talk to partners at KPMG, who are responsible for forecasting what trends are going to catch traction beyond the hype, they’ll tell you it’s still too expensive to put AI and automation in place on a large scale. It’s happening, yes, but it’s not impacting all the jobs the same way. Low-skill jobs will be automated, and we’ve been doing that for centuries already. We do things on a daily basis that are not value-added, but if those things are automated, we benefit because we can focus our brain power on something else. It is a huge question for China, because if they automate too many jobs, they may destroy their national economy. But I don’t think they’ll do that. The cost-benefit analysis has to be made and they will make it.
Is AI and automation a popular topic for international business students?
Yes, issues like this are what make our International Business program very attractive. We have these discussions and we reconcile the different positions. We explain what they need to know to be successful in a world that’s always changing very quickly. We launched the International Business minor last year and we’re now attracting students from six different colleges at Temple, including liberal arts, science and technology, media and communication, and so on. We’re expecting more than 100 students in the minor this year. It’s an exciting time to study international business and our increased enrollment and rankings show that.
For our students, we need to be very clear that they need to keep working hard to stay on top of the game. Beyond their degrees, and beyond graduation, they need to keep educating themselves and keep acquiring skills that cannot be automated. If you stay on top of your skill requirements and continue to train and grow and learn, even if you are in manufacturing, you can survive. But if you just look at the status quo and think the U.S. has been on top of the global economy for decades and that will never change, that’s not going to work. The U.S. has a good chance to stay competitive, but we have to be serious and work together.
Learn more about the Fox School’s International Business program.
In October, Temple University’s Fox School of Business welcomed more than 200 of the world’s leading academics, consultants, and practitioners for a three-day conference on international business, global cities, and innovation.
The Fox School hosted a joint conference Oct. 27-30 of Academy of International Business-Northeast Region members, as well as iBEGIN scholars. In 2013, Fox School of Business Professor Dr. Ram Mudambi and a team of researchers founded iBEGIN – which stands for International Business, Economic Geography and Innovation – to study the connections between global value chains and the locations of economic activity.
The first conference of its kind, held at Temple’s Alter Hall, explored the ongoing global move toward horizontal specialization.
“The world economy is changing in very fundamental ways, and that’s because of a shift in the role of cities,” said Mudambi, the Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategy at the Fox School. “Previously, all activity would take place in the same city – innovation, design, manufacturing, assembly. Today, we’re moving from local systems to global systems, and cities are becoming centers of specialization. For example, the Bay Area is known as a hub for software engineering and Chicago for commodities trading, to name a few. These cities perform different tasks and, in doing so, they aren’t competing with one another. Instead, they are collaborating.”
The AIB/iBEGIN conference welcomed a number of prominent speakers and panelists, including the following deliverers of keynote addresses:
- Dr. Saskia Sassen, the Robert S. Lynd Professor of Sociology at Columbia University and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, from whom the term “global city” originates
- Dr. Keld Laursen, Professor of Innovation and Organizational Economics at the Copenhagen Business School, and President of the Technology and Innovation
- Management Division within the Academy of Management
Dr. Sharon Belenzon, Assistant Professor of Strategy at Duke University
This marked the third iteration of iBEGIN conferences, and the first that bridged with the AIB regional conference. The conference continues to expand its global reach, welcoming guests from four continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America.
The conference closed with a dynamic panel discussion on global value chains and industrial clusters; it was chaired by Dr. Ari Van Assche, the Director of the International Business Department at HEC Montreal. Panel participants included Dr. Harald Bathelt, Research Chair in Innovation and Governance at the University of Toronto; Dr. Gary Gereffi, Director of the Center on Globalization, Governance, and Competitiveness at Duke University; and Dr. Timothy Sturgeon, Senior Research Affiliate at the Industrial Performance Center at MIT.
“This powerful panel centered its discussion on clusters of innovation and the concept of cooperation over space, once again calling attention to the modern economy in which we live today,” Mudambi said. “In order for clusters to succeed, they need a particular identity and they need to be the best in the world at what they do.”
The Fox School of Business is at the forefront of international business education and research.
Fox’s International Business Administration program has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top-15 undergraduate programs in each of the last five years. The program receives support from a robust study-abroad program, through Fox and Temple University, as well as from the Institute of Global Management Studies and the Temple Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), both of which are based at Fox. Temple CIBER is one of only 17 such elite centers in the nation to have had its grant-renewal proposal approved for federal funding from the United States Department of Education. Temple is the only university in Pennsylvania to have received federal funding for CIBER.
In 2016, the Fox School’s International Business faculty earned prominent national and global rankings from the University of Texas at Dallas Top 100 Business School Research rankings. Fox’s faculty ranked No. 3 in the United States and No. 6 in the world for research quality and productivity, for publications in the Journal of International Business Studies over a four-year period, from 2012-2015.
Located in Philadelphia, the second-largest city on the East Coast of the United States, Temple’s Fox School of Business is positioned for international business excellence. Philadelphia recently became the first U.S. city to earn designation as a World Heritage city.
Additionally, the Fox School is home to AIB President Dr. Masaaki “Mike” Kotabe, who is serving the second year of his elected three-year term on AIB’s Executive Board, as well as Dr. Bertrand Guillotin, Chair of the AIB Northeast Region.
“The Academy of International Business is the most-prestigious and most-relevant community of scholars and practitioners in the world,” said Guillotin, Assistant Professor of Strategic Management at Fox, and Academic Director of its International Business Administration programs. “Coordinating a comprehensive conference like this helps to solidify the Fox School’s reputation as one of the nation’s leading international business clusters.”
–Christopher A. Vito
Profs. Susan Mudambi (Marketing) and Nick Dahan (IB) were both recognized with a Best Reviewer Award at the Academy of International Business 2014 annual conference, in Vancouver BC.
Congratulations to Masaaki Kotabe, the Washburn Chair Professor of International Business and Marketing, and his coauthors for their forthcoming article “Examining Complementary Effect of Political Networking Capability with Absorptive Capacity on the Innovative Performance of Emerging-Market Firms”, in prestigious Journal of Management.
Masaaki Kotabe, the Washburn Chair Professor of International Business and Marketing, and coauthor Kristiaan Helsen, launched the 6th edition of Global Marketing Management, published by John Wiley & Sons.
Professor Michael Valenza taught an EMBA law and business ethics course in Singapore during the Summer 2014, and gave a presentation on the legal aspects of the territorial/maritime disputes in the South China Sea.
IB Professor Ram Mudambi and Doctoral students from Fox School of Business, Politecnico di Milano, and Copenhagen Business School organized a Panel Discussion on “Global Connectivity as the Basis for Local Innovation” at the AIB annual conference in Vancouver BC, in June 2014.
Panel speakers also included Profs. John Cantwell (Rutgers, JIBS Editor-in-Chief) and Felipe Monteiro (Insead).
Milton Brice, VP of Corporate Finance at The Hershey Company was a guest speaker to the International Business student Association in Spring 2014. He gave a presentation on “Building an international Consumer Packaged Good business”.