(Republished with permission of YaleGlobal Online)

By Ajai Gaur and Ram Mudambi

Fox's Ram Mudambi
Fox’s Ram Mudambi
NEWARK, PHILADELPHIA – Trade typically figures prominently in U.S. presidential election, and 2016 is no exception. While campaigning, politicians tend to adopt anti-international business positions that are theoretically unsound and lack empirical evidence.

Four fallacies underline these common political arguments.

  • Fallacy 1: Manufacturing jobs are the basis of American prosperity.
  • Fallacy 2: Imports make us poorer.
  • Fallacy 3: Success of foreign firms always helps foreign countries, success of U.S. firms always helps the US economy.
  • Fallacy 4: To export, firms must sell to buyers in foreign countries.

For more from the Fox School’s Dr. Ram Mudambi on the ties between politics and international business, click here.

Philadelphia Energy Solutions IPO: Why now makes sense
As Philadelphia Energy Solutions prepared for its initial public stock offering, Dr. Ram Mudambi, Frank S. Speakman Professor of Strategic Management, explained to PBJ why the timing was appropriate for such a move.

Local R&D Won’t Help You Go Global
For the second time this calendar year, Frank S. Speakman Professor of Strategic Management Dr. Ram Mudambi has been published in HBR. He and PhD candidate TJ Hannigan published, “Local R&D won’t help you go global,” one of the recent outputs of the iBEGIN research program that Mudambi is spearheading.

Ram Mudambi | April 14, 2015 | WHYY NewsWorks

April 28, 2015 //

Cable rates causing concern
Philadelphia City Council recently released a report on cable giant Comcast, exposing widespread concern over pricing. Dr. Ram Mudambi, Frank M. Speakman Professor of Strategic Management, likened Comcast’s myriad offerings to Baskin-Robbins’ many flavors.

Innovation isn’t suffering in the Motor City
Despite Detroit’s downtrodden manufacturing reputation, the city is a leader in American innovation, in regard to patent output, according to the research findings of Dr. Ram Mudambi, Professor of Strategic Management at Fox. Mudambi covered this topic and more in a recent radio interview with the Michigan Business Network’s globalEDGE Business Beat show.

Fox School of Business Strategic Management Professor Ram Mudambi’s day-to-day routine may seem to include teaching and conducting research on international business, but that’s not all Mudambi does. He works to cultivate the people of Zon.

Mudambi’s first fantasy novel, The Empire of Zon, imagines a society in which two megatrends shape the way of life: female emancipation and environmental degradation.

“I felt very strongly about our current society,” Mudambi said. “I felt that it’s always interesting and fun to imagine what would happen if you extend things to extremes, and basically, that’s what I tried to do.”

Mudambi studied the history of patriarchy and the roles men and women have served based on gender. He based his world, the New Eartha, on the evolution of female emancipation from the right to vote, to more college degrees being obtained by women, to the emphasis of “female” qualities of cooperation in the workplace rather than “male” qualities of competition.

He also observed current trends in weather and climate, as well as failed and successful attempts to promote sustainability.

The Empire of Zon follows the life of what is known as the “Zon Sisterhood” — a society where men are deemed unnecessary. The novel follows this society’s quest for a new home planet — New Eartha — due to the collapse of the Earth’s biosphere. On their new home planet, the Sisterhood conquers the native people who are patriarchal and technologically backward, establishing the Empire of Zon.

Creating a new world with a new set of rules wasn’t easy for Mudambi. He waited until he was on sabbatical in Sydney to write the novel.

“I always wanted to write,” Mudambi said. “I wrote sort of haphazardly for a long time but never got around to it. I kept putting it off. It’s one of those things when you have an idea and you keep saying, ‘I’ll do it next year. I’ll do it next year.’ And eventually, I got to this point.”

The process took Mudambi about 16 months from start to finish. He spent a year writing the first draft and another four to five months editing it.

Mudambi is in the process of writing the second installment in what is to be a trilogy, but he has noticed that the process is not as fast as it was when writing the first.

“I’m having a harder time with writing it because I’m not on sabbatical,” Mudambi said. “I have so many other things going on, so I’m going much slower.”

Through the Zon Sisterhood’s new life on New Eartha, Mudambi attempts to illustrate that a perfect society is impossible.

“We often think that if we could just do something this way, it would fix everything. And I guess what I’m trying to demonstrate is that, if you do that, you get rid of one set of problems, but then you get another set of problems that arise.”