The (Un)Global World

I found a particularly interesting article from McKinsey Quarterly about the reality of globalization. This article uses the film industry as an example of how we are not truly global. I know discussing globalization is like beating a dead dog, but this article took a different perspective than most others.

Managers and executives tend to look at globalization as a, “Yeah, duh,” topic*. In reality, many countries and areas are not as connected to the world as Americans are.

Although a wide variety of metrics show that just 10 to 25 percent of economic activity is truly global, executives disproportionately embrace visions of unbounded opportunities in a borderless world, where distances and differences no longer matter. –Pankaj Ghemawat, August 2011

Quite an interesting statistic and a well thought out stereotype for executives and their perspective on globalization. The author suggests creating and using maps that reflect the size and other metrics of different countries, rather than a regular geographical map. See the following “rooted map” of BASF Sales by Location of Company, 2010:

The size of the country represents the amount of chemical sales while color (not important in this map) can be used to reflect another statistic, if desired. Understanding globalization by industry can be made much more accessible with these maps.

I would guess that, for most, “global” refers to North America, Europe and Asia. Not very global at all.

*Please note that this is coming from an American’s perspective. 

About life at esyringe

Life at esyringe is about the inner workings of a small business based in Washington State. Get a good laugh or some introspection at The company sells syringes online, hence 'esyringe'. No, not syringes you would put in a vein, but syringes that go into larger machines for analyzing blood and chemical compounds.
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