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Archive for the ‘Global Business’ Category

The Power to CompeteJapan must make bold moves to reverse its economic stagnation, economist Ryoichi Mikitani and Internet entrepreneur Hiroshi Mikitani write in The Power to Compete. They do not believe that Abenomics, the economics program led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, does enough to solve Japan’s problems. Instead, the nation needs to increase its competitiveness, efficiency, and innovation by lessening government regulation, eliminating layers of bureaucracy, moving away from Japan’s lifetime employment tradition, and cutting taxes and the costs of government. The authors also argue that making English the business language of Japan, liberalizing rules governing foreign workers in Japan, and allowing foreign companies to take over failing Japanese businesses would help boost the nation’s economy.

The current Japanese economy is stagnant. To break free from its present mentality, revive, and find the power to compete globally:

  • Japan must improve its operational efficiency. Businesses are hampered by government regulations and a tradition that grants lifetime employment, keeping employers from making their operations lean.
  • Japan must become more innovative. Policies like setting product standards that differ from global standards to supporting failing industries have stifled innovation. Immigration rules and language barriers make it difficult to hire the brightest minds from overseas who could help increase innovation.
  • Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plan for reviving the economy may need to be bolder. A huge national debt, banks that are risk-averse, and fear of inflation could all be impediments to Abenomics.
  • Japan must lower the cost of governance. The nation has a large bureaucracy that needs to shrink, and using technology could be one means to cut the number of civil servants. The government must also reduce corporate taxes and the cost of electricity from regional monopolies.
  • Japan should become more globally minded. The country should encourage students to study abroad, allow foreign firms to take over Japanese companies, and make other efforts to ease the country’s protectionist policies.
  • Japan must modernize its education system. Instead of emphasizing rote memorization, schools must teach students to think critically. English and technology courses should be required, and schools should use educational tools available through the Internet.
  • Japan must build its brand. Attracting more tourists, allowing more foreign athletes to play in Japanese leagues, and convincing foreign companies to put their regional headquarters in Japan are all ways the nation can increase international awareness and the value of Brand Japan.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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China’s Super ConsumersWith the rapid rise of China’s economy has come a new class of “super consumers” who are ready to assert themselves the way American consumers have over the last century. Already there are more than 500 million online shoppers in China and some 1.5 million millionaires in a country of over 1.2 billion people. This huge population—four times the size of the United States—presents an enormous opportunity for foreign companies, but the long history of China and a language and culture so different from those in Western nations present many pitfalls as well. As Savio Chan and Michael Zakkour explain in China’s Super Consumers, newcomers to the market must take the time to understand Chinese history and culture and the special challenges of doing business in China.

The authors provide the following tips on doing business in China:

  • Companies that want to succeed in China need to understand its historical culture. Group harmony matters more than individual liberty. Networks of trusted family and friends are so important that Chinese spend a good deal of energy maintaining these networks. Relationships are more complex and agreements more contingent than in the West. Even the language favors nuance and ambiguity over directness.
  • In the last decade, the Chinese consumer has been on a meteoric rise with rapid urbanization and growing disposable incomes. This new wealth, together with the sheer size of the country, has made the Chinese consumer a global force. In addition to the mainland Chinese market, there is a huge demand for the products, services, and experiences Chinese overseas travelers want to buy.
  • Retail channels, supply chains, and marketing in China differ somewhat from those in the West, even when they appear outwardly similar. However, China’s distribution infrastructure does not yet match that in the West. Retail channels tend to be single brand and can be expensive to sustain. Therefore, e-commerce is highly attractive and a low-risk path to entry. For luxury goods, Chinese buyers expect to see flagship stores.
  • China is not really a single market–it is an amalgamation of markets that are defined both geographically and by customer type. Businesses must understand the need to customize their offerings and approaches to serving each of these markets differently.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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Making Extraordinary Things Happen in AsiaMaking Extraordinary Things Happen in Asia showcases how The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership formulated from research conducted by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner are being applied by Asian executives to transform how people work to generate great results. Real-life stories are shared about personal leadership practices from senior managers, many enrolled in the Executive MBA program at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. The emphasis is on how leaders set inspiring examples through their own behaviors and relationships with colleagues, employees, team members, and other constituents. The five exemplary practices are modeling the way with clear values, inspiring others with a shared vision, continually challenging existing processes to discover new opportunities, empowering others to act, and encouraging the heart through genuine appreciation of the work of others.

The authors inform readers that:

  • Each individual can be a leader and make a difference by modeling exemplary behavior based on values and developing strong relationships with constituents within an organization in order to make things happen.
  • Leadership can be learned because it manifests as an observable pattern of practices and behaviors and a definite set of skills and abilities.
  • The five practices of exemplary leadership are modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging existing processes, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart.
  • Lead by the example of exemplary behaviors to show deep commitment to shared values.
  • Commitment from others cannot be forced through command but must come from inspiring others to enlist in a common vision.
  • Exemplary leaders search for opportunities to innovate, grow, and improve; they continually learn from failures and successes.
  • Leaders must foster collaboration and build trust by strengthening others. When people have the information, discretion, and authority to make extraordinary things happen, they will.
  • Exemplary leaders demonstrate genuine appreciation for individual excellence and seek to create a culture that celebrates values and victories.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The New Asian Hemisphere, China’s Management Revolution, China Versus the West

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In China Versus the West, Ivan Tselichtchev describes the Western economic crisis that occurred parallel to unyielding Chinese growth and how this created a global power shift. He explains the genesis of China’s stronghold. It refuses to accelerate the appreciation of its currency, it actively invests in Third World countries to gain access to natural resources and garner political clout, and its national resources companies now compete globally. China is also emerging as a technological innovation and R&D center, and has used its financial strength to acquire many Western companies. China’s economic strength allows it to shape global markets to its advantage. The West requires a comprehensive China policy that increases exports, enhances competitiveness in a global market with China-imposed rules, counterbalances China’s influence in Third World countries, and retaliates against China’s unequal conditions for competition.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Coming China Wars, Doing Business in China, China’s Megatrends

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Over the past few years, China has transformed itself into a powerful, consumer-oriented culture, and many Western companies have flocked to China to take advantage of this new marketplace. However, entrepreneurs from the United States and Western countries often fail to realize that transacting business in China is a far cry from making deals at home. Ted Plafker, a Beijing correspondent for The Economist, leverages his extensive experience in Chinese culture and entrepreneurship to offer a primer for newcomers who are planning to expand their business into China. According to his book, Doing Business in China, “As many foreign companies have already proven, success in China is possible, but only for those with the patience, persistence, and resources to see it through.”

For a free trial of EBSCO Business Book Summaries click here.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Coming China Wars, Getting China and India Right, Superfusion

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Over the past two decades, the Chinese and American economies have developed a symbiotic relationship with one another. China has become the United States’ largest creditor, while the American and multinational companies that went to China in the late 1980s and 1990s have developed a new international system of trade, production, and capital flows. The resulting global economic system is unlike anything the world has known. In Superfusion, Zachary Karabell traces how this integration between the Chinese and American economies developed and questions what the path forward will look like for these two countries. Will the United States try to develop the system for the mutual benefit of America and China, or will it resist the undeniable linkages with China? Only time will tell.

For a free trial of EBSCO Business Book Summaries click here.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Getting China and India Right, The Coming China Wars, The Quest for Global Dominance

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With an increasing number of employees working outside the central workplace, direct control over members of a project team is a thing of the past. In The Distance Manager, authors Kimball Fisher and Mareen Duncan Fisher have created a practical guide for employers and managers on how to get the most out of off-site employees and virtual teams. Emphasizing the value of management skills and resources required to keep the project on track, the Fishers offer simple tips and real examples in order to guide the prospective team to a project’s successful conclusion.

For a free trial of EBSCO Business Book Summaries click here.

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