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European Taskforce 2016


WSPs internationella karriärutvecklingsprogram, European Taskforce, är ett program för unga lovande medarbetare mellan 20 och 34 år. Gruppen får varje år ett uppdrag från ledningsgruppen att belysa en viktig fråga ur olika synvinklar, i år handlar det om globalisering. Här får du del av deras insikter under resans gång.


How “global” are you?

November 09, 2016

A majority of senior executives believe their organizations need to develop global-leadership capabilities, but only a few percent think they are currently doing so very effectively (1). And some 30 percent of US companies admit that they have failed to exploit fully their international business opportunities because of insufficient internationally competent personnel. (2)


Globalization is indeed a powerful force, but the extent of “internationalization” varies widely across countries and companies and generally is more limited than commonly supposed. This is important to be aware of, so we can understand the current situation and the potential of globalization of a company.Only a very little percentage of capital, information, and people flows actually cross national borders. And international flows are generally reduced significantly by geographic distance as well as cross-country differences.

Furthermore, if two countries don’t share a common language, that alone affects the flow of trade, capital and information significantly. In this context, it is important to understand how far people in a company are from being completely “globalized”. Here are some facts to give an insight:Trust decreases significantly with distance: Research suggests that in Western Europe people trust citizens of their own country twice as much as they trust people from neighboring countries and that they place even less trust in people further away.People get the far majority of their news from domestic sources(3), which dedicate most of their coverage to domestic stories. Similarly, almost all telephone-calling minutes are domestic.For the most efficient strategy to develop a global company, it is important to understand how global a company and especially the employees of a company really are. From there, the next steps can be defined.

Based on Developing Global Leaders, Pankaj Ghemawat, McKinsey Company, June 2012

1) Developing the Global Leader of Tomorrow, a joint project of Ashridge Business School as part of the European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS) and the United Nations Global Compact Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), based on a survey conducted in 2008

2) Shirley Daniel and Ben L. Kedia, US Business Needs for Employees with International Expertise, Conference on Global Challenges and US Higher Education at Duke University, Durham, NC, January 23–25, 2003. 

3) Calculations by Ethan Zuckerman, as reported in “A cyber-house divided,” Economist, September 2, 2010, p. 58.

4) Picture: http://depaultla.org/2014/04/14/learning-across-borders/



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