A forecast of globalization, international business and trade: report from a Delphi study Michael R. Czinkota *, Ilkka A. Ronkainen
McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Washington, DC 20057, USA
Abstract Globalization causes dramatic changes in business environments both in terms of their degree and swiftness. Forecasting such changes is crucial for the preparation of responses by the affected parties. This article reports on a Delphi study conducted with a set of experts drawn from the policy, business and academic communities ranging from the megamarkets of the world to the emerging and developing ones. Over three rounds of interchange, these experts analyzed and debated the likelihood of changes in the international business environment over the next decade and the impact of these changes on policy and on corporate practices. The ﬁndings identify major sectoral transformations, shifts in the trade framework and its institution, and strategies for corporate adjustment. In some cases, these phenomena occur in different geographic areas with diverse effects. # 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Keywords: Globalization; International business trends; Delphi method; Trade policy; International business education
1. Introduction The importance and the impact of international business has become an accepted fact by practitioners, policy makers and academics alike. Globalization ranks high on the strategic agenda of executives as they seek to exploit commonalities and leverage resources across borders. Governments and legislatures have dramatically increased their debate and involvement in international trade and investment issues, and universities have adjusted their business curricula and research to address international business issues (Kwok & Arpan, 2002). * Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 202 687 4204; fax: +1 202 687 4031. E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (M.R. Czinkota).
A unifying conclusion drawn by all observers of the international business scene is that international business causes many changes, but is itself also the subject of major transformations. As a result, it is important to anticipate such changes and to adapt to them by formulating new paradigms (Dunning, 1995). Most frequently, investigations by the academic community have questioned the relevance of current international business research activities in universities and mapped out issues to be researched in the future (Buckley, 2002). There has also been encouragement for research to have more of an international focus. However, analyses indicate that on average still only about 1 in 20 articles in the top management journals can be considered international (Werner & Brouthers, 2002).
1090-9516/$ – see front matter # 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2005.02.006
M.R. Czinkota, I.A. Ronkainen / Journal of World Business 40 (2005) 111–123
Several characteristics are common to all these studies. One is their primary focus on one country only when investigating a global phenomenon. Even though change in international business is driven by the interaction of the business, policy and academic communities, past research typically queries only one group of these players. In consequence, the insights provided are limited to the views of the one group investigated, and do not reﬂect the important and possibly different perspectives of the two groups left out. This dearth of coverage is particularly noticeable with regards to the policy community, whose views are only rarely investigated by international business scholars. Policy concerns continue to be woefully under represented. Czinkota (2000) found the policy orientation by authors to range between 2.4% and 5.2% in key journals and Schlegelmilch (2003) reports that over a 10-year period, only 5.8% of the articles published in the Journal of International...