The World Is Flat- the Globalization World in the Twenty First Century- Book Review

Topics: The World Is Flat, Globalization, Thomas Friedman Pages: 6 (1686 words) Published: April 13, 2011
Introduction to International Business

Assignment Title: Individual Assignment – Book Review
Book title: The World Is Flat- the Globalization World in the Twenty First Century Author: Thomas L. Friedman

‘The World Is Flat- the Globalization World in the Twenty First Century’ is a well written book by Thomas L. Friedman based on his personal experience, case studies, and etc.

He explores the political and technological changes that have made the world a smaller place. From the explosion of the internet to the dot com bubble bust and outsourcing of jobs to India and China, globalization has evened the playing field for many emerging economies.

Prominent in Friedman's thesis are the effect of relocating outsourcing jobs from the West to the East, the rising knowledge globally and wealth in developing countries. This leads to the theme of the entire book which teaches us to stay curious and innovative, if we were to excel in a global economy. Furthermore, Friedman also discusses the setback for a negative ‘flat’ world, through terrorism in particular, there would be mutual disadvantage for all.

Main Theme
From Friedman’s journey around the eastern world, he realized globalization has changed in core economic concepts. He named this present era as Globalization 3.0, separating it from the previous Globalization 1.0 and 2.0, which countries and governments were the main characters and the multinational companies in 2.0. What created the flat world? He explains his theory with ten major forces that caused the flattening of the world, and three points of convergence.

First, being the Collapse of the Berlin Wall in 11/9/89, the "fall" of communism, and the start of Windows powered Personal Computers which had the ability for individuals to create their own content and connect to one another. As Friendman puts it, “When the walls came down, and the windows came up." Secondly, the beginning of Netscape in 8/9/95: which broadened the audience for the Internet, as previously primary users were "early adopters and geeks” which turned into something was “accessible to everyone from five-year-olds to ninety-five-year olds.” He then explains the importance of the third flattener, the Workflow software, which altered the standards and technologies of work to flow; quoted “the ability of machines to talk to other machines with no humans involved.”

He believes these first three forces were the "crude foundation of a whole new global platform for collaboration" as the next six flatteners sprung from this. Following came Uploading, what Friedman considers "the most disruptive force of all" as Communities uploaded and collaborate on online projects, which was truly a world changing technological venture. Which encouraged the fifth ‘flatter’, Outsourcing; this allowed companies to split service and manufacturing activities into areas which performs most cost-effective way. Following that, came Offshoring; relocating selected internal part of a company to foreign land to take advantage of lower cost there. This led to structure called Supply-chaining: here Friedman compares the modern retail supply chain to a river, and uses Wal-Mart as an example of a company using this technology to modernize item sales, distribution, and shipping.

Friedman uses amusing stories about UPS, Dell and JetBlue, among others, to relate to his next flatter, Insourcing; using UPS as a prime example, where a company may perform services beyond their usual for another company in quite mind blowing. Without a doubt, this following event had to be a part of this trend, In-forming: the ability to Google or use any other search engines and find any information. As he writes it, "Never before in the history of the planet have so many people – on their own – had the ability to find so much information about so many things and about so many other people."

And lastly, what he calls "The Steroids": Wireless, Voice over Internet, and...

References: Thomas L Friedman, (2005). The World is Flat – the Globalized world in the twenty first century.
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