When I met Prof. Michael Czinkota in 2003, it had been less than 2 years since I had the privilege to establish the Liechtenstein Embassy in Washington. He immediately was very generous in offering to share his knowledge and experience. Since the field of economics is not my expertise, I was immensely grateful for his support in not only raising the profile of the Embassy but also helping me become acquainted with the many nuances and layers of the U.S. economy and its global impact. Since Prof. Czinkota was born and raised in Germany and was partly educated in an Austrian school very close to Liechtenstein, he is familiar with my country, with its history, its economic system as well as the trans-Atlantic cultural differences, therefore able to understand how the U.S. economy is viewed even from the perspective of a small country. Professor Czinkota further broadened his engagement with my country by teaching at the University of Liechtenstein.
The dictionary definition of crucible is “an extremely difficult experience or situation; a severe test or trial”. This is precisely where most of Latin America finds itself with its excessive dependence on commodities as the linchpin of its economy. In good times governments spend commodity windfalls on projects or programs to garner support for the political party in power. In bad times, politicians engage in handwringing and scapegoating, and the governing party borrows excessively to make up the shortfall in revenue from commodity sales.
Instead of widening the girth of the four business pillars, we should consider to connect them all with a seat which improves comfort and reach. It may be time to combine the doctrine of capitalism with the insights of wisdom and philosophy. We believe the connection represents the soul of business.
I. Innovation Disruption and the Imperative of Curative Marketing
More than 7 decades ago, Joseph Schumpeter regaled us with the concept of creative disruption. He presented successful innovation as only temporary market power, threatening the profits of old firms, yet facing the pressure of new competitors beginning to commercialize their own inventions. Such cyclicality was taken on in greater detail by various subfields in business and society and delivered high explanatory value. Consider the “wheel of retailing” which Stanley Hollander described in the late 1950’s with firms starting at the bottom of the wheel and moving up in terms of services and pricing until they are transitioned out from the wheel by more efficient competitors. Today, the disruption has become more broad scoped with new entrants and their disruptions coming not just from the same industry or even from similar business models.