Globalization, trade and investment deserve our ”Thank You” for their achievements. Yes, currently, in Europe and the United States, popular discontent is forcefully expressed. An introvert trend has emerged, fed by nationalism, populism, xenophobia and anti-globalization rhetoric.
Globalization is not new; it has existed for centuries. What is different today is the speed of globalizing the world, made possible by new technologies, transportation networks, media, and international marketing. Many claim that never before in history has there been so much evidence about strong opposition to globalization. However, any comparison with the past is highly inaccurate. Only few records of resistance to globalization have been preserved for us today.
Product cycle theory shows how specific products were first produced and exported from one country but through product and competitive evolution shifted their location of production and export to other countries over time. Figure 3.4 illustrates the trade patterns that Vernon visualized as resulting from the maturing stages of a specific product cycle. As the product and the market for the product mature and change, the countries of its production and export shift.
The product is initially designed and manufactured in the United States. In its early stages (from time t0 to t1), the United States is the only country producing and consuming the product. Production is highly capital-intensive and skilled-labor intensive at this time. At time t1, the United States begins exporting the product to other advanced countries, as Vernon classified them. These countries possess the income to purchase the product in its still new-product stage, in which it was relatively high priced. These other advanced countries also commerce their own production at time t1 but continue to be net importers. A few exports, however, do find their way to the less-developed countries at this time as well.
Some firms in some industries have inherent competitive advantages, often efficiency based, from simply having produced repetitively for years. Sometimes referred to as “learning-by-doing,” these firms may achieve competitive cost advantages from producing not only more units (as in the scale economics described above) but from producing more units over time. A government that wishes to promote these efficiency gains by domestic firms can help the firm move down the learning curve faster by protecting the domestic market from foreign competitors. Again similar in nature to the infant industry argument, the idea is not only to allow the firm to produce more, but to produce more cumulatively over time to gain competitive knowledge from the actual process itself.
Often criticized as being simplistic or naïve, trade theory in recent years has, in the words of one critic, grown up. One fundamental assumption that both classical and modern trade theories have not been willing to stray far from is the inefficiencies introduced with governmental involvement in trade. Economic theory, however, has long recognized that government involvement in trade. Economic theory, however, has long recognized that government can play a beneficial role when markets are not purely competitive. This theory has now been expanded to government’s role in international trade as well. This growing stream of thought is termed strategic trade. There are (at least) four specific circumstances involving imperfect competition in which strategic trade may apply, which we denote as price, cost, repetition, and externalities.
A foreign firm that enjoys significant international market power—monopolistic power—has the ability to both restrict the quantity of consumption and demand higher prices. One method by which a domestic government may thwart that monopolistic power is to impose import duties or tariffs on the imported products. The monopolist, not wishing to allow the price of the product to rise too high in the target market, will often absorb some portion of the tariff. The result is roughly the same amount of product imported, and at relatively the same price to the customer, but the excessive profits (economic rent in economic theory) have been partly shifted from the monopolist to the domestic government. Governments have long fought the power of global petrochemical companies with these types of import duties.
Although much has been made in recent years about the benefits of “small and flexible,” some industries are still dominated by the firms that can gain massive productive size—scale economies. As the firm’s size increases, its per unit cost of production falls, allowing it a significant cost advantages in competition. Governments wishing for specific firms to gain this stature may choose to protect the domestic market against foreign competition to provide a home market of size for the company’s growth and maturity. This strategic trade theory is actually quite similar to the traditional arguments for the protection of infant industries, though this is protection whose benefits accrue to firms in adolescence rather than childhood.
This paper was published in the Journal of Business Research. Full article can be found at here.
Professor Suraksha Gupta, University of Kent
Professor Naresh K Malhotra, Georgia Institute of Technology
Professor Michael Czinkota, Georgetown University
Professor Pantea Foroudi, Middlesex University
Drawing on the theory of rational choice, this paper proposes that the characteristics that attract resellers are leadership qualities, entrepreneurial nature, advisory skills, compatible attitude and charming personality. Also, this paper will identify those characteristics of a local brand representative, which influence resellers’ brand preferences and ultimately build reseller brand loyalty. Additionally, the current study contributes to the existing literature on industrial branding which describes the management of reseller networks.