E&Y has recently published their study on the impact of globalization on business (now and in the near future); it has a wonderful title – Winning in a polycentric world [pdf, ±30 pp] – or may be it’s better to call it wonderfully acquired one. I like the world ‘polycentric’ (as I like almost any word referring to multiplicity and plurality); this one has another nice connotation, ‘polyphonic’, as a sound of orchestra.
Now, who does ‘win’ in orchestra? And how exactly? It’s truly an amazing skill, of these business consultancies, to constantly produce this sort of schizophrenic buzzwords; “winning in a polycentric world” is about the same absurdity as “raping for love”.
But ok, buzzwords aside, the study has a few interesting data; for example, I found a chart showing – well, not exactly the share of the companies who allocate their R&D spending in the emerging markets, but the share of those who goes *big* in doing that (i.e., who invest 25% or more).
Frankly, I don’t understand the bottom part of the chart; when they talk about Eastern Europe, for example, what does it mean that 32,5% invest more than 25% of their R&D to the ’emerging markets’? Easter Europe IS an emerging market, according to the latest definitions, so if the companies there invest locally, does it also count as “investment in emerging markets”? I simply can’t believe that a third of the companies in Latin America or Eastern Europe spend their R&D ‘far away’ – a three times higher share that in the much wealthier US.
The upper lines are more comprehensible, albeit not less shocking. Basically, according to the study only about 7% of the firm from Western Europe spend significant parts of their R&D (25%+) in the emerging markets today. That will have to change dramatically, this number has to triple in the next five years, and achieve… 18%. Which means that more than 80% of the companies will still be spending most of their R&D locally (most likely, nationally).
In the US the growth will be much slower, the number of these global R&D-ers will only double, but in absolute terms the proportion will be still higher than in Europe; looking very optimistically to the future, in five years from now about a quarter of the business will go global in terms of R&D and innovation. Pretty low digits, if ask me, especially amist of the hyper-talks about hyper-global economy.
There is another interesting chart there, of the so-called Globalization Index (vaguely described as “a measure of the extent to which the 60 largest countries are connecting to the rest of the world”). I cut out here the top ten countries of the index (but it really worth looking at the total list, there is a number of surprising things there).
The situation with Singapore and Hong-Kong is pretty clean in term of trade – these are two largest trading hubs; I am slightly puzzled with Hungary, though, an entirely land-locked country.
The second position of Ireland in the Capital section is also bit suspicious. I understand the offshores and stuff, but I thought it’s tough to beat Switzerland; and yet even Belgium managed to do it! Denmark! Sweden! O.M.G.
Sweden, in fact, amused me once again, taking the third (!) place in terms of its global technological connections. IKEA?
Now, Culture is weird (not itself, but in the context of this table) – again, I don’t know and how one should measure to rank Hong-Kong first in terms of its ‘global cultural connectivity’. Not sure, but may be they counted here those huge painting factories in the mainland China that produce dozens of thousands of ‘almost real’ Picassos, Dali and Da Vincis for less artistically gifted world?
NL is N8. O-lee-ole-ole-ole! Although I think it should aim at 4 or 5, minimum.