How Countries Compete is a political and economic strategic analysis of 11 different countries around the world. The book is divided into 12 new chapters, which deal with one country per chapter. Japan is dealt with twice, looking at it from a historical perspective at the beginning of the book, and then looking more towards the future and there after the pre 1990 crisis. Richard Vietor uses the word “compete” in the sense that countries try to compete for market share in the world economy and gain foreign investment and export their sales in business. Governments can help in this policy, either by macroeconomic policies that encourage investment and greater economic activity, or by things like increasing human resource competencies through education. Some countries have very active and direct policies. In China, for example, technology transfer and know-how has been encouraged through the use of FDI. In Singapore, workers are required to save as much as 50% of their gross income for their retirement plan.
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BOOK REVIEW: “How Countries Compete: Strategy, Structure, and Government in the Global Economy” by Richard Vietor (2007)
Strategy, brief history of strategy, corporate, international trade, IBM, technology, resource-based of the firm, knowledge-based view of the firm, Apple, Walkman, Intel, Andy Grove, leadership, Japan, France, USA, UK
Richard Whittington, who has published extensively on strategy, offers a fascinating discussion on some of the key issues in strategic management. The book requires some background knowledge of the subject (perhaps not the first book to read then if you are new to this discipline) and then invites you to develop a personal view.
This is quite a useful book then once you have mastered some of the key elements of strategy. The book states clearly that it is designed more for a graduate or advanced undergraduate level.
Some keys facts:
The word ‘seduction’ comes from the Latin word “ducere”, to lead.
Pascale ( 1982) reports that the Japanese do not even have a phrase for ‘corporate strategy’
When, in 1982, it launched its first personal computers, IBM predicted a market of 300,000 worldwide; a decade later, the installed base was 110 million. (Tate, 1991) Continue reading