پیش بینی جهانی شدن، کسب و کار و تجارت بین المللی : گزارش از یک مطالعه دلفی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|966||2005||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 40, Issue 2, May 2005, Pages 111–123
Globalization causes dramatic changes in business environments both in terms of their degree and swiftness. Forecasting such changes is crucial for the preparation of responses by the affected parties. This article reports on a Delphi study conducted with a set of experts drawn from the policy, business and academic communities ranging from the megamarkets of the world to the emerging and developing ones. Over three rounds of interchange, these experts analyzed and debated the likelihood of changes in the international business environment over the next decade and the impact of these changes on policy and on corporate practices. The findings identify major sectoral transformations, shifts in the trade framework and its institution, and strategies for corporate adjustment. In some cases, these phenomena occur in different geographic areas with diverse effects.
The importance and the impact of international business has become an accepted fact by practitioners, policy makers and academics alike. Globalization ranks high on the strategic agenda of executives as they seek to exploit commonalities and leverage resources across borders. Governments and legislatures have dramatically increased their debate and involvement in international trade and investment issues, and universities have adjusted their business curricula and research to address international business issues (Kwok & Arpan, 2002). A unifying conclusion drawn by all observers of the international business scene is that international business causes many changes, but is itself also the subject of major transformations. As a result, it is important to anticipate such changes and to adapt to them by formulating new paradigms (Dunning, 1995). Most frequently, investigations by the academic community have questioned the relevance of current international business research activities in universities and mapped out issues to be researched in the future (Buckley, 2002). There has also been encouragement for research to have more of an international focus. However, analyses indicate that on average still only about 1 in 20 articles in the top management journals can be considered international (Werner & Brouthers, 2002). Several characteristics are common to all these studies. One is their primary focus on one country only when investigating a global phenomenon. Even though change in international business is driven by the interaction of the business, policy and academic communities, past research typically queries only one group of these players. In consequence, the insights provided are limited to the views of the one group investigated, and do not reflect the important and possibly different perspectives of the two groups left out. This dearth of coverage is particularly noticeable with regards to the policy community, whose views are only rarely investigated by international business scholars. Policy concerns continue to be woefully under represented. Czinkota (2000) found the policy orientation by authors to range between 2.4% and 5.2% in key journals and Schlegelmilch (2003) reports that over a 10-year period, only 5.8% of the articles published in the Journal of International Marketing focused on legal and public policy aspects. The situation differs little in reverse. A 20-year analysis of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing showed that only 11% of policy articles focused on multinational policy makers. “Policy watch” articles had a 0% international focus (Sprott & Miyazaki, 2002). A final key characteristic of past research is the fact that virtually none of these studies reflected any interaction between the business, policy and research communities on the subject of trends and changes. Such interaction, however, is imperative in order to obtain a reasonably accurate and calibrated forecast of impending metamorphoses.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research provided an overview of what a global panel of knowledgeable experts believe to be the most important and relevant issues in international business and trade over the next decade. What makes the results particularly interesting is its unusual nexus of insight between the business, policy and academic communities on a global level. While some of the issues presented here are already at the early stage of public recognition, many of the dimensions addressed seem to have escaped wide attention so far. The findings provided here can help guide academicians in both their research and teaching efforts. Rather than being trapped in providing a description of the state of the art of business practices, the forecasts presented here may enable researchers to carry out work which is normative and prescriptive. While sectoral and regional specialists will develop their own insights from the findings presented here, there are several overarching implications for business executives, policy makers and academics. Firms will continue their globalization efforts in two significant parallel ways: they will pursue economies of scale through standardization and the ability to leverage resources (such as knowledge) across borders. At the same time, they are concentrating their manufacturing or contracting in low-cost countries, such as China and India. Globalization will result in significant internal changes, especially in terms of the efficiency of organizational learning to detect both commonalities and differences, and in terms of securing the best talent worldwide. Policy makers will have to acknowledge the ever-increasing differences in the agenda of countries which will make multilateralism challenging. Bilateral free-trade agreements, for example, may be necessary to restart the WTO process, and non-payoff based leadership by some countries may be necessary to bring others to the fold in areas such as environmental protection. Academic institutions need to broaden their curricula to create leaders of international change both for nation building and for dealing with political and market transitions. Of course, one may wonder about the accuracy and reliability of Delphi studies. The Delphi technique was originally applied by the Rand Corporation for business forecasting purposes. Over time, it has gained substantial acceptance across disciplines. It is used as a research tool in the fields of library and information science (Buckley, 1995), in the medical disciplines (Linstone & Turoff, 1975) and in multi-country studies of communications in Europe (www.feiea.org.uk, 2003). Those experienced with the Delphi technique report that “the method produces useful results which are accepted and supported by the majority of the expert community” (Fraunhofer Institut, 1998). Even actuaries have used the technique to forecast economic conditions (Society of Actuaries, 1999). In the business field, the technique has been rated highly by some as a systematic thinking tool, but has also been challenged in its ability to serve as an identifier of strategic issues (Schoemaker, 1993). Such ambivalence may be understandable in an era in which high-powered quantification of business analyses is desired and admired by many. However, we believe that the study of business remains a social science, and is heavily dependent on the in-depth thoughts, evaluation, vision and imagination of individuals. Their informed consensus is more likely to indicate future directions than the opinions of many uninformed survey participants. To evaluate the accuracy of the Delphi technique for forecasting in the international business arena, we scrutinized three major Delphi studies carried out in the field (Czinkota, 1986; Czinkota and Ronkainen, 1992 and Czinkota and Ronkainen, 1997). In the 1986 study a total of 17 key forecasts were made of which 14 were deemed accurate 5 years later. In spite of this 82% “hit-rate,” however, the panel did not foresee one key, world-altering event, namely the collapse of the Iron Curtain. It may well be, however, that this failure to foresee was a function of the fact that this particular study drew only on experts from one country. Input on a global level might at least have raised the possibility of such an event. In the 1992 study, which did use a global panel, a total of 40 key predictions were made, with a 1997 accuracy of 32 dimensions or 80%. All the inaccuracies, however, were in the form of overstatements, i.e., the anticipation of more rapid transformations than actually took place, rather than in direction. Finally, the 1997 study offered 6 years later an accuracy level of 65% of its 69 predictions. Again, a major world-altering event and its consequences had not been predicted: the attacks of September 11, 2001. However, the imminence of these events was apparently missed even by the major intelligence agencies around the world. Overall, the average predictive accuracy in the three studies comes to 76%, which makes the Delphi method a powerful forecasting tool. Of course, the key aspect to the usefulness of this type of research will remain the selection of the participants, since their level of knowledge and degree of enthusiasm in participating in such a research venture will vitally affect the quality of the output. A few comments are appropriate regarding the execution of this research. In order to make use of available technology and to reduce the time delays inherent in the Delphi process we chose to use the Internet and e-mail to conduct this study. Given the widespread availability of this technology in our regions of scrutiny, we expected that the requirement of participants to have Internet access would not be a major intervening variable shaping the outcome of this study. The diversity of results and effort necessary to achieve consensus confirms this expectation. However, there were some surprising “e-mail effects” encountered in this study were surprising. First off, there was a struggle for the e-mailed Delphi materials to get the attention of the participants. Even with advance alerts, repeat mailings and follow up requests, it was more difficult than ever before to reach the top of the mail heap. Similarly, the return of the Delphi responses was much slower than expected. It may well be that the level of decision makers pursued is getting inundated with e-mails and may have much less effective ways of prioritizing both incoming and outgoing materials than with regular “snail” mail. We also found that the quantity of materials is perceived to be larger with e-mail. Just as television is said to add many pounds to a picture of people, so apparently does e-mail to data. Due to the interactive format of the Delphi method which includes arguments and counter arguments, materials accumulate quite rapidly. Apparently, a number of respondents were working on screen with the study data. Given the formatting limitations of e-mail, the materials then appeared much more voluminous than they would have on paper, leading to a series of complaints from participants who felt overwhelmed. Our conclusion from this experience is that we should perhaps learn from our students who in many of their personal interactions are beginning to limit their e-mails and are again returning to writing with pen and with paper. Next time, we will probably go back to using regular old-fashioned mail service.