McDonough School Professors Identify Important International Business Trends in New Report

June 05, 2008

A recent study released by McDonough School faculty Michael R. Czinkota and Ilkka A. Ronkainen forecasts some of the most important international trends that business leaders should expect to face in coming years. The report, titled "Trends and Indications in International Business: A Delphi Study," identifies how issues including terrorism, globalization, and corruption will affect the future business climate worldwide.

With this report, Czinkota and Ronkainen aim to assist business leaders by presenting the perspectives of corporate presidents, board members, and policy makers from the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe on future changes in international business and the impact of these changes on corporate practices. This latest report is the fifth such study released by the two McDonough School professors in the last 25 years. The previous four studies have predicted trends in international business with an average accuracy rate of 79 percent.

One of the key issues addressed by participants in Czinkota and Ronkainen's study is globalization. According to the report, three dimensions will drive a future vision of globalization: the reduction of global inequality; new and widely enforced global rules which would provide stability and consistency of basic rights and obligations across borders; and support for individual freedom. "There was an expectation that over time, nations, institutions, and individuals around the world will increasingly accept these dimensions as the foundation of the good life," Czinkota and Ronkainen write in the report. "In reciprocal causality, freedom is seen to cause and facilitate international marketing, while international marketing is a key pillar in support of the cause of freedom."

The participants also identified terrorism as a key issue that international business leaders will need to address. "There are likely to be growing policy-triggered restrictions in global transportation and corporate linkages," the authors state in the report. "Firms and policy makers have a very clear understanding that terrorism is an ongoing phenomenon to be confronted. Combating terrorism was seen as a fact of life and history, resulting in a continuous job for push-back to be conducted multi-laterally and without compromise."

Czinkota and Ronkainen are on the marketing and international business faculty at the McDonough School of Business. They are the co-authors of several books, including International Marketing (7th edition), International Business (8th edition) and Mastering Global Markets: Strategies for Today's Trade Globalist. Ronkainen has served on the board of the Washington International Trade Association and was the founding editor of the association's newsletter, "Trade Trends." Czinkota was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the U.S. Government where he was responsible for macro trade analysis, departmental support of international trade negotiations and retaliatory actions, and policy coordination for international finance, investment and monetary affairs.

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