17.199J | Fall 2005 | Undergraduate

Working in a Global Economy


One book, Friedman, Thomas. The Lexus and The Olive Tree. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780385499347, is recommended for purchase.

Readings by Session

Lec # Topics READINGS


Introduction: What is New in the “New” Global Economy

Friedman, Thomas. The World is Flat. New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2005, chapter 1. ISBN: 9780374292881.

Ferguson, Niall. “Sinking Globalization.” Foreign Affairs 84, no. 2 (March/April 2005): 64-77.

Part One: Competing Interpretations of Globalization


The Globalization Perspective

Which jobs are going where, and to whom, depends on the technological factors that affect the international division/distribution of labor. According to this perspective there are many contenders for different segments of work/production.

Lohr, Steve. “An Elder Challenges Outsourcing’s Orthodoxy,” New York Times, September 9, 2004.

Friedman, Thomas. “Globalution.” Chapter 9 in The Lexus and The Olive Tree. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780385499347.

Chua, Amy. World on Fire. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2004, Introduction, and chapter 1, pp. 1-48. ISBN: 9780385721868.


The National Perspective

Country specific cultural, institutional factors affect the type of companies that prevail in a given country, their strategies, and organization.

Friedman, Thomas. “Buy Taiwan, Hold Italy, and Sell France.” Chapter 11 in The Lexus and The Olive Tree. New York, NY: Anchor Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780385499347.

Porter, Michael. “The Competitive Advantage of Nations.” Harvard Business Review 68, no. 2 (March-April 1990): 73-93.

———. “Clusters and the New Economics of Competition.” Harvard Business Review 76, no. 6 (November-December 1998): 77-90.

Albert, Michel. “Introduction.” In Capitalism vs Capitalism. New York, NY: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1993, pp. 1-19. ISBN: 9781568580050.

Krugman, Paul. “French Family Values,” New York Times, July 29, 2005.


How does Globalization Affect “National Champions” and Artisanal Producers? Examples from the Car and the Wine Industry

What happens when companies from different cultures merge? Can one still talk about national models when confronted with massive delocalization of industries?

Guest Speaker: Pat Gercik, MIT-Japan Managing Director and MISTI Associate-Director

Piper, Thomas R. and Jeremy Cott. “Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.” Harvard Business School Cases. June 2, 2000, product number: 9-200-067. (Revision date: Jan 2003).

Yoshino, Michael, and Perry L. Fagan. “The Renault Nissan Alliance.” Harvard Business School Cases. May 2003.

Osborne, Lawrence. The Accidental Connoisseur. New York, NY: North Point Press, 2005, pp. 11-29. ISBN: 9780865477124.

Echikson, William, Frederik Balfour, Kerry Capell, Linda Himelstein, and Gerry Khermouch. “Wine War.” Business Week, September 3, 2001.

Special Assignment: Nossiter, Jonathan. MONDOVINO. 2004.
A recent film on the globalization of the wine industry now available on DVD.


Studying and Working Across Cultures: Student Presentations of Their Experiences Abroad

Presentations should be 5-8 minutes long; in describing your experience abroad, please include the most surprising similarities and dissimilarities you encountered, and relate them to broader cultural-institutional features of the country you visited.

Hampden-Turner, Charles, and Fons Trompenaars. Building Cross-Cultural Competence. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780300084979.
Read the introduction, and 3 chapters of your choice dealing with cultural dilemmas-uneven numbered chapters. Make sure you also look at some of the concrete cases discussed in the even numbered chapters.


_The Technological Perspective
The specific technological content that underlays various industries dictates what goes and what stays. Ie: mature industries move to, or prosper in, less advanced countries, innovative ones stay. Is this still- the case? The case of India

Guest Speaker: Prof. Ken Keniston, MIT, Andrew Mellon Professor of Human Development, Science, Technology and Society program and MIT-India Program Director.

Keniston, Ken. “From Hyderabad to “Cyberabad”: CARD and Corruption in Hyderabad’s Subregistrar Offices.” Faculty Working Paper. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Science, Technology and Society.

“Special Report: China and India: What you need to know now.”  Business Week, August 22, 2005, issue 3948, pp. 50-134. 

Part Two: Competing in the Global Economy


Which Companies succeed and Which Ones Fail? Is there a Recipe for Success?

Guest Speaker: Prof. Suzanne Berger, MIT Professor of Political Science.

Berger, Suzanne. How We Compete. New York, NY: Currency Business Books, 2005, chapters 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. ISBN: 9780385513593. (Forthcoming)


How to Keep Competitive: Innovations and Entrepreneurship

Where Do Innovations Come From? Is there one best place or way to be an entrepreneur?

Guest Speaker: Tim Rowe, CEO, Cambridge Innovation Center and Venture Partner, Draper Fisher, Jurvetson, New England Fun.

Lester, Richard, and Michael Piore. Innovation - The Missing Dimension. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004, chapters 1-3. ISBN: 9780674015814.


The Importance of Human Capital and the Pursuit of Excellence

Guest Speaker: Bob Buderi, Former Chief Editor of Technology Review, and current MIT-CIS Fellow on “Doing Research in China: Microsoft Bejing Lab”

Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2003. ISBN: 9780465024773.

———. The Flight of the Creative Class . New York, NY: Harper Business, 2005. ISBN: 9780060756901.

Huang, G. “The World’s Hottest Computer Lab.” Technology Review, June 2004.


Governing Globalization

What is the Relationship between Governance and economic growth? Can Globalization be Governed and Benchmarks be Established? And if So, How and by Whom?

Rodrik, Dani. “Feasible Globalizations.” National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 9129 (September 2002).

Stiglitz, Joseph. “Towards a Pro-Development and Balanced Intellectual Property Regime.” (PDF) Keynote address, Ministerial Conference on Intellectual Property for Least Developed Countries, Seoul, Korea, October 25, 2004.

“The July Framework.” Institute for Agricultural and Trade Policy. (PDF)

Oloka-Onyango, J., and Deepika Udagama. “2001 Report on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.” United Nations, Economic and Social Council.

Huang, G. “The World’s Hottest Computer Lab.” Technology Review, June 2004.


Corporate Citizenship in the Global Economy

What are global Corporations Responsible For and To Whom? Are there different models of Corporate citizenship? And How realistic are they?

Discussion based on the Nike, Walmart and Costco cases.

Locke, Richard. “Notes on Corporate Citizenship.” Faculty Working Paper, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Political Science.

Buy at MIT Press ———. “The Promise and Perils of Globalization: The Case of Nike.” In Management: Inventing and Delivering Its Future. Edited by Thomas Kochan and Richard Schmalensee. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780262112826.

Wikipedia contributors. “Costco.” _Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
Herbst, Moira. “The Costco Challenge: An Alternative to Wal-Martization?The Labor Research Association Online, July 5, 2005.

Young, Rick. Is Wal-Mart Good For America? PBS Frontline. November 16, 2004.

Wikipedia contributors. “Wal-Mart.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.



Student presentations and discussion of their research papers and concluding remarks.


Course Info

Learning Resource Types
Written Assignments with Examples