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Globalization at General Electric (GE)

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Summarize each benefit a company might obtain from the globalization of markets. How might a company benefit from the globalization of production? Describe the two major forces that drive globalization and how they work together to expand globalization. Explain how technological innovation impacts globalization and how it is accelerating the process. What factors help make some countries more global than others? Identify several highly global nations. How does this current period of globalization compare with the first age of globalization? One argument in the debate surrounding globalization is about the inequality between nations.

Discuss how falling barriers to trade and investment might help reduce the inequality between nations. What are the claims of those who say globalization eliminates jobs, lowers wages, and exploits workers? Identify the arguments of those who say globalization creates jobs and boosts wages. What are the several myths that keep small companies from engaging going global and the facts that dispel these myths? Can you identify three global companies that you think will perish? Can you identify three emerging companies that you think has the potential to become global leaders in their fields?

This case explores General Electric’s quest to become the number 1 or 2 company globally in every business in which it participates. General Electric, the largest industrial conglomerate in America, produces a range of goods and services including home appliances, jet engines, power generators, medical equipment, and television broadcasting. Over 40 percent of its revenues today come from international sales, and it is expected that by 2012, some 55-60 percent of its business will be international. During the 1980s and 1990s, when General Electric was led by Jack Welch, the company was an American company doing business in foreign markets. Today, under the leadership of Jeffery

Immelt, General Electric is moving toward becoming a more global corporation with an international cadre of senior managers. 1. Why do you think GE has invested so aggressively in foreign expansion? What are the opportunities that it is trying to exploit? 2. What is GE trying to achieve by moving some of the headquarters of its global businesses to foreign locations? How might such moves benefit the company? Do these moves benefit the United States? 3. What is the goal behind trying to “internationalize” the senior management ranks at GE? 4. What does the GE example tell you about the nature of true global businesses?

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