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Globalization of Business Enterprise

IESE Business School via Coursera

This course may be unavailable.


The GLOBE course was developed and refined during the term of Professor Ghemawat’s membership of the AACSB taskforce on the globalization of business education. 

This course begins by debunking some of the many myths that surround globalization—what Professor Ghemawat refers to as "globaloney".

After discussing what globalization isn’t, this course devotes several sessions to understanding what globalization is. It will focus on the differences between countries that underlie observed levels of globalization and their implications for business. These differences will be summarized in terms of a framework for thinking about distances developed by Professor Ghemawat that is widely used at leading business schools around the world.

The final part of the course will synthesize the implications of globalization for business strategies—and for your personal development and career trajectories.  


"Pankaj Ghemawat is one of those rare individuals who combines world class scholarship with a deep knowledge of business practice." 

Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, Harvard Business School

“Pankaj Ghemawat’s framework is both visionary and pragmatic—aware of the broad historic trajectories of globalization, but grounded in the real kinds of decisions business leaders have to make now.”
Samuel J. Palmisano, Former Chairman and CEO, IBM

“Pankaj Ghemawat has provided an impressive and comprehensive analysis of the world’s situation in times of globalization and strong economic and social imbalances."
Mohammed Yunus, Winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace


The course is broken up into eight sessions.

Session 1: Globalization and Globaloney 

This session will focus on how globalized the world is, how the data in that regard compare with people’s intuitions on the subject, possible reasons for the discrepancies observed, and their implications.

Session 2: The CAGE Distance Framework

This session will focus on understanding the cross-country differences that underlie observed levels of globalization, summarized in terms of the CAGE distance framework, where “CAGE” is an acronym for Cultural, Administrative (institutional and political), Geographic and Economic distances among countries.

The four sessions that follow will look in greater depth at each of the components of the CAGE framework and their implications for business.

Session 3: Cultural Distance

This session will focus on cultural distance, which encompasses differences in religious beliefs, race/ethnicity, language, and social norms and values.

Session 4: Administrative Distance

This session will focus on administrative differences, by looking at how international differences in capital and labor systems affect the ways in which business enterprises are structured and governed around the world.

Session 5: Geographic Distance

This session will look at how cross-border interactions are influenced by physical distance and by other geographic considerations, such as whether contiguity, within-country distances to borders, access to the ocean, topography, and even time zones. Attention will also be paid to the degree to which cross-border interactions are regionalized.

Session 6: Economic Distance

Consumer wealth and income and the cost of labor are the most obvious (and related) determinants of economic distance between countries. This module will focus on these and others differences such as availability (or lack) of resources, inputs, infrastructure and complements, and organizational capabilities.

Session 7: The Implications of Distances for Business Strategy

This session will review three broad strategies for dealing with differences:  Adaptation to adjust to differences across countries to achieve some local responsiveness; Aggregation, to overcome some of the differences across countries and thereby unlock  cross-border economies of scale/scope; and Arbitrage to exploit some of  the differences across countries in order to achieve absolute efficiency.

Session 8: The Implications of Distances for Personal Strategy

This session will focus on the individual rather than the company level and will discuss, in particular, some of the implications for personal development. It will also provide a course summary.

Taught by

Pankaj Ghemawat


4.7 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Globalization of Business Enterprise

  • Swap

    Swap completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Well balance material between the basic facts and advanced concepts. Recommended for everyone from academia to persons in business world. Pragmatic insights into some of business empires in the world. Well much more helpful to understand the local and global challenges for the business to cross the borders.
  • Maboroshi completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Absolutely another true MBA-class lecture! Professor Ghemawat provides his unique sight of view to lead to his opinions and thinking. The class is worthwhile taking.
  • Jonathan Golland completed this course.

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