Working Papers

Global Competition and the Peripheral Player: A Promising Future

Publication Number: ECESWP55-E

May, 2001

Author : Taieb Hafsi

Type : Working Papers

This paper argues that while globalization is hardly a new phenomenon, our conception of it has changed significantly over the years. While “globalization” once described an individual firm’s decision to expand abroad, it now has more to do with the willingness of all firms to do the same. This means that modern firms must have a globalization strategy regardless of whether they intend to go elsewhere or not; as they can be sure that foreign firm will increasingly challenge them in their own territory. In addition to highlighting this change, the study further defines the phenomenon by distinguishing between firm, market, and industry globalization.
Based on this analysis, the paper argues that while modern globalization poses great threats, it also creates amazing opportunities. This is particularly true for small firms, which can exploit the many unattended and unsatisfied market segments in all industries. Yet, given the obstacles small firms face due to their size and limited capital, the paper confirms the importance of government support. It concludes that since it is among today’s peripheral players that many of tomorrow’s dominant ones will come, it is important for policy makers to worry more about peripheral games than about dominant ones.