World Class

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In this groundbreaking book by the bestselling author of The Change Masters and When Giants Learn to Dance, Rosabeth Moss Kanter shows how businesses and communities can harness global market forces and make them work to their advantage right here at home. In the economy of the 21st century, she writes, success will come only to those companies — large and small — whose goods and services meet world class standards and can compete in the global marketplace. Thus, even small companies must tap into international ...

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Overview

In this groundbreaking book by the bestselling author of The Change Masters and When Giants Learn to Dance, Rosabeth Moss Kanter shows how businesses and communities can harness global market forces and make them work to their advantage right here at home. In the economy of the 21st century, she writes, success will come only to those companies — large and small — whose goods and services meet world class standards and can compete in the global marketplace. Thus, even small companies must tap into international networks and global alliances. Managers must widen their perspective and broaden their contacts and fields of expertise. And communities must open their boundaries to multinational companies and welcome foreign investment and trade.

At a time when the nation's fears about job displacement and foreign competition are sparking protectionist sympathies and backlash against world trade agreements, Kanter presents a persuasive and richly detailed argument for directing the American economy outward, not inward. World Class shows us how to turn globalization into an unprecedented opportunity on the local level — to rejuvenate old businesses and grow new ones, to create new jobs, to revitalize communities, and to develop the cosmopolitan cities of the future.

After looking at the attitudes and prejudices that can undermine these vital new trends, Kanter examines in depth three cosmopolitan communities that have already evolved in our country, each of which has a special talent that enables it to play successfully on the world stage. The Boston area, with its abundance of universities, innovators, and entrepreneurs, excels as a "thinker." Spartanburg-Greenville, South Carolina, an international manufacturing center with a high rate of foreign investment and a skilled work force, excels as a "maker." The Miami area's success as a "trader" grows from skills in forging deals and alliances to move goods and services in international markets. Reporting on her extensive interviews with business and community leaders in these areas, Kanter believes that all three can serve as solid, successful working models for communities across America seeking to benefit from globalization.

It is a two-way street, Kanter writes. Businesses must become more actively involved in their communities. And communities must actively develop those amenities and resources that will encourage global business to feel at home — and stay there. And finally, Kanter presents a detailed action agenda for both business and community leaders that will enable them to achieve their mutually beneficial goals.

A sweeping look at a changing America, World Class is both a warning and a call to action. Its perceptive message is directed to international corporate giants as well as small local businesses, to Washington's political leaders as well as the elected officials of cities, states, and smaller communities — to all, in fact, who have a stake in the success of global market forces at the local level.

From the bestselling author of When Giants Learn to Dance and The ChangeMasters comes the first book which shows how local companies and communities can reap profits and flourish by tapping into global business networks. Kanter provides a detailed action plan for both companies and communities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Ray Smith chairman and CEO, Bell Atlantic The information economy puts a premium on the quality of human and intellectual resources — what Kanter calls the "three C's: concepts, competence, and connections." World Class gives communities and businesses a blueprint for claiming citizenship in the global community by replacing the declining significance of place with the ascending significance of people.

John B. McCoy Chairman and CEO, Banc One Corporation This powerful, engaging book sounds an important wake-up call to America's business and civic leaders: think globally, act collaboratively — or fall behind. Executives throughout America might consider getting two copies, one for themselves, and one to give to their favorite governor, mayor, or legislator.

Tom Peters With World Class, Rosabeth Moss Kanter offers a genuinely fresh perspective on the shopworn term competitiveness. In particular, her belief that "locals" (cities) can control their own destinies is provocative, refreshing — and, I believe, accurate. Moss Kanter is once again far ahead of the pack in thinking about the opportunities provided by the cockamamie new economic landscape.

Library Journal
Kanter (Men & Women of the Corporation, Basic Bks., 1993) is a prolific writer in the areas of organization, change, and work and family. Expanding her view to encompass the globalization not only of business but of our daily lives, she strives to convey the importance of realizing the worldwide impact of our decisions as individuals, corporations, and communities. Kanter discusses the fundamental and far-reaching elements of change in the workplace: outsourcing, temporary workers, and job loss. In the chapter "Making the Global Economy Work Locally," which examines studies of foreign companies operating successfully in Boston, South Carolina, and Miami, she asserts, "The best cities are places where businesses and people learn better and develop faster than they otherwise would, because they are centers of the three C's...concepts, competence, and connections." A solid work; recommended for all business collections.-Lisa K. Miller, Paradise Valley Community Coll. Lib., Phoenix
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684825229
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 1/3/1997
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface 11
1 The Rise of the World Class 17
2 Winning in Global Markets 39
3 The New Business Cosmopolitans 60
4 "Best Partner": Transforming Supply Chains of Global Webs 90
5 Wallets and Ballot Boxes 119
6 Workplaces, Careers, and Employability Security 145
7 Business Leadership in the Community 174
8 Thinkers: The Brains of Boston 201
9 Makers: Foreign Manufacturing in South Carolina 242
10 Traders: International Connections Through Miami 283
11 World Class Business: Leadership across Boundaries 327
12 World Class Regions: Strengthening the Infrastructure for Collaboration 353
Acknowledgments 381
Appendix: Research as Civic Action: A Note on Sources, Methods, and Collaborations 385
Notes to Chapters 390
Index 403
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