Related news and updates

Research by Juan Bu and Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra shows that new ventures in emerging markets, initially created informally, suffer from costs that persist and constrain a firm's ability to innovate even after they formalize their status. As a result of these informality costs, informally created new ventures are more likely to develop imitative rather than innovative new products. However, being acquired by other firms and improvements in the national innovation system can weaken the persistence of these informality costs, resulting in more innovation. To explain these findings, Bu and Cuervo-Cazurra develop the concept of internal imprinting, which captures how the internal characteristics of a company result in the establishment of practices that persist over time, affecting behavior and innovation. Managers in emerging markets should consider formalizing their firms from the beginning or joining a private business group to mitigate the negative impact of informality on their firms' innovativeness.

In 1972, Nairobi, Kenya became the first developing country to host the headquarters of a UN organization, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP's presence in Nairobi has increased Kenya's global governance stature. However, it has not fulfilled the promise of promoting greater input from developing countries. The location has posed challenges to UNEP, including security concerns, recruitment and retention of staff, communication and infrastructure difficulties, and the need for resources. Professor Ivanova's recent book about UNEP's first 50 years identifies practical ways for improving its effectiveness as a premier multilateral institution for addressing the grand environmental challenges of our time.

Chinese companies are reinventing management through an approach called “digitally enhanced directed autonomy” (DEDA). DEDA uses digital platforms to give frontline employees direct access to corporate resources and capabilities, allowing them to organize themselves around business opportunities without managerial intervention. Autonomy is directed where it is needed and tracked. By giving teams the freedom to design, produce, and sell their products, companies can foster innovation, increase employee engagement, and improve customer satisfaction. The authors use case studies to examine how Chinese companies utilize DEDA and how Western companies might learn from it.

In our globalized world, the ability to navigate cultural differences has become a critical skill. Paula Caligiuri's recent book provides a valuable framework for achieving this goal, by emphasizing the need to build cultural agility through social learning. Her Cultural Agility framework provides executives and managers with the tools needed to build trust, gain credibility, collaborate, and communicate across cultural boundaries. It is all the more important for managers of companies in and from emerging markets, who may be facing unique cultural barriers through foreign expansion.

The future of health in Sub-Saharan Africa is both uncertain and promising. Life expectancy in this region has increased significantly, and growing economies may provide opportunities for increased financing for health. To effectively improve health in Sub-Saharan Africa, deliberate political investments and African-led models are necessary, as well as robust health systems that can adapt to changing disease and demographic patterns. Community health workers will play a crucial role in achieving universal health coverage and combating pandemics. However, Sub-Saharan Africa remains reliant on foreign financing and must combat corruption and improve domestic health governance to achieve autonomy. Ultimately, interventions to improve health in the region must target the population's changing needs and infrastructure demands.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant shifts in how companies manage their supply chains, with three major changes emerging. First, reshoring is becoming a dominant trend, with companies shifting production and manufacturing to domestic locations from overseas factories to reduce risk and maintain business continuity. Companies are also investing in digital technologies to improve visibility and transparency along their supply chains. Finally, firms are becoming more flexible in their supply chain management by diversifying their sources of supply and holding more inventory. These shifts are likely to have a significant impact on the way goods are produced, distributed, and consumed in the years to come, with government policies playing an important role in managing the impact of these changes.

Reverse innovation, which involves transferring new ideas and innovations from emerging economies to developed economies, can help fix the American healthcare system, which suffers from high costs, uneven quality, and less-than universal access. Developing countries like India are under great pressure to use their very limited medical resources to serve the greatest number of people, at the lowest cost, while maintaining quality. As a result, a handful of Indian healthcare exemplars have mastered clever ways to simultaneously lower healthcare costs, improve quality, and expand access. Govindarajan and Ramamurti identify their secret sauce and recommend that healthcare organizations in the US and elsewhere consider emulating those strategies and practices.

Most of us tend to judge our colleagues and their professionalism, trustworthiness, credibility, and communication skills through the lens of our own backgrounds and culture. Our families, countries, generations, educations, and the like, all shape how we behave and interpret the behaviors of others.

The Center for Emerging Markets sponsors TAMID @ Northeastern University's first conference.