Globalization of Information

Hmmmm. This is the given description of this program:

“As organizations expand globally, the challenge for researchers is to ensure the information they are gathering is internationally based and current. This session will provide an overview of best practices for developing a strategy for globalization and an effective program of research to help organizations ensure they are making strategic, fact-based decisions when expanding operations to new countries.”

I interpreted this to mean that I was going to hear about ways to access global information, so that my American-centric research skills could find information from the EU and Asia. Instead, the program was more about how you can position your organization to be a player in global information, creating interconnectivity from your organization to the rest of the world.

I think either interpretation of the description is valid, so it isn’t like the description was misleading. I just chose the wrong interpretation and didn’t get quite what I wanted from the session. On the bright side, there was a woman from the European Union office in New York in the audience who offered her assistance to people if they ever have a question about obtaining EU information. The line to get her card after the session was quite long and I’m pretty sure she ran out, but I got one.

My notes follow.

Globalization = interconnectivity

Dissemination of information around the world relies on: Space, regularity, speed, and depth; it can’t be a casual thing and still be globalization

World is not flat when it comes to information, the world is spiky – these were some neat graphs, showing spikes related to emitted light, broadband access, education levels, etc. North America, Europe, and Asia are like excessively-gelled Mohawks rising to the sky. The rest of the world, not so much.

Countervailing forces: integration and universalism versus particularism and fragmentation

There isn’t systematic collection of information globally – there are commissions and suggestions, but not global laws or rules on info collection, so there are different levels of access everywhere. I recently had to try and find information about some Chinese companies. What a project!

Even with idea of globalization and living online and using social networking, people still cluster geographically (MySpace is US-centric, Bebo is Australia-centric)

People do want a unique identity, not to be a truly global citizen, they like their language, culture, and food, and they make decisions in ways informed by those things

There are profound differences in how people deal with the same problem and view the same information – you must understand the culture someone comes from if you want to understand how they will interpret information

The more integrated we become, the easier it is to forget how different people are when they solve problems

Transparency – we do not live in a transparent world – this is often the greatest barrier to finding international information; even in a transparent society, there can be elements that are cloudy (a new culture was created surrounding subprime mortgage world – even though still in the U.S. it was a culture that only the investment bankers and real estate firms were a part of)

Foundations of Global Markets

General

• Drivers

• Technologies

• Global Culture

• Global norms

• Stability

Specific

• Markets

• Infrastructure

• Competencies

• Norms

Obstacles

General

• Cultural Particularism

• Social Expectations

Specific

• Data Standards

• Data reliability

Models of Corporate Alignment

• Centralized – domestic home office

• Duplicated – copies of system used

• Decentralized – everyone does what they do in their office

• Networked – multiple offices working together

How do we start to understand how people solve problems when we are building resources – like client info systems and intranets

This is where they started really veering off into how we need to create our information to speak to a global audience. Important, I’m sure, but not much note taking was done by me.