Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Is Soccer leading business in globalization?

"Transnationals," defined as people who are living outside their home countries are increasing. If you were to take all transnationals today, the size of the group would be equivalent to the fifth largest country on the planet. In world cities like London, transnationals account for up to one-third of the population. Transnational movement has doubled since 1975, a substantial trend. In American corporations, we have seen the number of non-Americans in top management positions grow from virtually zero to at least a significant minority in a generation.

Yet, in soccer we see something far more expreme. In a business where results are all that count, we have seen in one generation, a situation where we have gone from top club teams being made up players from within 30 miles of where the club is basedm to one in which they come from all over the world. As an example, in a recent English Premiership game between Arsenal and Fulham, two London-based teams, of the 22 starting players, only 3 were English, with the remaining 19 players coming from 14 nations.

If corporations were genuinely merit-based, would we see the same? In a situation where corporations must be increasingly globally skilled and aware, will we see them promoting more and more transnationals - which means Americans in European, Asian and Latin American corporations too!

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