What are you overly competitive about?

Economy and globalization

Stefan Müller

To person

Dr. rer pol., born 1948; since 1992 holder of the chair for general business administration, especially marketing, at the TU Dresden; Head of the Institute for the Promotion of Marketing and Market Research e. V.

Address: Technical University of Dresden, Faculty of Economics, Chair of Marketing, Mommsenstr. 13, 01062 Dresden.
e-mail: [email protected]

Publications (together with Martin Kornmeier): International Competitiveness: Errors and Confusions of the Location Discussion, Munich 2000; Intercultural Marketing, Munich 2001.

Martin Kornmeier

To person

Dipl.-Kfm., Born in 1966; since 1992 research associate of Prof. Dr. Stefan Müller.

Address: Technical University of Dresden, Faculty of Economics, Chair of Marketing, Mommsenstr. 13, 01062 Dresden.
e-mail: [email protected]

Publications (together with Stefan Müller): see above

The structural problems of Germany as a location must be resolved as a matter of priority. Especially in "times of globalization" this step is necessary in order to maintain international competitiveness.

I. Globalization: an ambiguous term

A few years ago still largely unknown, the term "globalization" is now ubiquitous. In 1980 only 50 publications in all major business magazines had the terms "global" or "globalization" in their titles; In 1990 there were already 670. However, the sociologist Ulrich Beck considers globalization to be the "most abused and least defined controversial term". Its indeterminacy may also be one of the reasons why so many fears are associated with this development. The fears are heightened by the fact that in the relevant discussions there is often talk of the "end of the nation state" or of the "economy without state borders". This negative image (globalization as a loss of order) has established itself in the minds of many citizens: As a recent survey by the Institute for Practice-Oriented Social Research (Ipos) showed, 60.5 percent of the Germans questioned doubt that politics can solve the problems of globalization . And just under 52 percent are of the opinion that international integration severely or very severely restricts the scope for political decisions.

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  • Many mistakenly speak of "the" globalization; in fact, however, the transformation of society, politics and the economy is not a homogeneous process. Rather, this takes place on several levels as well as at different intensities and speeds, triggered essentially by various, in places dramatic changes in our environment (see Fig. 1). In detail here are inter alia. To name the opening of the financial and information flows, the mechanization of the infrastructure as well as numerous changes in the political systems, the company organization, the social canon of values ​​and the consumer behavior.


    There are four general developments in politics, technology, society and economy that have mainly driven globalization:

    - Politics: State borders are becoming less important; with the "end" of the Cold War, freedom of movement in the world has grown considerably.

    - Technology: Serious advances in traffic and communication technology accelerate the spread of products and ideas.

    - Society:Tradition and social relationships (family, home, customs, norms) lose their binding force, which indirectly promotes the geographical, mental and emotional mobility of people.

    - Economy: Deregulated capital and goods markets reinforce the trend towards a borderless world market.

    This process is accelerated by the declining demand on the domestic market and the increasing competitive pressure: While the competition was previously fought primarily on a national and regional level, national, international and global market participants are now competing with one another. Karl-Heinz Kaske, then Chairman of the Board of Management of Siemens AG, pointed out the consequences as early as 1989: "A competitor can only be successful in the long term if he has a leading competitive position in at least one, or even better, two of the major markets of the triad (Europe, Japan and USA; author's note) Ever shorter innovation cycles force companies to produce the highest possible number of units, since low unit costs can only be achieved with large volumes. However, high unit numbers can hardly be achieved with sales on the home markets. must sell all over the world. " [1] As a result, inter alia the intensity of competition to attract strategic partners; also the worldwide "fusionitis" can partly be explained with it.