Two new books take larger-than-usual view of global competition.

Within one week, Jerry Haar, associate dean for international affairs and projects, and professor, Department of Management and International Business in the College of Business Administration, saw the publication of two books he co-edited: Can Latin America Compete? Confronting the Challenges of Globalization with John Price; and Small Firms, Global Markets: Competitive Challenges in the New Economy, with Jörg Meyer-Stamer. They are number thirteen and fourteen in Haar’s active publication history.

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Orientation of the books gives broad perspective . . . outside the firm and beyond borders.

The timeliness of the subject matter and the thrust of the content have quickly secured a high profile for the books.

“Instead of looking at what goes on only within the firm or at the macro level, Can Latin America Compete? explores all the prerequisites necessary for firms to compete in the global economy,” said Haar, who has another book and a number of journal articles underway. “The book covers what I call the plumbing and electrical circuitry of competitiveness: taxes, education, logistics, judicial reform, human capital, the ability to harness technology, and the physical infrastructure.”

It has drawn praise from reviewers in the online version of Time, America Economía magazine, and Foreign Affairs, the principal publication of the highly respected Council on Foreign Relations. Already in its third printing, a paperback version, which will make it more accessible for use by professors, journalists, policy analysts, and the public at large, is due out in the early fall.

The second book focuses on small firms and whether they can survive globalization. The authors answered with a resounding yes.

“Using cases from Mexico, India, Spain, Italy, and Nigeria,” Small Firms, Global Markets applies a global rather than a regional focus to see what it takes for small players to compete,” Haar said.

From Haar’s perspective, the book demolishes many myths, including the notion that smallness hampers success. In fact, in many ways, it’s an asset.

“Small firms have access to much of the same technology that larger firms do, so the questions are how they make use of it and how innovative and entrepreneurial they are,” he said.

New research direction further broadens Haar’s vision.

Both volumes fit with the general direction of Haar’s research, which has involved “the nexus between the business environment and corporate strategy, structure, and operations,” though he notes that his research “is now moving in the direction of looking at themes that directly affect this linkage, such as national innovation systems.”

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