Archive for October, 2008

#6 New Book on International Business (for German speakers only)

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

There’s a great new textbook on Managing International Business out there. Published by Springer (New York / Vienna) this book provides nice background reading on globalization and multinational enterprises and has a very hands-on chapter on international market entry. Unfortunately, the book’s only available in German so far: amazon

#5 List of Failures

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Looking for a list of international business failures? Keep searching, and if you find any, let me know. One list I know of which contains international business failures, but is largely composed of “normal” failures based in the United States.

#4 Upcoming Book

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

The Deadly Sins of International Business. Professors Gerhard Apfelthaler of Graz, Austria and Duane Kujawa of Miami, USA are working on a book titled “The Deadly Sins of International Business”. The book to be published in 2009 is providing a fresh look at famous’ companies’ failures in international markets. Looking at globally active companies of the likes of Wal-Mart, Danone or Volkswagen, they explain why these companies have been failing. Often, it is very basic attitudes that prevent companies from succeeding. Take, for instance, pride. If companies are too proud about their own ways, the may fail to recognize differences that matter in foreign markets, the may be less innovative and they may not learn from failure.

#3 US Retailers Abroad

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

What is it with US retailers? Did anybody notice how many retail companies headquartered in the US have failed in international markets over the past decades. After about 8 years of trying to get established, Wal-Mart left Germany in 2006, fashion retailer The Gap pulled out of Germany in 2004, and Pizza Hut defected from Austria after having failed to meet consumers’ taste there. Are these companies’ services and products a simple mismatch with local markets or are the companies too proud and too ignorant?

#2 Starbucks fails in Australia

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Starbucks leaves Australia. One of the latest international business failures comes from one of the most successful retail companies in the world. Starbucks, which operates more than 15,000 coffee shops worldwide, in July announced that it will close 61. Remaining will be only 23 stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. What was going wrong? Many people claim that Starbucks failed to understand Australia’s very sophisticated coffee culture. Others take it a step further and accuse Starbucks of arrogance typical of US-based multinational corporations

#1 Welcome

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Dear visitor,

if you have found this site then it’s either  because you have an interest in either human nature or in international  business. Well, this site caters more to all of you who find themselves in the  latter category as it is about personal and organizational failures in  international business

Someone once has said that in one way or another  we’re all stupid. This is very true for even the best managers and the best  companies as well. What makes us smart and effective at home usually doesn’t  transfer easily across national and cultural borders. Despite the fact that we  have been hearing now for decades that the world has become one global  marketplace, the ways we – individuals and companies – approach international  market entry still seem to be ignorant and crude.

This site looks at failures of companies which do  business internationally and hopes to become a place where everyone can learn  from the mistakes of others. If you have a story of failure in international  business to share, one that you have personally experienced or one which you  have read or heard about from other source, please contribute to this  blog

Gerhard Apfelthaler