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You Don't Have to Be A Giant: How The Changing Terms of Competition in Global Markets are Creating New Possibilities For Danish Companies


  • Michael Borrus
  • John Zysman


Globalism has become an emblem for a whole series of dramatic changes in the international economy. The hyperbole in the media and popular novels that suggests a whirling era of giant companies, shifting money, and hapless governments, often hides the distinctive features of changing markets. This paper proposes that recent changes in the organization of production and product development are altering the terms of competition in many world markets and creating significant global opportunities for Danish firms. Those opportunities promise to enhance the development of Danish industry and employment. But there are risks. The new opportunities lie both in the new terms of competition that are observed in altered processes of product and component development and in the cross-national production networks that permit small companies to seize these opportunities. We label as "Wintelism" the new terms of competition and the new competitive strategies; we call the new organization of production Cross- national Production Networks (CNPNs). New risks lie in the accelerated pace of product and process development that make it harder and more essential to correctly judge technical developments, competitor strategies, and customer possibilities. The Danish policy question is whether the set of institutions and arrangements that constitute its industrial "market and policy logic"-or to use a different vocabulary, its National System of Innovation-is able to support the pursuit of the opportunities that "Wintelism" and Cross National Production Networks (CNPNs) create.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Borrus & John Zysman, 1997. "You Don't Have to Be A Giant: How The Changing Terms of Competition in Global Markets are Creating New Possibilities For Danish Companies," DRUID Working Papers 97-5, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:97-5

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    Globalisation; National systems of innovation; cross-nation product networks; electronic;

    JEL classification:

    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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