Harvard Business Review Reflection Essay


The article entitled “Scorched Earth ” written by Elizabeth Economy ( senior chap for Asia with the U. S. Council on Foreign Relations in New York ) and Kenneth Lieberthal ( William Davidson Professor of Corporate Strategy and International Business. the China manager of Davidson Institute. and the Arthur Thurnau Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. senior manager of Stonebridge International. a Washington. D. C. –based confer withing house. and the co-author. with Geoffrey Lieberthal. of “The Great Transition” ( HBR October 2003 ) ) was published in the Harvard Business Review of June 2007 on the pages 88 to 96. The article trades with the job of environmental debasement in China which is of great concern for MNEs that are active in. or are traveling to be active in China refering both future chances and hazards.

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The writers of this article see the menace posed by environmental debasement as the greatest hazard of making concern in China. The job is that this subject is hardly discussed within corporations. This is a serious error. Multinationals may be busy with other jobs. but the Chinese authorities. NGOs. and the Chinese imperativeness have been focused forthrightly on the country’s energy deficits. dirt eroding. deficiency of H2O. and pollution jobs. The writers believe that these jobs are so terrible they might restrain GDP growing. Furthermore. it is from the MNEs expected to play a cardinal function in the protection of the environment.

If that does non go on. multinationals face clear hazards to their operations. their workers’ wellness. and their reputes. In implementing environmental issues into their schemes. foreign houses need to be both defensive and proactive. Defensive here means take stairss to cut down injury and proactive agencies puting in environmental protection attempts. Finally. this job besides brings some chances along as MNEs can utilize inventions that are designed for the Chinese market in the remainder of the universe. This means that China affects the MNEs public presentation in other of import markets.


Failings and restrictions associating to the content

First of all. the article merely emphasizes the failings of China sing environmental issues. Alternatively of puting the duty at the Chinese authorities. the MNEs are slightly unbroken responsible. This is rather unjust and this manner. the writers create a job that in world is manner less extended. Second. we would wish to cite a portion of the article:

“Despite the challenges. multinationals can’t afford non to make the right thing” ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007. p. 96 ) We believe that this statement is wholly incorrect as a batch of companies that are active in China. merely do non make anything about it. They are even encouraged to make the ‘wrong thing’ by the local authoritiess. Third. clip after clip. the writers emphasize how large China’s influence is on the pollution in the universe. However. this is rather logical as China is one of the biggest states in the universe. Therefore. this is truly raging and non truly utile in the article. Fourthly. mentioning to the challenges described. there is no clear relationship between. for case. the spill of H2O by the Chinese population and MNEs. This because MNEs can non make anything about this issue. Furthermore. it is non truly the MNEs’ duty.

Therefore we consider this challenge as otiose. ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007 ) Finally. the writers do pass adequate clip on the construct of utilizing their new inventions for China ( refering environmental debasement etc. ) in other cardinal markets. This is really the most of import portion of the article and hence more attending should be paid to this construct. ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007 ) Strengths of the article associating to the content and construction To get down with. the writers have done really good in depicting the environmental debasement as a job among a long of other jobs in China. The contrast described in the debut truly attracts attending. ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007 )

Furthermore. the article describes that MNEs can really profit from these environmental jobs as they can utilize inventions from the Chinese market in other of import markets. This is rather a originative consideration we could ne’er believe of. ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007 ) Another strong point is that the article gives advice about how to cover with the Chinese political system. A particular section of the article is dedicated to this topic.

Traveling on with the topic of construction. the article is rather good structured. As a reader. you can clearly separate between an debut to a job. a elaborate description of the job ( s ) and eventually a portion dedicated to the solutions. However. there are a twosome of things that we do non wish about the article? s construction. First of all. refering the treatment of China? s challenges ( H2O. energy. dirt eroding etc. ) . the writers spent excessively much clip on the description of these challenges. ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007 )

These challenges are extensively described along with a batch of specific informations which is unneeded as the article does non straight depict how directors should get by with these challenges. Alternatively. the writers move on with treatment another set of hazards. Then. finally. some solutions are given. In general this is a good thing. However. we would instead hold seen the solution along with the challenges and hazards in order to better the lucidity of the article. And as we said before. the writers could pass less clip on depicting the challenges as all the specific information has no connexion with the solutions given.

Relation to the class IIB

This article concerns environmental jobs in China and that is a job for all MNEs because of the fact that there is merely one environment in the universe and we have to do certain that does non do unrepairable harm to that environment. This because it crosses all boundary lines and is non bounded to a certain location. Therefore environmental harm in China can act upon concern activities in other markets due to. for case. a deficit of certain natural stuffs. Furthermore. it can restrict the possibilities of MNEs in the hereafter. Furthermore. the article discusses the chances of China-specific inventions that can be applied in other markets. This implies the creative activity of a FSA.


One of the things that we have learned from this article is the fact that Chinese local authoritiess. along with a portion of the population play a bigger function than expected in the environmental debasement than expected. We assumed that most pollution derived from MNE activity in China. Another thing that we have learned that you finally pay a high monetary value for your. ab initio inexpensive concern activities. After extensively analyzing this article. a twosome of inquiry came to mind. First of all. the article forecasts that the environmental harm will hold a great impact on China? s GDP. Quoting the article: “China’s environmental jobs are making the point where they could restrain its GDP growing. ” ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007. p. 90 )

We would wish to cognize if the writers. if they had the possibility. would alter this statement to allow it fit the current fortunes. We ask this inquiry because. in our eyes. the impact has non been that great. In the media. for case. there is nil said about the constraining factors on China’s GDP growing. Another inquiry that came to mind is the followers:

Harmonizing to the article. the Chinese local authoritiess play an of import function in the environmental debatable instances. ( Economy. Lieberthal. 2007 ) Doesn’t this mean that the focal point should put at these authoritiess instead than the organisations? In our eyes. these authoritiess should be punished by international organisations. Such intercession would diminish the MNEs’ challenges significantly. Traveling on to our concluding inquiry. we would wish to cognize if the writers expect that this job will be wholly solved. by either the Chinese authorities or another establishments. in the close hereafter?

Full mention list

Economy. E. Lieberthal. K. June 2007. Scorched Earth. Harvard Business Review. P. 88-96


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