Has America Lost It’s Ability to Compete?

Well, the Harvard Business School’s survey suggest that it has (HBS survey). The survey is very comprehensive and covers not only the school’s alumni, but also it includes the business community. Interestingly enough, president Obama’s recent speech about the fiscal budget at Knox College (report on BBC) touched on a few key areas of the HBS’s 2013 report. Investing in the infrastructure, improving the public education and reforming the overly complicated tax system were among the key topics.

One of the critical reviews of the HBS’s survey is Steve Denning’s commentary in Forbes (read it here). He turns the table around and points the blame to the business community. He goes on and on in arguing that over past several decades the US business schools have promoted series of short term key-performance-indicators (KPIs) for businesses. The result is that long term objectives are gone on the wind and this is the nation’s economy that is suffering in different angles.

In the context of the business cycle, the manufacturing capacity has been mostly (except few strategic sector such as military and aviation) shifted to the developing countries (mostly BRICs) and once known as industrial countries are left with a service sector driven GDP. Relocation of the R&D and technology development centres from the leading nations to the developing countries has been arguably the last and most strategic/critical step that demonstrates how west has traded long term strategic objectives to short term targets.

What do you think about the HBS’s survey and the trend of the West-to-East of the global economy?