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Business 177 - What Does it Mean to be Number 1? Scorecards in the Global Competition of Nations

Dan Galindau, Business

I’m confused! In every country I visit, on every continent in the world, governments and citizens make a similar claim: “our way is the best way”. What does this really mean? Who is right? Is anybody right? Is everybody right? More importantly, what is the basis for these claims? What kinds of “scorecards” are used by the global community to evaluate the performance of a country? What scorecards should be used in this competition of nations? Is it even possible to compare and evaluate such radically different approaches as American capitalism, European socialism, and Asian state-driven economies?

To start with, we need to understand the basic economic, political, and legal systems employed throughout the world today as well as the various value systems that underlie them. How do countries decide who gets what scarce resources? Who gets help and who doesn’t? Who leads them? What is legally permissible and what isn’t? Next, we will examine the various measurements used today in evaluating a nation’s success in producing economic prosperity, social stability, and improved human welfare? What measurement or “scorecards” should be used? In this process, we will seek answers to the questions above so that at the end of the course, students will be able to consider for themselves the meaning and relevance of making the claim of being #1 in the world.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, upon graduating from high school Dan Galindau knew exactly where he wanted to go in life; somewhere new. Thus began a 35 year adventure that included moving to LA to obtain degrees from both UCLA and USC, four years of service in the U.S. Navy that found him living in Florida and sailing the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf, and a twenty year career with a European company that included 11 years living and working in Seoul, South Korea and Hong Kong. During this time, he traveled and worked throughout 13 countries in Asia Pacific. Returning to the U.S., he settled in Kansas City with his wife (Kansas born and raised), where he now teaches International Management and Cross-Cultural Business both at the University of Kansas, and in China for several weeks each summer in a Chinese University Executive MBA program.

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