C HAP T ER 12
Country Evaluation and Selection
An intriguing possibility is the near-officeless headquarters for international companies. Technology may permit more people to work from anywhere as they e- mail and teleconference with their colleagues, customers, and suppliers elsewhere. Thus they can live anywhere in the world and work from their homes, as is already occurring within some professions.62 However, if people can work from their homes, they may move their homes where they want to live rather than living where their employers are now located. Because we're talking here about highly creative and highly innovative self-motivated people, they can usually get permission to live in almest any country of the world . A lead ing researcher on urbanization and planning has shown that beginning at least as early as the Roman Empire, t hese types of people have been drawn to certain cities that were the centers of innovation. He says that t his attraction is due to people's improvement through interchange with others like
themselves-like "a very bright class in a school or a college. They all try to score off each other and do bett er." Thus, if he's correct, the brightest minds may work more at home but still need the face-to-face interact ion with their colleagues. 63 Hisargument sare provocative, particularly because we now have technology to allow people t o communicate without traveling as much, yet t he cont in ued increase in business t ravel shows that people need face-to-face interaction. He further suggests that these people w ill be drawn t o the same places t hat attract people to visit as tourists. Concomit antly, another view is that in leading Western societ ies, the elite made up of intellectuals and high ly educated people is increasingly using its capability to delay and block new technologies. lf successful, t heir efforts will result in the emergence of different countries at the f orefront of technological development and...