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Essay 2: Competitiveness, reinvention and people stop thinking of the past when changing the future:

septiembre 25, 2013

When talking about competitiveness, I like, as with others cases, always look on the deep, profound side of          things. Much has been written about it. About achieving it. About using it, mastering it, taking advantage of it. Companies and countries desperately search for it. I will not try to overlap what has been repeated so many times. I will try to talk on competitiveness by not talking about it too much.

First step: Analyzing the today’s point of view about Competitiveness:

          Competitiveness can be described as the “Ability of a firm or a nation to offer products and services that meet the quality standards of the local and world markets at prices that are competitive and provide adequate returns on the resources employed or consumed in producing them.” How is this ability created? The World Economic Forum calculates 12 variables to measure it per country and compared 147 in this year’s edition. The 12 so called pillars are: The Institutions, The Infrastructure, The Macroeconomic Environment, Health and Primary Education, Higher Education And Training, The Goods Markets Efficiency, The Labor Market Efficiency, The Financial Market Development, The Technological Readiness, The Market Size, The Business Sophistication, and Innovation. All these concepts have been used and talked on very much. To gain competitiveness people look to many of these variables, these numbers, to economy itself, which actually makes a lot of sense, but I want to make a different approach.

Second Step: Recognizing today’s some of the profound faults in our economic system:

          In order to Spain or another country to gain competitiveness, its companies are the ones who have to be more competitive. And I say who and not which, because companies are people, or should be soon people. Working together. When one thinks and looks back, the community lifestyle humans had during millennia was a sort of a utopia style form of organization, possible by the small size of that community and the facility of intercommunication. In the 19th century, a company was an entity, and a property of one person, with employees. Today the concept has begun to change. The maturation of human societies and the explosion of new revolutionary forms of communication have begun to permit the organic, efficient, happy way of ancestral human organization. But today’s companies in many cases continue engaged in an authoritarian, old-school, bureaucratized and creativity-coercitive system.

         Also, the political changes this last era has brought, principally Democracy, have not changed the economic system. When we think now about how could people throughout history let rule inefficient governors, the answer comes clear: they thought the same we think now about CEOs, board members and so on: “We do not have the authority, as employees, to decide who is the best to rule our company”. This apparent contradiction I also figured out seems to not be thought of many times. This is because people don’t tend to abstract themselves from themselves and the society around them. The efficiency, the competitiveness, caused by natural selection (in theory), by democracy inside companies, would and eventually will rise up competitiveness.

Step 3: Providing different solutions from about what everybody proposes:

The key to competitiveness cannot be, at least, only, be figured out by economics, by calculating, because that is what everybody already does. If we think this to find a solution to a problem, to a challenge, and we keep doing the same thing, implanting the same measures, acting the same way, there will be competitiveness, but not as much as we would want.

In a world where this classic competitive system, the flag of capitalism since its conception, is beginning to be complemented, even supplemented by cooperation, the classic measures will not work as efficiently. A broader view, a profounder analysis, a more philosophical orientation is the key to the competitiveness to the future. And what does this philosophy stand for? It stands for applying human nature in the economy. Socialists wanted some sort of utopia, where work didn’t entail a monetary retribution, but they wanted this to happen by revolution. Not revolution, but evolution is answer, the key. That day will eventually come, and is beginning to come. In the Internet, the enthusiasm shows itself, shines. Entire communities have made over the past years giant projects, and none of its members expected retribution, except for the happiness the work he did for free caused him. These communities, whom I’ve had the pleasure to watch and even work a little with, are a small minority of humankind, tiny. But its mere existence shows that an economy, a human organization, a future, based on cooperation, extreme trust and the natural expectancy for people to be good is possible, instead of a society based on self-interest and initial distrust, things which by themselves are not bad at all, but are simply a step down of the evolution of human societies.

People want competitiveness? Competitiveness in the very long term will be achieved only, or at least, for the most part, in finishing the migration from ‘competitiveness’ between people to ‘cooperation’ between people. The evolution of the human societies; the facility of intercommunication the boom of new technologies caused; the empiric examples of nowadays cooperatives that can be shown; the success of the today’s leading companies that have a radically different business model, close to the one explained here, like Pixar or Google, all these help me to maintain this bet, this new position.

Eduardo Collin Hernández

1º ELG


Essay 2. Political Dialogues Reforms For Competitiveness.

One Comment
  1. Ines Huete permalink

    WELL DONE, great essay, well structured and clear arguments!

    You have given a clear image of what the world is today, a world which is changing where many firms are not responding to this, they don’t adapt, they are not flexible and so they suffer. However, although technology improves competitiveness it does not bring equity nor does it favour employment and with the current crisis we must tackle urgently the sky-scraping unemployment rates above all.

    You have rightly pointed out that the world is the “ the heritage of our grandchildren” and therefore we must consider the long term when taking decisions. This is extremely applicable to our society today because firms are not taking this into consideration, they are not providing jobs to young people nor they are providing training to them. High quality education will put an end to the “laziness” you talked about and will therefore bring about a culture of hard work. It is evident that the economy will only flourish in the future if young people are well educated, have had working experience and are taken seriously by firms.

    Furthermore, you have also mentioned the importance of revitalising to maintain the competitiveness. This is true but investing in new markets, especially in the developing countries will increase competitiveness of the firms but will not benefit the country as a whole. If firms invest abroad, is less investment for our country and we run the risk of increasing delocalization of businesses! This will affect the unemployment rate enormously and will affect without any doubt the GDP.

    Moreover, another very important aspect, which you tackled, is communication. People make the business, if there is a good communication among them, workers will be happy and willing to work, so the company will prosper. This is likely to reduce the risk of workers participating in or benefiting from any corrupt practices which you mentioned in your last paragraph.

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