It is an excellent textbook for international business (IB). As a college instructor, I have used it in my class three semesters since 2008. Why do I like my students to benefit from this book?
1/ Knowledge: Students can understand the fundamental issues and concepts in IB, and apply knowledge to real world situations through the vivid cases. I appreciate that half of cases come from emerging markets, like BRICs. These help my students to know the importance of emerging markets, which are driving world economy out from financial crisis today.
2/ Analytical framework: While marketing textbooks focus on 4Ps, operations textbooks promote 7As, this book, which covers a vaster territory (the entire globe), only asks students to develop two frameworks: the institutional-based view and resource-based view. So this book not only helps student to absorb information, but also helps them to better organize and structure this messy information - how to use the framework to understand this rapidly changing world. After 10 years, the textbook will become obsolete, but students can still build their career informed by these two views.
3/ Critical thinking: This textbook helps students develop the skills to understand the multicultural aspects and international dimensions of the societies and the world in which they live. A series of debates can open students' eyes and build their global mental set. What is most refreshing is that the author does not give a single answer or simple evaluation for many questions, but provides many possible approaches to widen the reader's mindset. My students love the debates!
4/ Humanism: Globalization raises lots of dilemmas. To deal with this complexity, students need to develop a better appreciation for human values and the ability to make judgments based on ethical and environmental considerations. This book also discusses lots of ethic challenge in business, and gives corporate social responsibility (CSR) a special chapter. No other IB textbook has done that to CSR.
In the end, I also like this book because it raises a fundamental question in IB: what determinates the success and failure of firms around the world? It is totally different from other textbooks in IB, which typically don't even have one big question. I believe that this core question will continue to stimulate our students--we cannot learn until the right question has been asked.