International Business

Find information and resources for the research and study of international business. Also known as globalization, international business is commerce that takes place across national borders, whether it’s a single proprietor exporting to another country or an enormous company with locations all over the world. Licensing, franchising, and outsourcing can all be conducted overseas.

The volume of international business has skyrocketed over the past 50 years: the easing of trade restrictions, nonstop advances in travel, the rise of the internet and social media, and the proliferation of global brands like Apple, McDonald's, and Starbucks are just a few of the reasons that commerce travels far beyond national borders in the twenty-first century. International business is vital to the economy and the world at large because it promotes innovation, reduces the cost of products and services, and introduces both employees and customers to diverse cultures. Globalization may also provide opportunities for economic development in nations experiencing growth and rising living standards.

Companies looking to conduct business internationally must understand that the economic, political, and cultural climate varies from one nation to the next. For example, conducting business with a country whose economy is still developing is not the same as dealing with one of the world’s richer nations. A global business might also see companies working with different types of political systems: democracies, monarchies, one-party states, and military dictatorships. In some cases, there is a degree of political risk when conducting business in a foreign country: social unrest or unexpected changes in the government could have dire financial consequences for a company.

Understanding the cultural environment of a nation is perhaps the most vital component to international business. Companies must be familiar with the language, history, and religion of a nation before they open a shop. There is a long list of firms that have committed embarrassing gaffes, in the form of awkward translations and insensitive product names because they didn’t fully understand the culture of a foreign business environment. Developing a sensitivity to the social customs and business practices of a nation is not just polite, it's an effective corporate strategy for any brand.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges to globalization; however, many industry leaders believe that strong partnerships and robust trade between nations will allow companies to overcome supply chain disruptions and help the world emerge from the crisis. Growth in e-commerce has also risen with COVID-19. More companies are increasing their investment in digital platforms to meet this demand and reach more consumers. Companies may find themselves adopting a new global strategy as China and India continue to increase their presence in the global marketplace.

People interested in the academic study of international business at undergraduate or graduate levels may wish to pursue an internship or embark on a career in finance, human resource management, marketing, or a similar opportunity. Learning about globalization not only benefits international business students. Professionals seeking to do business in other countries can enhance their skills by obtaining an international business certificate or enrolling in an international business degree program. Those seeking employment with multinational corporations will benefit from the study of company reports as they engage in cross-cultural business in new financial markets.

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International Business Resources

Gale provides resources that support research with collections from databases, primary sources and eBooks.


Gale databases include collections of published materials from books, newspapers, journals, essays, and periodical articles as well as primary source documents and multimedia, such as images, audio, and videos, that support users interested in international trade studies.

Primary Source Archives

Gale Primary Sources contains full-text archives and collections that provide firsthand content, including historical documents, archives, journals and periodicals, news articles, and other publications, and ephemera that examine and analyze international business studies.

Gale eBooks

Gale's eBook collection offers a variety of books online to support international business research. Users can add Gale eBooks to a customized collection and cross-search to pinpoint relevant content. Workflow tools help users easily share, save, and download content.

  • Business Reference Guide: The Concepts of International Business

    Business Reference Guide: The Concepts of International Business

    Salem Press   |   2017  |   ISBN-13: 9781429841467

    This volume offers an introduction to the financial, legal, and practical factors that influence international business. The essays start by providing an overview of international business organizations and management and then turn to the general review of multinational financing and marketing strategies.

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  • Business Studies For Dummies

    Business Studies For Dummies

    John Wiley & Sons   |   2014   |   ISBN-13: 9781118348147

    This book offers a concise and engaging introduction to modern business and business education. Whether you're deciding on a course of study, heading to university, or settling into your first year, Business Studies For Dummies will provide you with a thorough overview of the subjects that form the foundation of a business studies degree. And if you're embarking on a new career, there's no better way to brush up on key business concepts. With Business Studies For Dummies, you'll be one step ahead of the competition—at university and on the job.

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  • Handbook of Research on Impacts of International Business and Political Affairs on the Global Economy

    Handbook of Research on Impacts of International Business and Political Affairs on the Global Economy

    Business Science Reference   |   2016  |   ISBN-13: 9781466698079

    The Handbook of Research on Impacts of International Business and Political Affairs on the Global Economy features dual perspectives on the business and political viewpoints for nations striving to maintain their economic standing in the era of globalization. Providing insight into various economic factors impacting global businesses and international affairs, this publication is a critical reference source for students, policymakers, international diplomats, researchers, scholars, and practitioners interested in financial challenges in the era of globalization.

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