Publishing Research Quarterly

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 344–364 | Cite as

When is a Publishing Business Truly ‘Global’? An Analysis of a Routledge Case Study with Reference to Ohmae’s Theory of Globalization

  • Mary Ann KernanEmail author


This study first reviews the writing of the management theorist Kenichi Ohmae, before assessing the potential application of his theory of global commercial maturation to the strategies adopted by the academic publishing company, Routledge, and its precursor imprints between 1960 and 2013. Based on the analysis of interviews carried out between 2011 and 2013 and supporting document analysis, the paper concludes that, with some caveats, the stages of globalization identified by Ohmae are of considerable explanatory value for students and analysts of global publishing as well as offering strategic insights to managers of academic publishing houses.


Academic publishing Five Stages of Globalization Global strategy Kenichi Ohmae Publishing Publishing theory Routledge Taylor & Francis Globalization Publishing history Publishing strategy 



I would like to thank the many former colleagues and current senior members of staff at Routledge/Taylor & Francis and its predecessor companies, without whose generous and consistent support this study would not have been possible.


  1. 1.
    BBC Executive Video Seminars. Globalisation with Kenichi Ohmae: participant’s guide. London: BBC Executive Video Seminars; 1993.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    BBC Executive Video Seminars. Globalisation with Kenichi Ohmae: facilitator’s guide. London: BBC Executive Video Seminars; 1993.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    BBC Executive Video Seminars. Globalisation with Kenichi Ohmae: preview tape. London: BBC Executive Video Seminars; 1993.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bullock A. Book production. Didcot: Routledge; 2012.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Business Breakthrough Ltd. Home page, Kenichi Ohmae Graduate School of Business [Online]. Available: 12 Aug 2013.
  6. 6.
    Campbell L. Alarm at textbook price hikes. Bookseller [Online] (12 Aug). Available: 2 Sep 2013.
  7. 7.
    Carnoy M, Castells M, Cohen SS, Cardoso FH. The new global economy in the information age: reflections on our changing world. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press; 1993.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Castells M. Informationalism, networks, and the network society: a theoretical blueprint [Online]. In Castells M (ed.). The network society: A cross-cultural perspective. Northampton: Edward Elgar. Available: (2004). 12 Aug 2013.
  9. 9.
    Cvetkovski T. Copyright and popular media: liberal villains and technological change. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; 2013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davies G, Balkwill R. The professionals’ guide to publishing: a practical introduction to working in the publishing industry. London: Kogan Page; 2011.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Flood A. High street shops turn fire on Amazon’s tax avoidance: indie booksellers advertise their tax returns in dig at online giant’s alleged use of tax havens. Guardian [Online]. Available: (2012, 20 November). 12 Aug 2013.
  12. 12.
    Flores RG, Aguilera RV. Globalization and location choice: an analysis of US multinational firms in 1980 and 2000. J Int Bus Stud. 2007;38(7):1187–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gray J. The delusions of global capitalism. London: Granta Books; 1998.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hamm B, Smandych RC, editors. Cultural imperialism: essays on the political economy of cultural domination. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; 2005.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Heilemann J. Making book on China. Business 2.0. 2005;6(7):28–31.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hindle T. Kenichi Ohmae. In: Hindle T, editor. Guide to management ideas and gurus. London: Economist Intelligence Unit; 2008. p. 281–2.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hirst P, Thompson G. Globalization in question. Cambridge: Polity Press; 1996.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hirst P, Thompson G, Bromley S. Globalization in question. 3rd ed. Cambridge and Malden: Polity Press; 2009.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ietto-Gillies G. Globalisation: an analysis of theoretical perspectives and dominant causes [Online]. Available: (2000). 14 Aug 2013.
  20. 20.
    Ietto-Gillies G. Transnational corporations: fragmentation amidst integration. London and NY: Routledge; 2002.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Inflibnet. About Us, Inflibnet, Information and Library Network Centre [Online]. Available: (2013). 10 Aug 2013.
  22. 22.
    Kernan MA. Routledge as a global publisher: a case study 1980–2010. Publ Res Q. 2013;29(1):52–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Kozul-Wright R, Rowthorn R, editors. Transnational corporations and the global economy. London: Macmillan; 1998.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Knight P. Small-scale research: pragmatic inquiry in social science and the caring professions. London and Beverly Hills: SAGE; 2002.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Leigh Bureau. Kenichi Ohmae: global strategy, [Online]. Available: 12 Aug 2013.
  26. 26.
    Ohmae K. Mind of the strategist: the art of Japanese business. NY: McGraw-Hill; 1982.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ohmae K. Triad power: the coming shape of global competition. NY: Free Press; 1985.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ohmae K. Beyond national borders. Homewood: Dow Jones-lrwin; 1987.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Ohmae K. Kenichi Ohmae. In: Economist. Drucker, Ohmae, Porter & Peters. London: Economist Publications, 1990; pp. 23–35.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Ohmae K. Managing in a global environment: an excerpt from The Borderless World. McKinsey Q. 1990;3:3–19.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ohmae K. The borderless world: power and strategy in the interlinked economy. London: Collins; 1991.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Ohmae K. Putting global logic first. Harv Bus Rev. 1995;73(1):119–25.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Ohmae K. The end of the nation state. NY: Free Press and London: HarperCollins; 1995.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Ohmae K. The borderless world: power and strategy in the interlinked economy. 2nd ed. London: Collins; 1999.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Ohmae K. The invisible continent: four strategic imperatives of the new economy. New York: Random House; 2000.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Ohmae K. The invisible continent: four strategic imperatives of the new economy (revised edition). London: Nicholas Brealey; 2001.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Ohmae K. The next global stage: challenges and opportunities in our borderless world. Upper Saddle River: Wharton; 2005.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Ohmae K. Global talent and global prosperity, Global HR Forum 2006 presentation. YouTube [Online, Video]. Available: (2006). 18 Aug 2012.
  39. 39.
    Ohmae K. Fukushima’s lessons: probability theory is unsafe. New Perspect Q. 2012;29(3):55–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Ohmae K. Kenichi Ohmae YouTube Channel. YouTube [Online]. Available:; 2013. 8 Aug 2013.
  41. 41.
    Ohmaebot. @ohmaebot. Twitter [Online]. Available: (2013). 8 Aug 2013.
  42. 42.
    Porter ME. The five competitive forces that shape strategy. Harv Bus Rev. 2008;86(1):78–93.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Reich RB. Who is us? Harv Bus Rev. 1990;68(1):53–64.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Reich RB. How capitalism is killing democracy. Foreign Policy. 2007;162(Sept–Oct):38–42.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Routledge. Home page [Online]. Available:; 2013. 12 Aug 2013.
  46. 46.
    Routledge. Articles in the Europa Category, Reference Blog, Routledge [Online]. Available: (2013). 10 Aug 2013.
  47. 47.
    Routledge India. Routledge India Originals: Making ideas travel worldwide, Routledge India [Online, Powerpoint presentation, cached]. Available:; no date. 10 Aug 2013.
  48. 48.
    Routledge India. Routledge India Originals Catalogue 2013 [Online]. Available: (2013). 10 Aug 2013.
  49. 49.
    Rugman AM. The regional multinationals: MNEs and ‘global’ strategic management. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Rugman AM, Verbeke A. A perspective on regional and global strategies of multinational enterprises. J Int Bus Stud. 2004;35(1):3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Steers RM, Nardon L. Managing in the global economy. Armonk: M.E. Sharpe; 2005.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Stiglitz JE. Globalization and its discontents (revised edition). London: Penguin; 2002.Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    T&F. Home page [Online]. Available: (2013). 12 Aug 2013.
  54. 54.
    Thompson J. Merchants of culture: the publishing business in the twenty-first century. Cambridge: Polity; 2012.Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Tomlinson J. Cultural imperialism. London: Continuum; 1991.Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Wind Y. A plan to invent the marketing we need today. MIT Sloan Manage Rev. 2008;49(4):21–8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Culture and Creative Industries, School of Arts of Social SciencesCity University LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations