An informative introduction to the widening world of German business. In the wake of reunification and on the eve of...


JUGGERNAUT! The German Way of Business: Why it is Transforming Europe--and the World

An informative introduction to the widening world of German business. In the wake of reunification and on the eve of Europe's final push toward socioeconomic integration, Forbes correspondent Glouchevitch offers an authoritative, anecdotal audit of an industrial/commercial power that, in its comparatively unobtrusive way, poses as great a challenge to US interests as does Japan. Among other elements contributing to the Federal Republic's post-WW II economic success, Glouchevitch points to a rigorous apprenticeship system that gives German companies highly skilled workers; the pivotal role played by mid-sized enterprises (collectively known as the Mittelstand); and a domestic banking network that not only holds substantive equity stakes in client corporations but also has a hand in virtually all of the country's significant financial transactions. Covered as well are the factors underlying the commitment of indigenous executives to product quality and service, plus their tolerance for the high taxes that underwrite the nation's many social programs. While bullish on the competitive prospects of German industry in global markets, the author does not ignore a dark past during which the nation employed slave labor to equip the Nazi war machine. Nor does he overlook the willingness of a few concerns to evade export controls and supply advanced armament technology to such international renegades as Iraq and Lybia. Dirty business apart, Glouchevitch points out that Deutschland commerce faces a fair share of short-run problems--among others, the cost of absorbing East Germany, which has proved higher than anticipated. In addition, the author speculates that the current cozy relationships between management and unions could prove casualties of the European Community's drive toward integration. Glouchevitch nonetheless concludes that German business remains eager to cooperate with, rather than to dominate, its trading partners on the Continent and elsewhere. Insightful perspectives on an economic force to he reckoned with.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1992


Page Count: 224

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1992