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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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In the essay “The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention” by Thomas Friedman, the author argues that countries embedded in a major global supply chain together will not go to war against one another. Friedman's argument is indicated through the story of receiving his notebook. While Friedman tells his personal story, he is effectively expressing collaboration and its consequences through global supply chains. The authors argument is strengthened by Friedman's McDonald's theory from the past. On the outside Friedman is telling a story about where his Dell notebook came from but, on the inside, he is telling a story about global supply chains collaborating with each other, but, it comes with a cost of mutant supply chains.

For countries that are part of the same global supply chain, avoiding wars amongst themselves is a key to a developing countries economic growth. The problem with war is that it leads to an unstable and unpredictable environment, which ultimately causes companies to relocate to a different country. “‘These countries understand the risk premium that they have', said Dell of the countries in his Asian supply chain. They are pretty careful to protect the equity that they have built up or tell us why we should not worry [about their doing anything adventurous]” (125). This quote reveals the amount of power global supply chains have over a country based off the economic stability they have to offer. “Any sort of war or prolonged political upheaval in East Asia or China ‘would have a massive chilling effect on the investment there and on all the progress that has been made there' said Dell” (126). “We certainly make clear to them that stability is important to us. [Right now] it is not a day-to-day worry for us…” (126). These quotes support the author on the idea of people not wanting to give up there better lives and economic independence. Countries understand there are risks to wars that would negatively affect their economy and overall development as a country because of the amount of power major corporations have with equity they give to a country. Ultimately, the citizens become satisfied with their lives and rather not risk losing everything for a bit more territory that could be gained from a war. On the other hand countries that are not part of global supply chains “remain hot spots that could explode at any time and slow or reverse the flattening of the world” (127).   

Global supply chains collaborating with each other to avoid wars and achieve economic stability comes with the cost of mutant supply chains. Mutant supply chains are not formed for economic stability, instead they are formed for the sole reason of destruction. “They don't need investors, only recruits, donors, and victimes. Yet these mobile self-financing mutant supply chains use all the tools of collaboration offered by the flat world--open-sourcing to raise money, to recruit followers and to stimulate and disseminate ideas; outsourcing to train recruits; and supply-chaining to distribute the tools and the suicide bombers to undertake operations” (131). Here the author is stating that mutant supply chains are free of charge to start up while global supply chains require investors, yet, they still gain access to the same tools. “A century ago, anarchists were limited in their ability to communicate and collaborate with one another, to find sympathizers, and to band together for an operation. Today, with the Internet, that is not a problem” (132). In this quote, Friedman reveals that the flat world makes it much easier for terror to be spread throughout people. While global supply chains are beneficial for developing countries and stabilizing economies, they come with the consequence of mutant supply chains. According to the author “terrorist have proven not only skillful at online marketing but also adept at mining the data offered by the billion-some pages of the World Wide Web” (134). This quote implies how easily mutant supply chains can spread propaganda through the internet, essentially brainwashing uneducated people, to recruit followers. It is suggested by the author that mutant supply chains will not be stopped without shutting down the internet, but, that is the consequence we deal with in the flat world.

The flattening of the world has provided tools, such as the internet, which allow collaboration and global supply chains to exist. When a country becomes part of a major global supply chain they will avoid wars with countries part of the same chain because of the economic stability the global supply chain has to offer. A war breaking out will ultimately cause a supply chain to relocate countries because of profit losses. When countries adapt to the economy, they become comfortable with there good lives and simply do not find justification in a war for territory, that has a risk of losing everything. Countries must be very careful to not lose supply chain members because it can be very difficult to get them back, companies put a large amount of trust into them through their investments and don't want lose money. Essentially, the government has to gain permission from major supply chains prior to making political decisions. The flat world is beneficial for global supply chains collaborating and communicating with each other but, it comes with the consequence of mutant supply chains. Mutant supply chains involve countries that are not economically stable, they focus on creating terror rather than profit by taking advantage of collaboration and communication in the flat world. Overall, the flat world has allowed global supply chains to create drastic impacts on a countries economy through collaboration, although, it comes with a cost of giving the power of collaboration to mutant supply chains.

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