This book examines aspects of the operations of International Business (IB) with specific reference to the way in which, at various levels, business relationships are underpinned by contemporary political, economic, and social activities, and how all such relationships operate within a dynamic environment. At its most basic, IB is concerned with the pursuit of business in the international, as opposed to the domestic, environment. All business (both domestic and international) is about establishing and maintaining relationships – either with individual corporate customers (generally business-to-business activities) or with a mass market – generally in business-toconsumer markets. Businesses form relationships with their customers, their suppliers, and sometimes with their competitors: a good example of this last group is the ‘code sharing’ arrangements that many airlines have, in which they co-operate with other airlines (who would normally be their direct competitors) to enable the partners to increase their global customer base, without having to invest in more routes and/ or airport take-off/landing slots. In terms of international business in particular, relationships are viewed as a means of establishing an international presence, by exploiting the superior market knowledge or position of a partner already based in the target country market. Understanding the ways in which business relationships operate in the modern global economy is essential for the conduct of contemporary business.
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