The Digital Multinational

From Management on the Cutting Edge

The Digital Multinational

Navigating the New Normal in Global Business

By Satish Nambisan and Yadong Luo

Foreword by Conny Braams

How multinational companies can use digital technology to compete in a world where business is driven by the forces of both globalization and deglobalization.





How multinational companies can use digital technology to compete in a world where business is driven by the forces of both globalization and deglobalization.

Digital technology has put globalization on steroids; multinational companies now account for one-third of world GDP and one-fourth of world employment. And yet complicating this story of unchecked global capitalism are two contradictory forces. Even as advances in digital technology enable borderless markets, a new nationalism has emerged, reviving protectionism and railing against digital colonialism. In The Digital Multinational, management experts Satish Nambisan and Yadong Luo examine how companies can adopt a dual strategy to cope with this new normal: harnessing the power of digital technology while adapting to the geopolitical realities of particular markets.

Key to success, Nambisan and Luo explain, is the notion of tight and loose coupling to characterize the relationship of the digital multinational to its global partners and subsidiaries. Identifying the tightness-looseness requirements of global business connectivity leads to successful business strategy. Drawing on real-world examples that include Burberry's entrance into the Chinese market, Unilever's AI-powered global talent marketplace, and the Vocal for Local movement in India, they develop a typology of global business contexts; discuss digital strategies for entering new markets, establishing digital platforms, managing globally dispersed activities, and pursuing innovation; and explain how these strategies can be part of a business leader's toolkit. The Digital Multinational is an essential guide to competing in a business world driven by both globalization and deglobalization.


$29.95 T ISBN: 9780262046329 264 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 6 figures


Conny Braams.


  • “There is no doubt digital is changing our lives. And yet, just when we thought we'd seen it all, during the pandemic we saw an even faster pace of transformation across all walks of life. I highly recommend this insightful book to leaders across the globe as they navigate the new normal.”

    Harit Talwar

    Chairman of Consumer Business, Goldman Sachs

  • “In this thought-provoking book, Nambisan and Luo offer fresh conceptual and practical insights on how multinationals can manage the tensions that arise from globalization and deglobalization using digital strategies. You will come away with a clear understanding of the best options for your company to compete in the global arena. A superb book!”

    Vijay Govindarajan

    Coxe Distinguished Professor, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College; Executive Fellow, Harvard Business School; New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author

  • “There are digital thinkers and globalization thinkers, but the topics are rarely found together. Nambisan and Luo have united them in this great book, which will allow decision-makers to balance the two most critical business trends of our age.”

    Thomas H. Davenport

    Distinguished Professor, Babson College, and Fellow, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy; author of The AI Advantage and Competing on Analytics

  • “A very comprehensive and thoughtful book on how multinationals use digital technology to internally connect with their operations and activities as well as externally connect with their customers, markets, suppliers, and partners to between globalization and localization.”

    Jagdish N. Sheth

    Charles Kellstadt Professor of Business, Goizueta Business School, Emory University

  • The Digital Multinational provides an essential update to international business concepts and frameworks for our increasingly digital world. Combining powerful concepts and rich examples, this book is essential reading for all those involved with international business.”

    George S. Yip

    Emeritus Professor, Imperial College Business School; author of Total Global Strategy and China's Next Strategic Advantage

  • “The intersection of globalization and the digital world have created massive opportunities and unique obstacles. In The Digital Multinational, Nambisan and Luo explore the new normal and offer strategies and real-world examples to succeed as a global business. An important read!”

    Andrew Wilson

    Chief Digital Officer, Microsoft