DISCUSSION One well-known book of the past few decades is The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century written by Thomas Friedman. In this book the author contends that, in terms of commerce, the world has become a level playing field with all participants having an equal opportunity to succeed. Soon after the publication of this book and Friedman’s point of view, additional scholars joined the discussion arguing both for and against the flat world analogy. Regardless of the point of view, these scholars are debating an issue worthy of attention—how the realities of a particular time period affect the way business is both viewed and conducted. To prepare for this discussion, review these articles and consider whether you believe the world is flat, spiked, clustered or something else entirely. With these thoughts in mind, post your 1,000 word response to the following to the Discussion: What do you consider to be the key characteristics of the global context that need to be evaluated or tracked and why? In your response, please include the notion of the world being flat, spiked or clustered. How does global context influence the type of global knowledge and competencies needed for successful global leadership? In working out your responses to the Discussion Question, you should choose examples from your own experience and/or the readings from the articles, or find appropriate cases on the Web that you can discuss. Credit will be given for references you make to relevant examples from real companies. Please make sure that you cite and reference all your outside sources properly, in accordance with the Harvard referencing system.