One of the most interesting courses I took in the preceding quarter was an economics based class concentrating on the effects, both negative and positive, of globalization. The outlooks on globalization were formed on the premise that, as a system, globalization is powerful and inevitable. As technology, communication and international trade continue to expand so to will global markets and it is becoming less and less of a possibility for nations to remain uninvolved in these global markets. It is with this acknowledgment that a balance must be struck between how systems of international trade and business interact with other nations, and how the system can strive to benefit the most nations and people possible, not just those that are most powerful.
It is with the background in the course that I found our class discussion on global business strategies so fascinating. In the previous course we concentrated much more heavily on the negative impacts of globalization for less developed nations, and I realized I had studied a lot less the positive impacts it can have on businesses, particularly when they are implemented in a knowledgeable, culturally conscious way. We examined many of the reasons a business would be driven to globalize, including to reduce costs, improve their supply chain, provide higher quality goods and services, understand markets, improve operations, and attract global talent. While these are all excellent reasons for an industry to expand towards a more international outlook, I think there are specific ways that these developments can be done in the most culturally sensitive, beneficial way possible, which were also touched on in our class discussion.
In a recent New York Times article, there is an interview conducted with the author of “All Business is Local: Why Place Matters More Than Ever in a Global, Virtual World.”http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/how-global-companies-take-aim-at-china/ He concentrates, specifically, on how global markets have directed business ventures towards trade and expansion within China. In one segment of his interview, he argues that are huge benefits to expanding industries being knowledgeable about how to localize their products depending on where they are being implemented. “What we argue is that all great global brands are also great local brands. McDonald’s, for example, adapts its menus and store designs, appoints local business people as franchisees, relies on local raw ingredients and talent, gives to local community organizations. In a large market like China, the upside profit potential of getting the formula right locally is very attractive relative to the extra costs of adaptation.”
For a company to be successful and powerful in a global market, they need to be strategic and aware of where exactly they are trying to incorporate their product. Cultural awareness and tact are becoming increasingly more important, whether it be through communication strategies or foreign consumer advertising, it is always beneficial to be knowledgeable of the cultures you wish to open trade with. Do you agree that cultural influences are not only ethically important but also important from a business standpoint? If not, what should take precedence when concentrating on implementing a business into a global market?