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StrategyGuide
StrategyGuide, Expert Research, Consultant, Coach
Category: General
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Experience:  Consulting since 1971 on human behavior, organization, and strategy issues. Enjoy helping people.
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challenges for management in a global environment.

Resolved Question:

Conduct an Internet search about the challenges for management in a global environment. Look for significant trends you see being discussed, summarize those trends.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  StrategyGuide replied 7 years ago.

DearCustomer

I have conducted a thorough search for you which I present below. I researched both management challenges of a global environment and management challenges of a global economy.

As a management consultant since 1971 I can answer your question from experience.

Moving from a national to a global environment there are many challenges:

  • The market for products becomes much much larger.
  • The competition for labor becomes more complex, particularly knowing if people from other cultures understand tasks in the same way and have comparable job qualifications and experience.
  • Staff, employee and contractor help in some countries costs much less so you can make a larger profit, but you have added difficulties of supervision at a distance, language problems, and training.
  • Global sources of financing and currency exchange rates complexify doing business across countries with different currencies. This, of course, makes accounting and cash management practices much more difficult. See resources below.
  • Shipping becomes more complex working globally, along with insurance and possible theft, and difficulty tracking items in shipment. See resource below.
  • Legal and tax issues become much more complex because of different laws and taxation policies in different locations and what laws and tax obligations apply where.
  • Environmental and labor regulations may differ significantly from place to place.
  • Marketing and public relations is much more complex with different languages needed, and a vast array of cultural differences.
  • Executive travel becomes much more necessary and can be demanding on time, physical stamina, and need to learn languages and customs around the world.

The search as you have described it offers more citations on environmental issues. Environmental issues in a global economy are discussed here:

http://www.battelle.org/Environment/publications/envupdates/Fall2003/article6.stm

Challenges to minority owned businesses in a global environment are discussed here:

http://www.kauffman.org/items.cfm?itemID=625

Linking global problems to solutions is discussed here, and it is reported that many consider it a luxury:

http://202.253.138.71/ENV/Files/Jerry_interlinkages.pdf

Information management and information management systems are a challenge in a global economy. This site addresses that challenge:

http://www.epa.gov/sciforum/2006/poster_abstracts/global_challenges/GC_Spencer.pdf

International diplomacy is also an issue. This citation discusses American diplomacy:

http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/documents/CWarren.html

I also searched for management challenges in a global economy, which I think may be what you mean also, and found these three books.

Knowledge and Business Process Management

By Vlatka Hlupic, 350 pages.

Managing in the Global Economy

By Harry Costin, 400 pages

Digital Bridges

By John Senyo C. Afele, 300 pages

Other sources found when searching management challenges in a global economy include the following:

This citation deals with The New Supply Chain Challenge: Risk Management in a Global Economy - www.fmglobal.com/pdfs/ChainSupply.pdf

The issue of moving products from country to country is dealt with in Global Movement Management: Securing the Global Economy - addressing particularly cooperation between the private sector and the public sector. See www_03.ibm.com/industries/government/doc/content/IBM_Global_Movement_Management_White_Paper.pdf

Overall management of a global economy is central:

See the Sample Chapter for R. Gilpin's The Challenge of Global Capitalism: The World Economy ... www.press.princeton.edu/chapters/i6778.html

Stanford University has a program on Global Management at its Graduate School of Business. See www.gsb.stanford.edu/gmp

The Conference Board has an internationally recognized capability of providing insights to worldwide business. See http://www.conference-board.org/

The President of RPI gave a speech on Challenges Facing the U.S. Economy. See www.rpi.edu/president/speeches/ps042106-aaas.html

Further financing challenges are discussed, including financing global housing, trading markets, and cash management at http://www.thebanker.com/.

Another useful site regarding international issues and global non-profits working to solve global problems is here:

http://www.uia.org/, the Union of International Associations, headed by Tony Judge. Judge also has a website www.laetusinpraesens.org/ that has hundreds of articles on global environment, economic, and systems issues.

Please Accept my answer which I hope is thorough and useful to you.

Best wishes,

Sherrie aka StrategyGuide

 

 

 



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks that was a very knowledgeable post. I am not sure if it directly answers my question. The question is what challenges does management face in a global environment.   I agree with workplace diversity and cultural barriers.
These were the main points I was going to focus on. Do you have any more suggestions?

Businesses face many challenges in a global environment. In
conducting a search I found five significant trends that I felt were of utmost importance:
-The increasing Number of Global Organizations.
-Building and maintaining a Competitive Advantage
-Ensuring Ethical Standards
-Managing a Diverse Workforce
-The Utilization of Information Technology and E-commerce
Expert:  StrategyGuide replied 7 years ago.

HiCustomer

Thank you for reflecting on my answer and writing back to me so that you might ultimately receive an Answer that is useful to you. I used to teach public administration and have a doctorate in business administration so have taught students from around the world.

This shows that terminology can mean many different things to different people. I read "global" to mean a company that is doing business around the world and environment to mean that world out there.

The trends you identify are important to managers in global organizations, which I gather you mean organizations where the employee mix includes many different cultures, and so you mean the internal environment and customers, not the big world out there! Let me respond to your question and the trends you mention further.

Building and maintaining a competitive advantage is important whether the employee mix is international or not. People from different cultures, however, may have different styles of selling, as an example, and people if different cultures might want to have something sold to them in particular ways.

Managing a diverse workforce includes both issues of international employees, from many nations, and issues of people of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as issues affecting gender, sexual preference, marital status, and various disabilities. Certain things may be insulting without a person's intending it. Behaviors which are illegal such as discrimination and sexual harrassment, might not be understood in the same way by people of different cultures.

Some of the diversity variables will be affected by practices in other countries and cultures. A Taiwanese student accepted in a doctoral program, in his culture, takes that to mean that the school has committed to seeing him through and to completing the degree. In America, however, the Taiwanese student being accepted only means that he can take classes and work on a doctoral degree, and can stay only if his academic performance continues to be acceptable. We had this exact situation some years back, where the Taiwanese student's possible "loss of face" in not performing well and possibly being kicked out made him nearly suicidal. The American school had no way of knowing until the crisis occurred that in his culture these things are understood quite differently.

Ensuring ethical standards can also be strongly influenced by international and cultural variables, and made much more challenging because of them. In some cultures getting the sale is the highest ethic, whether or not the customer is given full and honest information. In other cultures being fully disclosing and honest is more important than whether the sale is made. I am hesitant to try to categorize which cultures, as I do not want to be lumping all people of a particular country or religion or ethnic background into one category. This may be more a difference between people, though I think culture also makes a difference. A personal example would be that I often feel more pressured by salesmen of Middle Eastern background. I also had an experience with a Japanese car salesman who kept pushing really hard even though I had said I was just looking. I will not consider this brand of car again because he was so unpleasant and unyielding and did not take seriously what I said.

The increasing number of global or international organizations means that any executive and any manager needs to be more aware of the world as a whole, and the characteristics of people of different cultures with whom they work and with whom they do business. He or she must reflect on whether cultural variables are impacting a situation, and how people are understanding one another. People in Japan, as another example, hold information very close to their chests, and Americans who are more gregarious often do not know that they are giving their power advantage away in a negotiation when they talk too much.

Changes in information technology and e-commerce is another key variable and trend. Some countries are much more equipped with technology to use it. Other countries where you may want to do business have little access to computers at all. Some years ago I hosted a program at an international convention on the cultural variables in health promotion, communications, and marketing. Some developing countries pass information along by drum, information flyer on a tree, information kiosks in the villages, and get their information by word of mouth. Other countries have organizations that people trust that provide such information. Others have family planning clinics which may be used more by people of one culture and less so by people of another culture.

Another information and e-commerce variable will be computer languages, computer operating systems, and software differences. I once worked with the Navy helping seven different information technology departments learn to coordinate their computer systems languages, which at first were not compatible. This would certainly be much more complicated across cultures where different technology preferences and choices might be customary.

It is dangerous to make assumptions about cultures, and to ask people from America how do the French see this or that. It is better to ask several French people. People from French speaking Morocco might also respond quite differently or people from a French-speaking Carribean island.

Other variables you haven't mentioned are manners, mores, and religions. Showing the bottom of your foot is considered rude in some cultures. Touching someone with your left hand is considered dirty by others. How an organization deals with a foreign employee with a death in the family may require a different sensibility. Performance appraisal presents some real challenges since in some cultures they never say anything bad about another person.

Celebration of religious holidays is another factor. Today for example in Hindu cultures is the beginning of a spring festival of colors called Holi. Do you know that Hindus will throw water and colored paints at each other to celebrate Holi? This would be disruptive in a workplace unless it is understood within the Hindu cultural and religious context. I am not sure if in India Hindus are given the day off to celebrate Holi. If in America they are still expected to show up at work, there could be goofing off and grumbling, that the manager might not understand without information about Holi and their cultural and religious context and sense of holiday observance.

Overall the issue here is one of CONTEXT. To study the context, culture, religion, gender, and other variables that can have a large impact on how the person sees the world, understands what is being asked of them,and how they do their jobs. This applies also to written information. If you know the author to be an economist, they will have a different frame of reference than a human resources person will, so the issue of context doesn't just apply to international and global issues.

I hope this give you a good, useful, and satisfactory response to your question.

Please press Accept and leave positive feedback and a bonus if you are so inclined.

Regards,

Sherrie aka StrategyGuide

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Reply to StrategyGuide's Post: Hi Thanks you so much for your clarified answer. I realize the confusion with this question. This is where I was having difficulties as well. I appreciate all the work that you have done and would like to compensate you accordingly. I am more than willing to add a tip but I do not know what would be acceptable. I would hate to insult you by paying to little. What would you consider a fair price for the work you have done?
Expert:  StrategyGuide replied 7 years ago.

DearCustomer

Thank you so very much for your kind and appreciative response. I would be delighted if you would pay the fee you originally cited and a bonus of a size that makes sense to you. Good feedback is always appreciated, and coming back to me if you have other questions that I might be helpful with.

Press the Accept button and the system will give you instructions on leaving a bonus and leaving feedback. I appreciate your Accepting my question. Yes, it did take time, but I am happy to offer my expertise, especially where it is appreciated!

Come back again. Many thanks.

Regards,

Sherrie aka StrategyGuide

PS I used to live in DC and Arlington, VA. I did my doctorate in business administration at XXXXX XXXXX University.

Take care.

 

StrategyGuide, Expert Research, Consultant, Coach
Category: General
Satisfied Customers: 3
Experience: Consulting since 1971 on human behavior, organization, and strategy issues. Enjoy helping people.
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