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.
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Sherrie aka StrategyGuide