Homework Writing Help on International Management

International Management

Assessment 1 – Portfolio questions:

  1. Discuss collectivism as it applies to the Japanese workplace. What managerial functions are affected?

            The principle of wa is crucial in helping to explain much of the Japanese culture, as well as the basic foundation for working relationships in this country. This Japanese term (wa), when translated, means harmony and peace. The principle of wa that is deeply entrenched in the value systems associated with indulgent love (amae) most likely trace its roots in the Shinto religion. Oyserman, Coon, and Kemmelmeier intimate that one of the key aspects of collectivism is that it assumes individuals are mutually obligated and bound by groups.[1] Collectivist cultures emphasize more on group values in place of personal goals.[2] Members belong to far fewer groups in comparison with persons from individualistic cultures.[3] Compliance and obedience with the pressures of the in-group is crucial[4].  In the workplace, the principle of wa as it applies to collectivism culture stresses on consensus decision making and problem solving, as well as participative management.[5]  

2. Discuss the role of Islam in cross-cultural relations and business operations.

            For any business manager who is operating in a culture where Islam is predominant, it is important to pay attention to the principles and practices of the Islam faith as they will impact on business. The manager should respect and acknowledge Muslim practices by setting aside an area within the business premises where its Muslim faithful can go and pray. They should also exempt the Muslims from work during prayer time. The business entity has to fit in its daily appointments, meetings, and routines around these prayer times.[6] During the holy month of Ramadhan, it is always very tricky to do business in a Muslim dominated environment. General activities during business hours reduce.  The two major festivals of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr that follow the annual pilgrimage, need to be noted by an organisations operating in a Muslim dominated society. Managers can also opt to offer employees flexible holidays to accommodate the various religious holidays. The dietary preferences of Muslims should also be  considered during business dinners. [7]

  • Do you notice cultural differences among your classmates? How do those differences affect the class environment? Your group projects?

            Cultural differences are very evident among my classmates who are from different nationalities. The social, cultural and linguistic nature of the home environment impacts on student’s performance, and this has been evident among my classmates as well. For example, among classmates to whom English is a foreign language, I have noticed that they have a low self-esteem expressing themselves during class discussions because their vocabulary development is deficient.

Week 4

Assessment 1 – Portfolio questions:

  1. Explain the differences between monochronic and polychronic time systems. Use some examples to illustrate their differences and the role of time in inter-cultural communication.

            In monochronic time systems, focus is on a single thing at a time. Monochronic time systems is characterised by careful scheduling and planning. The system is popular in Western nations and is normally practice in such disciplines as time management. Monochromatic people are identified by their low context nature.[8] Polychronic cultures attach more value to human interactions than material things. Polychronic cultures are common among Native Americans and the Aboriginals.  Polychronic individuals are also high context individuals.

2. Explain the differences between high- and low-context cultures, giving some examples. What are the differential effects on the communication process?

            High-context cultures (for example, much of Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa), tend to be collectivist, contemplative, relational, and intuitive. N others words, high-context cultures stress on interpersonal relationships. Developing trust prior to any business transaction is thus crucial.[9] These cultures are largely collectivist, and hence prefer consensus and group harmony in place of individual achievement. Also, reason, and not feelings and intuition, govern people in high-context cultures.  On the other hand, low-context cultures (for example, in much of Western Europe and North America), tend to be linear, individualistic, linear, and action-oriented. Individuals in low-context cultures attach a lot of value to facts, directness, and logic.[10]  Communicators in high-context cultures are expected to be concise, efficient, and straightforward in describing the expected action.

3. How does culture affect the process of attribution in communication? Can you relate this to some experiences you have had with your classmates?

            Differences in culture induce extra noise into the communication process. Usually, the message from the sender contains the meaning that the encoder intended. However, upon its reception by the receiver, the receiver’s culture impacts on its transformation. One time, I was communicating with a fellow student to whom English is a second language.[11]

Week5

Assessment 1 – Portfolio questions:

  1. Discuss the various styles and tactics that can be involved in exchanging task-related information.

            During this stage of the negotiation process, each side provides a presentation and state its position. From the context of a high level culture such as the United States, this represents an objective, understandable, straightforward, and efficient stage.[12]   The Chinese have a tendency to ask a lot of questions about their counter-parts.[13] They also delve repeatedly and specifically into the issue at hand. Chinese presentations mainly consist of ambiguous and vague material. Based on the above, it is important for negotiators to demonstrate an understanding of the viewpoints held by opponents. 

  • Explain how objective versus subjective perspectives influence the decision-making process. What role do you think this variable has played in all of the negotiations and decisions between Iraq and the United Nations?

            Western nations assume a very rational approach when it comes to making decisions. In this case, they mainly emphasise on the role of information. On the other hand, Lain Americans tend to be emotional and subjective. Objective versus subjective perspectives are largely concerned with the level to which emotion versus information act as key variables with respect to the decision making process. As a Middle Eastern nation, Iraq deals with negotiations using expressive-oriented styles. Thus, Iraq handles negotiations implicitly and indirectly. Also, a definite delineation of the situation is lacking from the individual handling it.[14] Accordingly, negotiators endeavour to desist from confrontation. In case emotional appeal does not reach to an agreement, they resort to avoidance and invasion. Such a move has obviously frustrated the U.N which subscribes to an instrumental-oriented and low-context style in which decisions are based on logical and factual analysis.

  • Describe what you would expect in negotiations with Chinese and how you would handle that situation.

            In negotiating with the Chinese, expect more focus to be paid on building of relationships. The Chinese emphasise on personal connection (guanxi), a principle that hinges on feeling, respect, trust, and mutual understanding. To build and maintaining relationships in China, it is important to guard your reputation. This is done by maintaining the respect of your business network. However, the exchange of information is usually indirect, authority is limited, and explanations come first. Also, the preliminary approach or discussions tend to be formal and intermediaries.[15] The Chinese also focus on maintaining and nurturing long-term relationships, while saving face is also a key aspect of the negotiation process.  In the Chinese culture, the face symbolises one’s social network as your personal image affects your social standing in terms of your morality and integrity. .

Week 6

Assessment 1 – Portfolio questions:

  1. Give examples of the impact of the Internet on small business.

      The internet has had a huge impact on such social variables as the economy, association, and education. The use of the internet has also been impacted by culture. Culture impacts on the right of individuals to control personal information, especially in European countries where they treat privacy mater different from the case in America.[16] However, the impact of internet on business depends on the culture in question, and the country.  The internet has compelled countries to alter the presentation and type of internet content to suit their unique culture, including translating internet pages from the English language to local ones.

  • How can managers assess the potential relative competitive position of their firm in order to decide on new strategic directions?

            If at all an organisation is to attain maximum profitability, the manager must endeavour to locate a strategy for attaining meaningful competitive advantage, relative to its rivals. For a firm to gain a competitive advantage, it needs to have an unrivalled command of valuable resources. Competitive advantage is associated with relative competitive strength. This is the net value of the weaknesses and strengths of a firm relative to the competitors. Accordingly, there is need for the manager of an organisation to conduct a SWOT analysis of the firms in order to help reveal these strength and weaknesses. In addition, the SWOT analysis will also shed light on the possible threats to the firms, as well as opportunities for growth.[17] The use of KSF (key success factors) to ranks competitors will also enable the manager to develop strategies on how to remain ahead of competition. Other methods include portfolio models and VRIO.

  • Explain the process of environmental assessment. What are the major international variables to consider in the scanning process?

            Environmental assessment involves gathering of information assessing and forecasting information about events and variables that could jeopardise opportunities or threats to the organisation. The major important variables to consider here are: political instability: political unrest, terrorism, and war are an uncontrollable and volatile risk to MNCs and could jeopardise the opportunities and threats to the organisation currency instability: Fluctuations and inflation in currencies exchange rates could significantly impact on a firm’s profitability in its overseas operations.[18] During environmental operations assessment, undertaking a global competitor analysis is crucial. It involves evaluating the relevant structures in the industry as they impact on the competitive arena in the region or country under consideration nationalism: it involves the goals of the home government for economic improvement and independence.[19] It mainly entails foreign firms. Imposing of restrictive policies such as equity requirements, important controls, and local content requirements of the home government could also impact on environmental assessment.

Week 7

Assessment 1 – Portfolio questions:

  1. Discuss the problems inherent in developing a cooperative alliance in order to enhance competitive advantage while incurring the risk of developing a new competitor.

      In alliance relationships, transfer of technology is inevitable. Partners of an alliance partner could act as a source of knowledge on a novel technology. Thereafter, the alliance partner does not require its partners so as to do business. In this case, the partner who is first to completely learn about the business practices or technology of the other partner renders the venture obsolete. To minimise this risk, firms at times tend to “rope-off” specific areas of their partnership. Cooperating with a partner in a strategic alliance can at times be a key difficult concept to achieve. Often, this could call for specific actions to desist from strengthening the competitor.[20]

  • Explain what is necessary for companies to successfully implement a global sourcing strategy.

      Globalisation has forced many companies with international operations to shift their sourcing strategies. Customers across the globe tend to be quite demanding. They also expect that organisation will meet their demands fast. Consequently, international operating organisations are compelled to implement strategies that will ensure that quick customer responses can be made, and that support flexibility. Before a company can successfully implement a global strategy, there is need to first determine the level to which the company intends to expand its market. Moreover, the level of process innovation and production innovation “plays a significant role in implementing a global sourcing strategy”.[21]

  • Explain how the host government may affect strategic implementation—in an alliance or another form of entry strategy.

            The government may affect strategic implementation in an alliance by setting laws and regulations that slow down the process. For example, the presence of lax enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) might lead to problems, which might affect the country investing. Such regulations would affect the implementation process of MNCs. On the other hand, the government can play a close role in ensuring the effective implementation of an entry strategy.  For instance, the host government can enable the MNC Company to have access to the market especially where the regulations favour domestic companies. International firms are influenced by taxation policy in the host country, patent and copyright protection, hiring and remuneration practices, labour union rules and restrictions on profit repatriation, and government policies on foreign and unpredictable changes in regulation.[22]

Week 8

Assessment 1 – Portfolio questions:

  1. What variables have to be considered in designing the organizational structure for international operations? How do these variables interact, and which do you think are most important?

            Organisational structure is vital in the development of decision making and lines of authority. It also describes the location of various functional groups within the organisation. While designing the organisational structure of international organisations, the following should be considered:

Decision-making authority: consider the level to which managers in foreign markets are involved in decision making. Decisions could be developed centrally, in organisational branches, or locally. Whichever way, there is need to ensure they are custom made to suit the consumer culture and workplace of the market.

Departmental units: functional structuring of work units ensures that specific activities are fully executed in a single area.

Layers of management: identify the number of layers of executive management needed to enable every region benefit from responsive and effective leadership. It is however hard to define reporting in relationships involving multiple executives. Nonetheless, both larger and smaller international organisations should remain competitive in their respective markets. 

Operational considerations: in international business, these tend to be geographically dispersed. As such, structuring every unit based on specific regional culture and function is essential.

  • Discuss the implications of the relative centralization of authority and decision making at headquarters versus local units or subsidiaries. How would you feel about this variable if you were a subsidiary manager?

      In a multinational enterprise (MNE), while the corporate management is better off handling certain decisions, such a move could result in morale issues among local managers as they would see it as being deprived of their responsibility. Also, denying local managers the chance to partake in the development of global strategies means that they could be deficient in the positive attitude needs to work hard in the execution of global strategic decisions.

  • Explain the need for an MNC to “be global and act local.” How can a firm design its organization to enable this?

      Bragazzi has described glocalization as thinking locally with a view to achieving global success.[23] MNCs resort to localization of their operations after attempts to succeed in specific market fail. Such a need is informed by inability to adapt and cultural differences. Other reasons that could trigger such a need include instilling customers’ trust, and market specialisation.  A firm that acts locally is also viewed as being sensitive to the culture of the area by the local government, and this could act in its favour[24]. In 2005, when Disneyland first entered the Hong Kong market, it adopted a global stance. After enduring controversial issues due to the inability to attract local customers, the company had to redesign its strategies and policies to its the local culture.[25] 

Bibliography

Belal Uddin Mohammed  and Bilkis Akhter. Strategic Alliance and Competitiveness: Theoretical Framework. International Refereed Research Journal, 11 (2011): 43.

Boonstra, R. Global sourcing in international operating companies. http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=120853

Bragazzi, Nicola. “Defense Resources Management In The 21st Century” Conference: The 7 th International Scientific Conference  Defense Resources management in the 21st Century 2012.

David Barbozaand Brooks Barnes. “Disney Plans Lavish Park in Shangha. (The New York Times, 2011)

Dunlop, Kevin W and Elizabeth J. Weiner. Predicting Relative Competitive Position of an Organization. Auburn University Montgomery, 2010.

Cavusgil, S Tamer and Gary Knight. International Business: The New Realities New York: SAGE, 2013

HR.com 2002. Polychronic time and Monochronic time: Factors for Virtual Team success”.  http://www.hr.com/en/communities/human_resources_management/polychronic-time-and-monochronic-time-factors-for-_eacy2x03.html .

Kersten, Gregory E. and Sunil Noronha. “The Goodness of Decision Making: In Search of the Universal Measure” http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.84.5778&rep=rep1&type=pdf.

Lorange, Peter, and Johan Roos. Strategic Alliances: Formation, Implementation, and Evolution. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Business, 1993.

Matusitz, Jonathan. Social Network Theory: A Comparative Analysis of the Jewish Revolt in Antiquity and the Cyber Terrorism Incident over Kosovo. Information Security Journal A Global Perspective 20 (2011): 34-44

Nishimura1,  S, Anne Nevg and Seppo Tella. “Communication Style and Cultural Features in High/Low Context Communication Cultures: A Case Study of Finland, Japan and India” http://www.helsinki.fi/~tella/nishimuranevgitella299.pdf.

Olekalns, Mara and Wendi L. Adair Handbook of Research on Negotiation. (Edward Elgar Pub Northampton, – 2013)

Onken n.d. “Business in Japan. “ http://www.onken.com/classroom/internationalmanagement/Japan/GeneralConcepts.html (accessed May 21, 2015).

Oyserman  D, Coon, H, Kemmelmeier. M. rethinking individualism and collectivism: evaluation of theoretical assumptions and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin , (2002): 128 3-72.

Sebenius, James K. and  Cheng (Jason) Qian. Cultural Notes on Chinese Negotiating Behavior. Harvard Business School, (2008): 1-10

Triandis, H. C. Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, Westview Press, 1995.

Wilson, R. Business Ethics: Western and Islamic Perspectives. In Ahmad, K., Sadeq, Abulhasan M. (Ed.) Ethics in Business and Management. London, Asean Academic Press, 2001

Wilson, R. (2002) Parallels between Islamic and Ethical Banking. Review of Islamic Economics, (2002): 51-62.


[1]              D, Oyserman, Coon, H, Kemmelmeier. M. rethinking individualism and collectivism: evaluation of theoretical assumptions and meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin , 128 3-72

[2]              H. C. Triandis. Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, Westview Press, 1995.

[3]              Ibid

[4]              Ibid

[5]              Onken n.d. “Business in Japan. “ http://www.onken.com/classroom/internationalmanagement/Japan/GeneralConcepts.html (accessed May 21, 2015).

[6]              Wilson, R. Business Ethics: Western and Islamic Perspectives. In Ahmad, K., Sadeq, Abulhasan M. (Ed.) Ethics in Business and Management. London, (Asean Academic Press, 2001).

[7]              Wilson, R. (2002) Parallels between Islamic and Ethical Banking. Review of Islamic Economics, (2002): 52.

[8]        HR.com 2002. Polychronic time and Monochronic time: Factors for Virtual Team success”.  http://www.hr.com/en/communities/human_resources_management/polychronic-time-and-monochronic-time-factors-for-_eacy2x03.html (Accessed 08 May 2015).

[9]              Nishimura1,  S, Anne Nevg and Seppo Tella. “Communication Style and Cultural Features in High/Low Context Communication Cultures: A Case Study of Finland, Japan and India” http://www.helsinki.fi/~tella/nishimuranevgitella299.pdf (Accessed 08 May 2015).

[10]            Nishimura1,  S, Anne Nevg and Seppo Tella. “Communication Style and Cultural Features in High/Low Context Communication Cultures: A Case Study of Finland, Japan and India” http://www.helsinki.fi/~tella/nishimuranevgitella299.pdf (Accessed 08 May 2015).

[11]      Gaal, Mary Ann. Cross-cultural Comparison of Nonverbal Communication, Culture, and the Attribution of Charismatic Leadership Among Hungarian and American University Students. ProQuest, 2007

[12]            Olekalns, Mara and Wendi L. Adair Handbook of Research on Negotiation. Edward Elgar Pub Northampton, – 2013.

[13]            Kersten, Gregory E. and Sunil Noronha. “The Goodness of Decision Making: In Search of the Universal Measure” http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.84.5778&rep=rep1&type=pdf (Accessed 08 May 2015.

[14]            Kersten, Gregory E. and Sunil Noronha. “The Goodness of Decision Making: In Search of the Universal Measure” http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.84.5778&rep=rep1&type=pdf (Accessed 08 May 2015

[15]            Sebenius, James K. and  Cheng (Jason) Qian. Cultural Notes on Chinese Negotiating Behavior. Harvard Business School, (2008): 3.

[16]

[17]            Dunlop, Kevin W and Elizabeth J. Weiner. Predicting Relative Competitive Position of an Organization. Auburn University Montgomery, 2010.

[18]         Cavusgil, S Tamer and Gary Knight. International Business: The New Realities (New York: SAGE, 2013).

[19]            Cavusgil, S Tamer and Gary Knight. International Business: The New Realities (New York: SAGE, 2013).

[20]            Belal Uddin Mohammed  and Bilkis Akhter. Strategic Alliance and Competitiveness: Theoretical Framework. International Refereed Research Journal, 11 (2011): 43.

[21]            Boonstra, R. Global sourcing in international operating companies. http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=120853 (Accessed 8 May 2015).

[22]            Lorange, Peter, and Johan Roos. Strategic Alliances: Formation, Implementation, and Evolution. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Business, 1993

[23]      Bragazzi, Nicola. “Defense Resources Management In The 21st Century” Conference: The 7 th International Scientific Conference  Defense Resources management in the 21st Century 2012

[24]      Matusitz, Jonathan. Social Network Theory: A Comparative Analysis of the Jewish Revolt in Antiquity and the Cyber Terrorism Incident over Kosovo. Information Security Journal A Global Perspective 20 (2011): 34-44.

[25]      Barboza, David and Brooks Barnes. “Disney Plans Lavish Park in Shangha. (The New York Times, 2011)