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Management Skills in a Global Environment

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In this chapter from Teach Yourself Management Skills in 24 Hours, the author explains how to manage your business in a global economy, including issues of management impact, cultural blunders, and learning in a global environment.
This chapter is from the book

Chapter Summary

In this hour you will learn about ...

  • Working in a global economy.
  • Dimensions of culture.
  • Differences among cultures.
  • Multicultural workforces.
  • Roles of expatriate managers.
  • Learning in a global environment.

Today's environment for organizations is the world. No longer can American businesses think only in terms of what happens within the confines of the American borders. The world in which you operate is a global economy where countries are interconnected.

American companies are not as globally competitive as they once were. The competition from around the world has increased and the rules of the game have changed. The importance of tapping into profits overseas has, however, become even more critical to the success of firms. Increasing numbers of firms are expanding beyond do-mestic markets. Some companies have even been pushed into the global arena for their very survival.

The world today has been called "borderless" and "boundaryless." National boundaries are no longer important when conducting business. It is no longer easy to tell what products are made in the United States.

It is hard to determine the country where goods are manufactured with Hondas manufactured in the United States and Chevrolets manufactured in South America. Even those companies with American sounding names are foreign owned. Falling trade barriers and the creation of trade alliances make it easier to move goods across borders now.

Even consumer tastes are converging. More people across the globe want to eat the same fast food, drink the same soda, drive the same cars, and wear the same jeans.

The rise in global product standards also reflects this interconnectedness. Global quality standards (such as ISO 9000 set by the Geneva-based International Standards Organization) continue to be created to assist in the smooth operation of international business.


When Mexico, Canada, and the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (known as NAFTA), a $6 trillion consumer market was united.

International trade has increased as the cost of transporting goods across borders has decreased. Improvements in communication have improved chances to trade globally. Trade barriers and restrictions have been reduced across the globe. And developing countries have sought partnerships and opportunities with companies from more developed nations.

Competing in the international arena has really become more of a necessity for most organizations. The stakes are now higher with international business comprising approximately one third of the profits in American corporations. The real growth potential for companies going forward is represented in the global arena. Some business writers have suggested that the choice for companies today is to "globalize or perish."

Technological advances have played a major role in shaping this global village. Events that occur today really are "heard around the world." And today they are heard almost instantaneously thanks to electronic communication.

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