Today’s Business Environment
Today’s business environment has many challenges and therefore to succeed, MNE managers need to look for ways to go through the challenges. It is based on this that Bartlett & Beamish state that to succeed in today’s business environment; MNE managers must “be able to (i) sense and interpret complex, dynamic, environmental changes, (ii) develop and integrate multiple strategic capabilities, and (iii) build and manage complicated yet subtle new organizations that can deliver coordinated actions on a world wide basis.” This essay is going to discuss this in view of the ideas presented in the articles, “Local Memoirs of a Global Manager” and; Tap Your Subsidiaries for Global Reach.”
In order for the multinational enterprises (MNE) managers to succeed in the running of their businesses, they must learn how to tap in the roots of diversity that exist in this world where global standardization is vital. They must have a global vision and strategy but at the same time not ignoring one’s roots and identity. Local insights should be nourished, at the same time employing communicable ideas from the new regions around the world. Managers should know that to succeed, they should work at instilling the local passion in their products. When people attach a sense of belonging to a product, they will develop a feeling of pride and ownership for the same. To succeed in the business world today, companies should focus their efforts in what gives them competitive advantage over others. They should concentrate in their core competencies, decentralizing units in the company to deal with particular customers and markets. They strive to be close to their customers so that they can get ideas that can help them improve their products and services. This article agrees with the statement that companies should strive to build on their strengths rather than trying to correct on their weak points. They should not impose their will on the market but rather respect it. Managers should know who they are and stop listening to other people’s opinion of them, if not sure, they should tap into their roots and stop trying to be everything to every one. It also shows us that success comes to those companies who benchmark themselves against the world’s best not the local competition. All that this suggests is that managers should learn to be receptive to the variations in the region in which they are operating, should tap into the opportunities that come with the changing demands for their products, resist complacency. In this way they will be able to grow their market.
Managers who are not sure of a certain business venture should not force themselves into it, they should not attempt to reinvent something but build on what they have. For managers to interpret complex, dynamic environmental changes, they should get involved with the local communities in which they are serving. This will help them not only tap in the wealth of the new culture, but also live fuller and richer lives. This should not be confused, that managing a global brand is exclusively a local affair, on the contrary. In this borderless economy, winners will be those companies that utilize the experience gotten from their geographical diversity (Das 1993)
From the article “Tap Your Subsidiaries for Global Reach”, we get the idea that if companies don’t decentralize or globalize and diversify their operations, they will face the consequences. This happened to EMI, a UK based company. Almost all the functional units were based in the UK, making it difficult for the company to capitalize on its large resource base and the strong global competitive position it had. This happened because the company lacked; ability to deduce changes in the needs of the market and the structure of the industry away from UK, the company did not have necessary resources in place to analyze data that could be used to develop strategic responses to challenges of competition worldwide, it did not have the managerial willingness, motivation and capability abroad to respond to the changing operating environments. This article also agrees that in trying to reach out to a wide market, local knowledge should not be ignored; subsidiaries should be actively involved in the goings on in the headquarters to realize success. By saying that for companies to realize stability in terms of operations and sustainability, they should capture the expertise, knowledge and the commitment of managers that are close to the market, this article is agreeing with Bartlett’s & Beamish’s statement above. And also that, the managers relationship should be build on interdependence rather than independence (Bartlett & Ghoshal 1986)
Through these two articles it is clear that international companies or those whose operations are globalised enjoy big advantages over national companies or those whose operations are centralized. All these are because globalized firms are exposed to wider and diverse environmental stimuli. MNE managers should therefore aim towards this direction for them to gain competitive advantages with others. But it is important to appreciate the contribution of national companies. They should therefore not be seen as pipelines but as important sources of information and expertise that can be used in building a competitive advantage. The best way therefore to exploit this important resource is not by centralizing and controlling operations, but through shared efforts and co-option of dispersed capabilities.
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