Opportunity and Threat in World MarketsGlobalisation versus nationalism – the big question
Globalisation is emerging as the most powerful force influencing business decisions in the 21st century. It can affect every aspect of the activities of an organisation from fundamental research through product creation to post-sale customer support. The opening of markets and the rapid diffusion of information, knowledge and experience are leading us to change our view of markets and also our strategies and approaches to business development.
Every organisation is affected to some extent by the impact of globalisation on any aspect of its activity.This is due not only to the natural processes of change in supply and demand but also to advances in science and technology; new legal and regulatory requirements; greater flexibility in organisational design; and, not least, international social, cultural and political relations. We now understand and accept that globalisation is about much more than marketing or purchasing in multiple countries.
However, globalisation presents problems as well as benefits. Currently the world is deeply concerned about the potential impact of uneven development between the mature economies and the newly industrialising countries. Furthermore, the highly controversial conduct of “trade wars” is more widespread – involving increasingly aggressive use of tariffs and quotas in international trade. Therefore, if companies are to take advantage of the new opportunities offered by globalisation, they also need to have defensive elements in their strategies to cope with the emerging threats posed by protectionist forces.
In consequence, all managers have to be aware of the potential influence of globalisation on every decision and every action. This has led us at The Anderson Executive Development Centre to introduce our new top-level seminar and workshop entitled “The Challenge of Globalisation – Opportunity and Threat in World Markets”. The programme is designed to offer an unrivalled opportunity for top-level executives to (a) discuss and develop their understanding of this subject with other senior managers from a wide variety of organisations, and (b) exchange ideas and develop strategic and operational plans under the guidance of a highly qualified and experienced seminar leader.
What is influencing the process of global business development?
Globalisation is not a recent phenomenon. It first started to see serious detailed analysis in the mid-1970s. The initial focus was on the gradual opening of markets and liberalisation of trade legislation, and therefore it is no surprise that the early analytical frameworks were for the most part adapted from marketing and organisational development.
Gradually the predominance of the marketing/sales perspective began to decline, in relative terms, from the early-1990s. Issues of sourcing, operational location, corporate structure and finance started to emerge as equally significant characteristics of global business. This broader perspective was developed in response to the decreasing influence of distance that is a consequence of readily available low-cost information technology and the consequent acceleration of the growth of internationally collaborative business relationships. The catalyst of this change has been the impact of supply chain management on commercial relationships, resulting in increasingly interactive and complex international logistics systems.
The move towards a more holistic perspective on business development has shifted the emphasis away from production and supply of physical inputs of components, intermediates and sub-assemblies to a focus on their integration into finished offerings and the way in which suppliers interact with customers to enhance mutual value. Now other input resources such as finance, knowledge, information, are managed in a global context. This has been influenced to a very great extent by the growth of integrated information and operational management systems and the consequent reduction in the cost of knowledge acquisition and inter-enterprise communication.
All these factors have had a growing influence on organisational design and on business relationships between and within competing and collaborating players in a way that did not exist until the recent past. This has made geographic boundaries less relevant in a business context, and therefore many modern organisations can be described as “homeless corporations”. It also accounts for the rapid growth of alliances and joint ventures.
These major developments make a powerful impact on every aspect of business – strategy, structure, organisation, culture.
What is the strategic relevance of globalisation?
Given the above analysis our view of globalisation prompts us to take a different perspective on the nature of inter-enterprise competition for finite resources. We are growing to accept that access to such resources is becoming gradually more international in our quest to deliver what customers want to buy, and this offers an ever-widening range of choice. From a strategic perspective globalisation is best viewed as a transformational business process within which the supply chain concept and the integration of internal and external operational and managerial systems are gradually becoming central in our capability to achieve profitable growth.
Globalisation is above all aimed at acquiring a new set of competencies that enable a company to utilise resources on an optimal basis, without regard for geography, to meet differentiated customer demand profitably and cost-competitively. Put more simply, globalisation is about getting an organisation into a position of doing business in any market that it chooses, and doing business is not only about marketing and selling or sourcing and procurement. Looking at globalisation as a process of acquiring and renewing competencies helps us understand how and why new forms of organisation are emerging to enable young companies to challenge and defeat established high-profile competitors. We need to keep in mind that globalisation is not restricted to large companies – many large companies are not global; some medium-sized companies are.
The major issues and the Anderson response
The major issues in executive decisions affecting business development in this rapidly changing environment can be summarised as follows.
- Dealing with the opportunities of globalisation and the threats of nationalism.
- Coping with geographical and cultural distance.
- Balancing and locating centralised and devolved elements of operations.
- Coordinating and controlling a distributed organisational structure.
- Managing the transition from national to global operations.
The new programme “The Challenge of Globalisation” is offered by the Anderson Executive Development Centre in several international business locations. It is designed to enable senior managers to understand the direction of change and the emerging complexities of 21st century business. Attending “The Challenge of Globalisation” will enable each delegate to benefit from the opportunities that are now available whilst avoiding the problems that arise in the rapidly changing international business climate.
The priorities for the new Anderson programme
In addressing the major issues identified above, “The Challenge of Globalisation” will enable managers to anticipate and plan for the impact of globalisation from a position of detailed understanding of leading-edge approaches to 21st century business development. The focus is on practical problems illustrated by examples of case experience and effective management practices. Above all, the learning process will be enhanced by study and discussion of real-life projects in which the programme leader has been personally involved.
By completing “The Challenge of Globalisation” participants will be able to address the following key issues in business development with greater confidence.
- Developing effective teams for the changing reality
- Assessing and controlling risk in international development
- Leading the processes of multi-level innovation
- Designing and managing agile organisational structures
- Sustaining profitable growth in rapidly changing markets
Your invitation to this Anderson event
This new programme is offered by Anderson Executive Development Centre in several of our international locations. It is designed for senior experienced managers who need to develop an international perspective on business development. The course does not require a specialist knowledge of economics, but delegates need to have a lively interest in current business and social affairs to get the most from the course.
This article was written by Anderson Subject Expert and Programme Leader, Dr Daniel Park, MA PhD DBA, a specialist in international economics and global business. Dr Park is a Senior Consultant in the company and he has worked in 64 countries worldwide during his long career in global business strategy and strategic management.
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