International Business Environments: Learning Goals, Simulation Markets, And Teamwork

2180 words - 9 pages

Lara DuncanINB 300 McInnis-BowersMay 1, 2009Spring Final Exam1.0 Learning Goals1.1 Cross-Cultural BusinessI learned that it is extremely important to be culturally literate (and not at all ethnocentric), if a business wishes to expand internationally. According to Wild (2008), the definition of cultural literacy is "detailed knowledge about a culture that enables a person to function effectively within it." Knowing the culture of the target market helps when trying to open a new sales office there or looking for foreign investors. Also, knowing the nation's preferred components of culture, (like aesthetics, values, customs, religions, etc.), helps when designing products, brand names, and suitable advertisements. It is crucial to avoid any language blunders plus a company can increase demand if the culture is taken into account and their products are adapted accordingly.One of the cases used in class that illustrates cross-cultural business is the "Gillette Indonesia" case. Gillette had difficulties advertising because there were over 250 regional languages and dialects in Indonesia at the time of the case in 1996. Also the consumers were not as wealthy as their other average customers which affected prices and product distribution. In general, in Asian countries they don't shave as much because their ethnicity doesn't grow hair as quickly as others (Long, 1998). I didn't realize how all these cultural differences greatly influenced the important business decisions Gillette makes as a company.Another example of cross-cultural business is the "Henkel KGaA: Detergents Division" case. This case is an excellent representation because it even says, "laundry and home cleaning are very culturally grounded activities." One of Henkel's main problems was the north-south divide within Europe. The target market's culture affected the consumer preferences such as powder vs. liquid, performance vs. care, big boxes vs. compact, and even the color of the detergent. The cultural differences between the Italian and Spanish consumer markets caused great concern for Henkel, but as a cross-cultural business, they had to adapt (Arnold 2003).1.2 GlobalizationFurthermore, I also learned how significant globalization is and how we experience it every day through international transactions. As stated by Wild (2008), the definition of globalization is the "trend toward greater economic, cultural, political, and technological interdependence." I found out the different benefits and disadvantages to globalization, which I didn't even realize was controversial. Globalization can sometimes exploit workers in developing nations and lowers wages/eliminates jobs in developed nations. This results in a huge debate over income inequality. Some argue that globalization destroys cultural diversity and bankrupts local small businesses. On the other hand, however, the specialization that is a part of globalizing improves efficiency and imports cultural goods from other nations.The...

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