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Issues To Consider When Developing An International Project

1151 words - 5 pages

Over the past five decades, in order to take advantage of potential profits, companies have expanded abroad. Trading on an international scale provides these companies with a number of challenges relating to the complexities of different international markets. These differences can be very distinctive but it's sometimes smaller distinctions that can catch managers off guard. Managers must take into consideration such differing factors as the language, social/cultural, political, legal, economic, technological and many more that exist between the home and foreign countries. I have chosen four of these topics to discuss, giving examples of real world examples to illustrate my points.Language barriers also come in to play when considering expanding into foreign markets. As well as the spoken or verbal forms of communication there are also the non verbal differences that sometimes may be disregarded. Non verbal forms of communication include gestures, body language and semiotics, which refer to the underlying meaning of signs. There are also issues when it comes to directly translating languages. When Good Housekeeping magazine was introduced into the Japanese market there were problems with the translation of important words proved to be a problem. The direct translation to domestic duties, kaji is also used in reference to servant's duties. To overcome this problem the word, Good was printed so it was much larger than the word, Housekeeping on the front cover. Another example of how differences in language can adversely affect a product's viability in a foreign market is the situation face by Colgate in Spanish speaking countries. The direct translation of Colgate is a phase that translates to "go hang yourself". Although humorous this is a case in point of how language should be considered before entering overseas markets.Culture would have to be one of the most obvious distinctions across borders. Hofstede (1988) defines culture as "the collective programming of the mind". Managers can sub-group this cultural difference into attitudes, beliefs and values, aesthetics and dietary preferences. Attitudes differ from country to country and this affects the way consumers in foreign countries react to certain scenarios. When one clusters a number of related beliefs together we create attitudes. Milton Rokeach (1968) defines a value as "an enduring belief or feeling that a specific mode of conduct is personally or socially preferable to another mode of conduct". Aesthetics refers to the differing tastes that exist between countries. What the citizens of one country consider beauty can differ significantly and those in another. Tastes can also differ in relation to dietary preferences. To illustrate how cultural differences can affect an international country I will use the example of McDonalds expansion into India. Hinduism remains the predominant religion in India and the consumption of beef is condoned. As a result McDonalds adapted its menu to include...

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