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Global Business Managment Essay

5741 words - 23 pages

Journal of Applied Business and Economics

Global Business Management:
Current Trends and Practices
Michael Wisma
Saint Joseph College of Indiana

Today, problems associated with global business management have been identified as factors
that negatively impact the performance and productivity of multinational corporations and in
turn, adversely affect regional and national economic growth. While factors related to logistics
and distribution are important when selecting international suppliers, they are inadequate when
considered in isolation of internal and external forces. This paper engages in a comprehensive
and systematic analysis of global supply chain management, ...view middle of the document...

Businesses identify viable
suppliers, hospitable host countries, lucrative markets, and amenable vendor partners worldwide. Then they set about drawing up agreements and operationalizing the new vendor
relationships. Then the realities of operating a global business hit home and businesses scramble
to understand what went wrong.
I believe that part of what went wrong is that businesses missed the big picture. They become
so focused on the bottom line – keeping costs down and rushing products to the consumer – that
they fail to consider other factors that may directly impact their operations. Risk management

strategies must include plans for dealing with an array of new threats and concerns - terrorism;
cyber crime; piracy; potential political and economic instability around the globe; ethnic,
religious and cultural differences; compatibility and interoperability of technological systems;
global communications and transportation. Added to this list are concerns about financial
viability, sustainability, compliance with national and international laws, and information
security. A contextual model is presented below. And because it forms the foundation of human
civilization, communication and trade, I begin this discussion with the issue of culture.
Factors relating to logistics and distribution are often the only critical factors considered when
multinational enterprises seek to establish or broaden international supply chains. Far less
considered are contextual factors that may help organizations better understand potential vendors
and better select vendor partners, thereby mitigating potential vendor-related problems. Figure 1
presents a contextual model of the major factors I believe are critical to successful supply chain
and risk management. These are culture (external and internal), corporate governance, politics
and law, and technology. While logistical and distribution concerns as well as issues of
infrastructure and presence tend to drive many international business decisions, it is equally
important that organizations consider these broader contextual issues.
Figure 1
Contextual Factors that Affect Global Supply Chain Management


Politics & Law

International Suppliers



Attention to culture in the international business environment is critical to the entry and
sustainability of organizations, multinational enterprises, in the global marketplace. For the
purpose of this paper, culture is defined as “the knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, customs and
other capabilities of one group distinguishing it from other groups” (Whiteley and England,
2004, p. 439-453). Virtually every structure, function, and operation of any successful
international business is influenced by its own home culture and the culture of its host country,
e.g., strategic formulation, organizational design, human resource management, leadership,

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