Global Business Challenges Free Writing Sample

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I want to talk to you about international trade and how it influences businesses worldwide. Specifically, I will address two of the three topics this speech assignment requires using the global sportswear giant Nike as my case study. In this speech, I will look into the challenges that multinational corporations encounter while conducting business globally and discuss strategies for addressing the cultural consequences of international trade and investment. Many challenges must be overcome when a firm wishes to grow its operations globally. To successfully engage in international trade, businesses must have a firm grasp of the economic, cultural, legal, and political elements. When doing business on a global scale, a company must contend with a different regulatory environment than it would confront at home. Businesses operating internationally must adhere to each nation’s laws and regulations. For instance, Nike was once the target of criticism and protests from human rights groups over allegations that the company exploited child labor to produce several products. As a result, businesses must follow the rules of the nations in which they operate and those of the United Nations and the International Labor Organization.

The possibility of fluctuating currency rates is another challenge for businesses engaging in international trade. A corporation must deal with fluctuating currency exchange rate risks when doing business in multiple countries. Because the exchange rate can raise manufacturing costs or lower sales revenue, it can significantly affect the company’s bottom line. As an example, Nike buys its raw materials from a variety of nations and distributes its wares to consumers all over the world. Hence, they should consider how currency fluctuations affect their business and implement contingency plans if necessary. Let’s discuss the implications of culture on international projects. A business must consider cultural differences between countries while expanding operations globally. Language barriers, as well as disparities in social conventions and ideas, are examples of cultural differences. We are all aware that the global market is becoming more intricate and varied all the time. Successfully competing in today’s global marketplace presents unique challenges for businesses due to the wide range of cultural norms and expectations present around the world. Using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Model, Nike has discovered a technique to control cultural consequences effectively.

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Model is a theoretical framework for exploring the effects of cultural differences on attitudes, norms, and practices. Power distance, individualism vs. Collectivism, masculinity vs. Femininity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term focus vs. short-term focus, and indulgence vs. restraint are the six dimensions of this model. For Nike, these factors have served as a framework for responding to cultural shifts in international markets.

A power distance exists when subordinates in an organization have come to tolerate and even expect a hierarchical structure. Nike’s management approach has been altered to account for the fact that power distance differs from one culture to the next. Nike teaches its workers to respect those in positions of power, to defer to them, and to work together effectively in such settings. When interacting with people in positions of authority, Nike always uses their proper titles. Conversely, in societies with a small power distance, Nike chooses a more decentralized organization that places a more significant premium on employee initiative. For example, Nike managers tend to be more authoritarian in countries with a high power gap, such as Japan, and more collaborative in nations with a low power distance, such as the United States.

Individualism versus Collectivism refers to how individuals are integrated into groups. Depending on the society, Nike recognizes that individualism vs. Collectivism is valued more highly. To successfully advertise in other countries, Nike must adapt their advertising campaigns, product designs, and marketing methods to reflect local customs. Nike’s marketing campaigns target consumers in different countries by highlighting distinct cultural values, such as the significance of family and community in collectivist nations or the pursuit of personal success in more individualistic nations. Certain countries, like the United States, emphasize individualism while others, like Japan, value collectivism, and Nike is aware of this. Nike, for instance, has put a premium on fostering a sense of community among its Japanese suppliers and retailers.

Masculinity vs. Femininity refers to the extent to which a culture values traditionally masculine or feminine traits. A culture’s masculinity or femininity level can be understood by the degree to which it prioritizes aggressive and competitive male traits or nurturing female traits, such as compassion and empathy. Nike does well by considering these cultural distinctions when creating and promoting new products. For example, in cultures that value masculinity highly, Nike advertises its products as more aggressive. Nonetheless, societies that value Femininity is more likely to stress safety and nurturing. In the United States, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign runs on the premise that if you put your mind to something and work hard at it, you will eventually achieve your goals.

Uncertainty avoidance refers to the cultural openness to ambiguity and uncertainty. Nike is aware that some cultures are more comfortable with certainty while others are more comfortable with less defined boundaries. Nike will set high standards for its products and services in these communities. For example, in some European countries, Nike provides detailed instructions on how to use their products and what to expect from them, which helps to alleviate any uncertainty or confusion.

Long-term and short-term dimensions refer to the degree to which a culture prioritizes immediate gratification instead of investing in the long term. Nike is aware that some societies place a higher priority on the preservation of history, customs, and norms. Nike will highlight their products’ cultural significance and roots in these regions. Nike, for instance, offers a series of products in Japan under the brand name Nike Japan, these shoes and other apparel feature a variety of traditional Japanese themes and details.

Indulgence versus restraint is a factor that indicates how much freedom people in a culture have to give in to their emotions and gratify their wants. More restrained cultures tend to be more disciplined and self-controlled, while more indulgent ones encourage their members to live life to the fullest by giving in to their every desire. In indulgent cultures, Nike markets to consumers by appealing to their baser instincts. In the United States, Nike’s marketing campaigns frequently use phrases like do it and Unleash your inner athlete to appeal to people’s yearning for individuality and independence. Nike’s marketing campaigns in conservative societies emphasize the importance of discipline and self-control. Slogans like discipline are vital, and The harder you work, the better you become; frequently used in Japanese Nike ads to appeal to consumers’ desire for self-improvement and strict self-control.

In conclusion, conducting business on an international scale can present enterprises with several challenges, but it also offers a great deal of opportunity for development and expansion. For companies to succeed in other nations, they need to have a solid comprehension of the cultural norms and regulatory frameworks unique to each nation in which they intend to do business. Businesses are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the rules and regulations of the countries where they conduct business and take measures to mitigate risks such as fluctuations in exchange rates. Finally, companies must understand the cultural norms that prevail in the nations where they conduct business and modify their practices accordingly to be compatible with the local culture. As potential future leaders in the business world, we need to have a solid understanding of the opportunities and challenges posed by international business to make well-informed choices that will contribute to the growth and prosperity of our respective organizations.

Thank you for being here today. Your attention and engagement mean a lot to me, and I hope you have gained something valuable from my speech.

REFERENCE LISTS

Bartley, T. and Child, C., 2014. Shaming the corporation: The social production of targets and the anti-sweatshop movement. American sociological review79(4), pp.653-679.

Coombs, W.T. and Laufer, D., 2018. Global crisis management–current research and future directions. Journal of International Management24(3), pp.199-203.

Daniels, J.D., Radebaugh, L.H., Sullivan, D.P. and Click, R.W., 2014. International business. Prentice Hall.

Ghauri, P. and Cateora, P., 2014. EBOOK: International Marketing. McGraw Hill.

Khlif, H., 2016. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions in accounting research: a review. Meditari Accountancy Research.

Hisense: Breaking Recurring Channel Conflict Essay Sample For College

This report evaluates Hisense’s predicament in light of the shifting business environment, namely the necessity and type of organizational structure change that must be implemented. The purpose of this report is to recommend a new organizational structure for Hisense to the top management of the business. There was a time when bureaucratic and hierarchical business structures were quite effective in stimulating long-term growth and commercial success. Now, those days are long gone. Still, those days are long gone with the advent of the modern business climate. The same cannot be said for today’s business climate. Mainly, this can be attributed to the following:

  • Traditional hierarchies do not contribute to an atmosphere that is conducive to the development of innovative ideas.
  • Inconsistent communication, a lack of flexibility in approach, and inefficient information sharing are all problems that exist here.
  • The operation of enterprises on a worldwide scale has been significantly impacted by globalization. The significance of national boundaries is not what it used to be. The legal protection that once existed for governments, such as in the Hisense case, has nearly vanished entirely.
  • Due to deregulatory policies and trade liberalization, the global marketplace now faces fierce competition.
  • The most recent technological breakthroughs have considerably impacted the business practices of various firms. Because of the Internet and other communication technologies, which have leveled the playing field, everyone now has access to various previously unavailable possibilities. The most likely beneficiaries of this will be smaller businesses, as they can directly compete on an even playing field with much more significant global corporations.

A penchant for change has always characterized human society, and this penchant continues now. Exploring and flexibility are essential in a world where everything is constantly changing. Sony, IBM, Apple, Nokia, Dell, GE, and HP are just a few well-known companies in our field that have reorganized in response to the challenging and usually volatile market conditions to maintain growth. An organization’s structure can encourage or stifle innovation depending on its priorities and time frames. As mentioned earlier, the companies’ restructuring efforts directly boosted employee creativity.

Given the abovementioned circumstances, I suggest rethinking the current organizational architecture and strategy. These modifications need to contain the following:

  1. Form an executive team that will collaborate with the company’s chief executive officer, who will serve as the team’s head.
  2. The decision to defer the replacement of management layers with teams reduces the total number of management layers.

Introduction:

Hisense’s expansion throughout the years has been unrivaled in Chinese corporate history. Hisense began as a small semiconductor plant and has now become a significant Chinese electronics company. We owe a debt of gratitude to the management team and its supporters for this accomplishment. Hisense needs to be able to afford to rest on its laurels since the different challenges of the corporate environment, such as globalization, new technology, and intense rivalry, necessitate a change in structure and practice.

In the past, stability reigned supreme, and market conditions were mostly predictable; nevertheless, the global market environment has changed dramatically. Hisense was required to restructure its organizational structure due to the dynamic nature of its business operations in China, its ability to break new ground on the worldwide market, and its need to respond swiftly to a constantly changing environment. This is necessary to broaden our market presence outside of China, keep our dominant position in the Chinese market, and promptly adapt to the ongoing shifts in our environment.

Hisense’s current organizational structure needs to be revised to meet the demanding standards imposed by globalization. Once China emerged from isolation, the government’s intention to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) gradually eroded state protection. As a result, Hisense is experiencing intense competition, particularly in China, where it once dominated (Shao, 2019). Both new opportunities and new obstacles have arisen as a direct consequence of the progression of technology. The market is flooded with several small-scale electronic makers who offer their wares for sale at meager costs. These new businesses have an edge in their ability to innovate and adapt because of their relatively small size and the ease with which they can react to shifting market conditions.

In the past, when the market was primarily contained within national borders, bureaucratic structures, such as the one that Hisense currently maintains, which place a strong emphasis on hierarchy, strict rules from top to bottom, structured lines of communication, and restricted information flow, served their purpose admirably. As a modern business, Hisense must embrace change and take steps to restructure. Due to the consequences of these rapid changes in the economic environment, organizations must rethink their organizational structures to adapt. New products enter the market near-constant, even though firms work diligently to innovate and adapt to demand shifts.

Because Hisense is a government-owned company, it is structured in a hierarchical and bureaucratic manner (Kanter, 2019). As a direct consequence, both the development rate and the capacity to satisfy the market’s requirements have slowed down. A novel approach is required if one wants to promote individuality, innovation, and output. Because of how deeply ingrained Hisense’s culture is in the intricate workings of the company’s organizational structure, the company desperately needs assistance for several reasons. Businesses must have a method to monitor the market and pay attention to what their customers say.

The Need to Restructure:

It is essential to raise awareness of the need for strategic reorganization. Due to the nature of businesses, the past required bureaucratic company leadership and hierarchical management structures. In the contemporary business world, however, additional operational flexibility is required due to the globalization of industries and the advancement of new technology. As a result, modern businesses need to be more adaptive. Hisense needs to consider conducting a strategic reorganization to maintain its position as a prominent market competitor both now and in the foreseeable future.

Boost organizational clock efficiency: It is essential to realign organizational structure and procedures to increase productivity.

(a) To foresee impending market changes and respond more promptly to those developments.

(b) To speed up the decision-making process and reduce the time needed to plan and carry out strategic adjustments.

(c) Communication that is successful on every level of the organizational hierarchy.

ii.) Building Divergence: A divergence that is increasing with time, Hisense already controls many companies and has aspirations to dominate markets worldwide. As a direct result of this, it is required to make use of a variety of different tactics and procedures all at the same time.

(a) Promotes the growth of leadership abilities that can be applied in multiple directions.

(b) Let internal structural diversity instead than sticking to the norm to maintain consistency.

(c) Use processes that combine and differentiate the many aspects of your work.

iii.) Modularity: The organizational structures must also vary because of the variety of demands.

iv.) Distributing Routes: The framework must permit the simultaneous management of various market requirements and distribution channels. (a) The tendencies of the consumer market must be taken into consideration. The products must be of high quality while remaining affordable, easy to install and use, and able to be purchased over the phone or through their websites.

(b) In addition to this, it is necessary to consider the regional features of the market because various client subgroups may have different requirements.

  1. Research and Development Organizational Design: The R&D business must encourage creativity. As a result, the structure must be modified to support the divergence technique. (a) To avoid obstacles, a variety of inventive techniques are required.
  2. Conflict Resolution Methods: In the new setting, having a realistic appearance that is simply an illusion of strength and frailty will not be advantageous. It is essential to create a market framework that can resolve disputes and innovate in response to competition.

Conclusions and Recommendations:

Euromonitor reports that in 2003, Hisense had a 1.0% global volume share and a 5.5% share in China (Liu et al., 2022). The Nanjing Finance and Economic University Brand and Research Centre discovered in 2004 that Hisense’s home province of Shandong was responsible for approximately forty percent of the province’s market share, while Jiangsu was only responsible for eight and a half percent of the market share. This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the business has to be reorganized and re-engineered immediately.

The following outlines the most critical actions that need to be completed to ensure that Hisense’s reorganization is successful.

  1. A brand-new executive team should take over the highest positions in the organizational hierarchy. Three strategies could be used to create a more streamlined organizational structure: outsourcing, staff reduction, and decision delay. As a result, it’s feasible to get clarity as well as cost savings. A hierarchy with additional levels may need to be clarified in addition to incurring more costs due to this misunderstanding. This is the case even though the most significant benefit of size is that it encourages order, which runs counter to the notion that adding additional levels to a hierarchy is beneficial in any manner.
  2. Decentralize and reorganize the R&D sector so that it can provide more flexibility and make it simpler to carry out new procedures in a timely way that is both effective and efficient.
  3. Modularity
  4. Techniques of efficient conflict management are necessary if one wishes to keep the implications of this structuring under control. A committee responsible for resolving disagreements ought to be constituted so that problems that have surfaced due to the occurrence can be resolved. For the new company to win customers’ loyalty, it must be able to implement novel concepts over time.

References

Kanter, R. M. (2019). The future of bureaucracy and hierarchy in organizational theory: a report from the field. In Social theory for changing society (pp. 63-93). Routledge.

Ng, H. M. E., Xu, J., Liu, Q., & Rangan, A. (2022). Changes in Package Sizes of Savoury Snacks through Exploration of Euromonitor and Industry Perspectives. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(15), 9359.

Shao, L. (2019). Dynamic study of corporate governance structure and firm performance in China: Evidence from 2001-2015. Chinese Management Studies13(2), 299-317.

IKEA Strategic Implementation Issues Free Sample

Introduction

At IKEA, the chosen organizational strategy is that of cost leadership. The organization aims to make simple but high-quality furniture and set its price as low as possible for affordability by customers. Following this strategic way of running the business, IKEA has grown immensely nationally and internationally. The organization has approximately 460 stores which are spread across 63 countries. At the corporate level, the company is well managed with an outstanding performance from its executives. About international ventures, this organization is growing at high speed (Kremer, 2019). IKEA has increased sales significantly following its cost leadership strategy, positively impacting business-level management. However, concerning business operations, IKEA needs help with its supply chain.

Business Level Issues at IKEA

At the business level, IKEA faces strategic implementation issues such as supply chain distraction which affects the operations systems. Concerning this problem, the company has been encountering shortages in its acquisition of products leading to poor workflow. Due to this, the sales flow has reduced, making it hard for IKEA to serve its consumers effectively. For a company prioritizing its consumers, ensuring an adequate flow of goods has been challenging, especially given the inflation issues that have impacted many countries. However, partnering with other suppliers can counter this business-level strategic implementation. Some loyal suppliers are willing to keep orders flowing as usual. This issue might be costly for IKEA, but it will ensure that sales are always high and consumers are well served.

The other issue affecting IKEA’s strategic implementation is inflation, which has led to the high cost of products (Catalan, 2022). Due to the rise in prices, IKEA can no longer purchase items in the market as it used to. Due to this, the organization is suffering an increased cost of production. With the cost of manufacturing items being high, the only solution that IKEA has is to raise its prices to cover the production expenses. For an extended period, IKEA has used the cost leadership strategy. Following this, low prices have helped it become a market leader. Hence, the firm stands to lose some customers if it increases the prices of its products. Therefore, there is a need to weigh the pros and cons of taking the alternative of a price increase. Loyal customers will remain as long as the quality of the products remains high.

Corporate-Level Strategic Implementation Issues

At the corporate level, IKEA also applies the differentiation strategy. One of the ways that the firm differentiates itself is through talent management through training. Following this, the organization accrues many costs related to staff maintenance. Hence, exercise should be limited to in-house operations where senior staff train the rest to evade this issue of wastage of resources (Kremer, 2019).

The other corporate-level issue needs a more effective organizational structure. 11 franchises operating across 500 locations take time to manage. Due to this, the aspect of shared values as per McKinsey’s 7s Model only applies sometimes. For a solution, the organization should embrace a more decentralized structure for the shared value aspect to be effective.

International Level Strategic Implementation Issues

For a company that has ventured internationally in 63 countries, it is evident that it has achieved high levels of success. However, this comes with issues such as more staff integration with the organization’s vision and mission. With its hierarchical leadership, IKEA has a centralized idea of high quality and low prices. Such strategies are not applicable in some countries. Due to this, the staff lacks a sense of unified culture. Such issues can be solved through decentralization. If the organization upholds a decentralized culture internationally, it could help bridge the cultural gap among employees.

The other issue that this organization has faced internationally concerns staff compensation. Some regions offer more wages than others. The case has led to diversities in IKEA worker’s compensation rates (Catalan, 2022). The issue can be solved by having a centralized wage rate for all IKEA workers in all ventured countries. Through this solution, unity is promoted in the staff function.

Main Strategic Issues Affecting IKEA

The two main issues affecting IKEA are its organizational structure and supply chain disturbances. The organization has experienced many issues regarding the need for more goods in the supply chain, making it impossible to keep up with sales. IKEA has faced challenges regarding its organizational structure, especially following international ventures. The firm’s hierarchical, centralized system makes it hard for international franchises to experience the culture. Hence, it is necessary to have a decentralized structure that ensures the vision and mission of the organization are spread evenly to all locations ventured.

Applying McKinsey’s 7s Model to Support IKEA Strategic Implementation

The McKinsey 7s Model has seven categories of business aspects that help create a good balance in an organization. They will provide the most appropriate support by applying them to the case of IKEA’s strategic implementation.

Structure: IKEA maintains a centralized business structure where the chain of command starts at the headquarters in the UK. Due to this, the company needs a more unified culture across the ventured region, which affects operations. Hence, it would be effective if IKEA applied a decentralized structure that shows that the organization is well managed at all levels.

Strategy: IKEA utilizes cost leadership and differentiation strategies. In the current commercial environment, venturing into technology has proven more effective. Hence, the organization must uphold technological advancement in operations, especially with international ventures (Yurt & Deniz, 2021).

Systems: IKEA’s current supply chain system could be more effective as the organization has recently been experiencing issues with a lack of products. For the organization to combat this, it should develop a system where all supply chain players are integrated to create transparency. Through this, there will be a limited possibility of the need for more resources in warehouses.

Skills: To foster employee development, IKEA has invested in training existing and new workers. With the possibility of turnover, such training has become ineffective. IKEA should explore different techniques, such as in-house training (Bouhia, 2022). Through this, these individuals will develop the necessary skills cheaply.

Style: Senior employees need to be exemplary for an effective leadership style. IKEA can benefit a lot, especially in developing an interactive culture throughout all levels of management.

Staff: Despite IKEA going through issues with its sales due to economic challenges, the organization has paid decent wages to its employees. IKEA can show loyalty to its workers through techniques such as recruiting for better positions and training (Al Shuwaler et al., 2020).

Shared Values: IKEA must portray an effective organizational design rooted in shared cultural perspectives. The values, mission, and objectives followed by IKEA dictate the developing culture. The company can ensure that all its branches uphold similar visions, missions, and shared goals through a decentralized system.

 Strategic Evaluation through Triple Bottom Line Model

People/Social Performance

IKEA is a transparent organization that shares details of its successes and shortcomings. The organization’s self-reported analysis shows that it performs highly in social, financial, and environmental aspects. When it comes to this organization’s people or social responsiveness, it is said that the staff is well-paid to sustain their lifestyles. When most organizations perform poorly financially, they cut off some workers or reduce their wages. However, this has yet to take place in IKEA. The organization pays its employees well, reflecting the enterprise’s financial conditions. This organization is known to care effectively for the community it serves to ensure individuals get employed in their facility as long as they have the necessary skills. The organization also sees that it sets its prices low enough for the affordability of many in the community. With its cost leadership strategy, IKEA has consumers from almost all socio-economic backgrounds (Al Shuwaler et al., 2020). This promotes equality as any person can afford the products in this company. The organization also ensures that customers experience value for their money during purchase, following maintained high quality.

Profits/Economic Performance

In terms of profits or economic value, the organization targets high sales to promote sales. As much as the company focuses on social aspects, such as taking care of employees and other stakeholders, it also earns profits. The only way to uphold sustainability and be socially responsible is by making returns through ethical means. The organization has ventured into 63 countries where the business has been blooming. The company, during the year 2022, recorded a revenue of EUR 27.6 billion. The net profits for this year were approximately EUR 0.7 billion. In 2021, the income was EUR 41.9 billion, which is expected to keep rising. With such high returns, their organization will keep growing globally in selling furniture, decorations, and kitchen appliances, among other things. The products this organization deals with take time to become obsolete; hence, it will continue to thrive in the market. Simple and quality designs are the main traits of products at IKEA (Bouhia, 2022). Following this, it is inevitable that this organization has excellent prospects. From the time it was established in 1943 till now, the organization’s returns have continued to grow. Due to this, its economic capacities are also expected to develop.

Planet/Environmental Performance

Concerning the environment, IKEA has highly upheld the practice of being environmentally responsible. Beginning from the design of its products, the organization has established a shared goal of having repairable, resold, reusable, and recyclable items. Due to this, the organization ends up causing as much waste in the environment as possible. This organization is sustainable for the planet. Most of its products get recycled; hence, they must find their way into the environment where they could cause damage. The organization aims to reduce its carbon emissions in the supply chain by 15% by the end of 2030. IKEA also hopes to ensure it designs products with a longer life cycle to prevent ineffective disposal. Using life-prolonging materials, IKEA furthers its sustainable development goals, which are suitable for the planet (Yurt & Deniz, 2021). With its current sustainable goals, IKEA is helping fight against global warming. Through environmentally friendly goals, the organization will effectively earn the trust of its customers hence becoming more popular. These environmental strategies will produce a positive impact on IKEA.

Conclusion

Ikea is an organization that has been growing well in the industry, but due to economic changes as of 2020, it started to experience some issues, such as a need for more products. The organization’s supply chain could be leaner at the business level. At the corporate level, better leadership techniques need to be explored with more ventures in technology advancements. Internationally, the firm should focus on decentralizing its operations. The organization should continue with its sustainable development goals alongside social responsiveness. When these aspects are taken into consideration, IKEA will be able to regain its profitability and experience more stable international ventures.

References

Al Shuwaler, A., Quttainah, M. A., Kee, D. M. H., Kei, C. M., Qi, E. J., Wen, E. C., … & Pandey, R. (2020). IKEA’s corporate social responsibility. International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality in Asia Pacific (IJTHAP)3(2), 70–77.’

Bouhia, G. (2022). Applying the circular economy concept to a sustainable business model for large retailers: the case of IKEA. International Journal of Competitiveness2(3), 212–233.

Catalan, M. L. P. (2022). IKEA’s Supply Chain: Growth on Sustainability.

Kremer, K. (2019, June). Operations strategy: Literature review and case study of IKEA. In Proceedings of FEB Zagreb International Odyssey Conference on Economics and Business (Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 606-616). The University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics and Business.

Yurt, C., & Deniz, D. (2021). Product-based and knowledge-based sustainable living practices: The case of IKEA. Sustinere: Journal of Environment and Sustainability5(2), 133-145.