Discuss the Current and Future Trends in Managing International or Multinational Company

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It used to be only select few Malaysian companies had the resources to venture abroad. Overseas ventures were a game only for the big players. Nowadays, going abroad is almost necessity for any Malaysian company looking for growth in profit. Malaysian companies are looking abroad to take advantage of the globalization following the rising labour costs and a limited domestic market – Malaysia only has 22 million people compared to countries like India and China which each has more than 1 billion people. There is also another factor to be considered. Liberalization also forces open markets, giving more opportunities and competition around the globe in the spirit of globalization. Increasingly more foreign companies are coming to Malaysia hence the competition is also becoming more stiff in the domestic market.

Indeed the world has been seen "flattened" by the impact of globalization, that global leaders, global managers and businessmen see it as a scenario that may never go away. Whether we see it as a threat or an opportunity depends on how we are prepared to manage the circumstances that have been risen out of globalization. The competition between the nations is fierce too. Everybody now wants to be a biotechnology hub, a supply chain hub or a shared service hub. Malaysian companies face a two types globalization challenge. They need to defend their home turf against large corporations from developed markets, and beat them to neighbouring market offering significant growth and cost advantage. The challenge is formidable but the price of failure is global marginalization.

In a fast-changing globalised environment, the only way is growing competitive. For Malaysian firms to compete internationally, their leaders at every level must be aligned to set bolds goals, sponsor initiatives, create resources and overcome barriers. Firms must also develop organizational structures that promote collaboration across regions, business and functions, optimize global/local trade-offs and manage the tensions between business units and country management. They also need to invest effort in building a pipeline of globally capable local managers, developing leaders with global perspectives, planning for succession and creating continuity in country leadership. Better IT solutions too have to be adopted as a necessary component for the business.

Malaysian firms also need common financial and human resources, operational and other processes to enhance communication and collaboration across borders. And to ensure trust and transparency, shared corporate values must welcoming the local culture norms. These values influence behaviour and decision-making across the whole firm. Lastly, to make international growth happen, they need disciplined change processes, informed decision-making on the stage and pace at which growth to occur with a clear vision in hands.

To determine whether we are "globally conscious manager", we should answer these questions honestly: Are you ready to deal with the rise of China and India as potential economic powerhouse in the region? Have you felt the impact of the trade of the fast-developing third-world countries? Have you identified your organization and individual core competencies and the special niches in your global markets? Do you foresee your country taking the lead in regional issues and heading innovative new business models and concepts, such as Islamic banking and clean renewable energy for the future? It is a responsibility for the 21st century manager to be concern and conscious on these matters for a long term. Failure to do so would probably result the organization being disintermediated, thrown off course, becoming directionless or even worse, doomed to financial ruin.

The main ingredients that can make or break a company are individuals working as a team in the organization. Human resource development (HRM) is a key strategic investment by having good people to develop, drive and grow...
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