Globalization

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The world of today is not the world that existed years ago--nor will it be the same tomorrow. The globalization of the 1990s wrought enormous changes in every facet of the business world, the biggest of which was introducing new variability into business relations.Companies today can now reach customers in every nation and can cut operational costs through global production and distribution systems. Gillette Co., for instance, manufactures razors in Russia, Fidelity Investment sells its funds in Germany, and Citicorp serves millions of customers from Asia to America. Meanwhile, international markets undergo constant change, intense competition, and heightened customer expectation, which make it increasingly difficult for a company to gain and maintain its competitive edge. Managers in this brave new world must therefore master a broad range of business talents.Successful managers must survey the competitive landscape and equip their organizations with the strategies, structures, and personnel to compete in a constantly changing environment. In spite of the different approaches managers may choose, one thing remains constant--they must instill a commitment to globalization throughout their companies. Simple exposure to an expanded economy does not make a corporation "international." Instead, there needs to be a widespread adjustment of attitude, as well as sweeping changes in operation, to ensure a company's profitability. The initial steps a manager must take are twofold: He must clearly outline the challenges and opportunities of an international market, and he must address the individual talents of each employee. A successful manager will tailor his company's global strategies to suit its resources and capacities. This involves setting realistic goals without losing sight of more elevated ones. Not every corporation, for instance, has the size and reach of Citicorp, which will have one billion customers by the year 2010. While...
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