Management Issues Facing Global Managers as We Enter the 21st Century

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The 21st century global manager faces many challenges as the norm become having business interest in other countries. When managers of companies decide to enter the foreign market there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Sure the money is great! However, if money is the only thing that is driving you to expand into a foreign market, you will surely fail. There are several factors that a manager should consider before deciding to expand their product or service into foreign markets. Among these are the cultural differences you will be faced with, the differences in language of the countries, the challenges your employees will face as they return from foreign job assignments, and the know how, to develop and assist your employees, who take foreign assignments, in keeping their skills up to date while in these underdeveloped countries. Without the right tools and knowledge, the 21st century manager¡¦s task ahead will be extremely difficult. We will begin by discussing Culture.

Culture is important and has to be appreciated by the business manager. It can make or break a relationship and could possibly lose your company millions. Consider the differences between cultural imperatives, cultural electives, and cultural exclusives in another country. Before a manager decides to do business in a foreign country, they should find out what these consist of. Cultural imperatives are the things that you must do to keep from offending others. Cultural electives are things you may participate in, but you do not absolutely have too. Participation in a cultural elective could seriously help the business deal you are trying to close though. Lastly, cultural exclusives are things that you should not participate in no matter what the circumstances are.

Global managers of the 21st century must also gain knowledge of the other countries¡¦ management style. This consists of how their country conducts business and the methods they use to accomplish their goals. You do not have to act like you are Chinese if you are in China, because they know you are American. It is ok to act like an American. However, this doesn¡¦t mean you don¡¦t need to know what self-reference criterion (SRC) is.

¡§SRC is an unconscious reference to one¡¦s own cultural values, experiences, and knowledge as a basis for decisions¡¨. (International Marketing, Pg15). For example, a manager may make a wrong business decision in China by basing his or her decision on how they would handle the same decision if they were in their home country.

The global manager going into the 21st century should understand that you can and probably will do something in your foreign business journey that is culturally unacceptable. No one is perfect and the chances of you accidentally doing something or saying something that is offensive is high. The more you understand their implicit and tacit culture, the lower your chances of making mistakes will be.

Always keep in mind that if you are not sure how to act in a certain situation that you should simply not act at all. Global managers of the 21st century should always take time to do their due diligence regarding culture whenever they are considering expansion into a foreign market. Language

Global managers in the 21st century have to able to communicate. This can be difficult when that person is of a different nationality and does not fluently speak the language. As an international manager being able to speak many languages would be ideal but unrealistic. Even when one does know the language getting an idea across may be difficult.

Language is a set of symbols, both spoken and unspoken, its purpose is to allow people to communicate with one another and be able to share information. According to Benjamin Lee Wharf, the language you normally use influences the way you understand your environment, thus the picture of the world shifts from language to language. An example of this is the use...
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