Blog 4

Managing the Globe


When I was one year old, my parents and I left our lives in New York City behind to move to Frankfurt, Germany. My father became an expat, a manager working for his company overseas. This experience is remarkably similar to the blog I read written by Kendall Tich from the University of San Diego. (Link: http://theusdvista.com/2013/09/17/the-importance-of-a-global-perspective/comment-page-1/#comment-82.) At age sixteen, Tich and his family became expats, as his father brought the family to Hong Kong to continue his business. It was my father’s experience nineteen years ago, similar to Tich’s, that has prompted me to be a Global Management major here at Bucknell.

frankfurt_skyline

One of the most meaningful quotes that Tich writes about in his blog concerns the nature of the global role of the manager: “For American businesses and businesspeople to truly succeed overseas, they must first have a global understanding and the knowledge and respect to interact with societies much different from their own.”  When my father went to Germany, he had no idea how to speak German, or what German business or cultural practices were. He had to encompass an understanding and appreciation of this German culture in order to successfully manage while there. My Bucknell career so far as a Global Management major has tried to teach me this passion for global cultures to prepare me for an expat role at some point in my future. Next semester, I will be studying abroad in London, and hope to broaden my horizons of the world and its cultures even more.

It is truly a global world that we live in. Most corporations are almost forced to go global at some point in order to keep up with competitors. If a company stays local, eventually global companies that can use a more efficient supply chain and charge lower prices may steal away business. Wal-Mart adopted this strategy, and by expanding across the globe, it is able to price its goods slightly above cost, making it the cheapest option to buy food or other necessities. I recently read an article in The Consumerist about just this: at certain Wal-Mart stores that can sell beer, Wal-Mart is selling cases of beer for just .06% above cost. (Link: http://consumerist.com/2013/09/17/report-walmart-selling-beer-at-cost-in-some-areas/.) No doubt, being a global company is what allows Wal-Mart to charge at these low prices. Hopefully, the PA liquor laws do not change anytime soon. Otherwise, look out Beer Barn!

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4 thoughts on “Managing the Globe

  1. Very interesting post, and story. The quote about American businesspeople succeeding abroad interested me greatly. Business practices around the world are so different, and to succeed you need a full understanding of the culture your in. It made me wonder what international businessmen think of the American business culture? And what do they need to do to exist in our country? It is easy to think about foreign countries, but it is interesting to look at ourselves and wonder what others think of us.

  2. Your post is very interesting and I agree with what you mentioned about how going international can benefit companies and gives them lee way and wiggle room to do things such as have as low prices as possible and still benefit. When a company goes public and eventually international, it is provided with an edge to make adjustments (like walmart’s extremely low prices) that separate them from other similar companies. They have the ability to have an edge, but still benefit fiscally. ARe there certain advantages to private companies though? What things can private companies do to set themselves apart while still being able to make large profits?

  3. I really enjoyed reading your post about your experiences as a world traveler! I personally have never had any luck learning a new language or and real urge to want to live and work abroad, but I love that Bucknell has so many students with the want to learn more about business outside the US. I come to find that often we forget that the world outside the US exists, and as future managers I agree that this is extremely important. Global business produces more externalities than I think we all realize, and it is important to learn about stakeholders and those we are effecting.

  4. But, does WalMart adopt to local differences the way you said your father had to? Is there a tension between the needs of nations and the needs of a global economy?

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