On Freedom and International Marketing, Part 5: Some Value Dimensions

This is one of the published series on the linkages between freedom and international marketing.

In a global setting, freedom can take on many dimensions. Privileges and obligations that are near and dear to some may well be cheap and easily disposed of by others. The views of one society may differ from views held in other regions of the world. Such differences then account for misunderstandings, surprises, and long-term conflicts.

There are two value dimensions at work here, both of them highly relevant to inter- national marketing. One may be circumscribed as the freedom and values of a market economy. To make them work governmental, managerial, and corporate virtue, vision, and veracity are required. Unless the world can believe in what institutions and their leaders say and do, it will be difficult to forge a global commitment between those doing the marketing and the ones being marketed to. It is therefore of vital interest to the proponents of freedom and international marketing to ensure that corruption, bribery, lack of transparency, and poor governance are exposed for their negative effects in any setting or society. The main remedy will be the collaboration of the global policy community in agreeing on what constitutes transgressions and swift punishment of the culprits involved, so that market forces can work free from distortion.

A second and even more crucial issue is the value system we use in making choices. Some years ago, the Mars Climate Orbiter mission failed spectacularly as a result of the use of different values by the mission navigation teams. One team was using metric units and the other used the English system of measurement. This mistake caused the orbiter to get too close to the atmosphere, where it was destroyed.

There are major differences among what people value around the world. Contrasts include togetherness next to individuality, co- operation next to competition, modesty next to assertiveness, and self-effacement next to self-actualization. Often, global differences in value systems keep us apart and result in spectacularly destructive differences. How we value a life, for example, can be crucial in terms of how we treat individuals. What value we place on family, work, leisure time, or progress has a substantial effect on how we see and evaluate each other.

16 thoughts on “On Freedom and International Marketing, Part 5: Some Value Dimensions

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