Commonality Builds A Bridge

International business complexity calls for commonality. The need for and acceptance of the soul builds up a common path and provides a joint perspective underpinned by a broadly supported objective.

Rising global communication and output from a global labor force have created a growing and diverse marketplace. Changes include the contrast and juncture of controversial debates over international trade, artificial intelligence, refugees, terrorism, and greatly intensify the complexity of international business. 

Commonality is increasingly difficult, yet important to achieve for the sake of relationship and trust building in international business. The understanding of the soul and its accompanying emotional subcomponents provides  individuals, companies, and countries with the opportunity to develop and align global values and bridges between them. If people act and argue focused on business principles alone, they may find themselves increasingly ignored.

New thinking and behavior regarding collaboration are needed to help employees work across cultures. According to the World Bank, the global labor force has reached almost 3.5 billion in 2018. A shortage of skilled workers may intensify competition for talent. 

Due to a lack of local knowledge, unfamiliarity with market conditions, insufficient insights into consumer behavior, and newness to political decision making, foreign firms typically face shortcomings and disadvantages when entering a new market. The overarching umbrella is provided by the soul, which affects judgment and, offers simplicity. It allows the understanding of truth and enables good decision-making in light of changing realities. For example, negotiators who lose tend to blame their loss on the corruption and nepotism of winners. Yet, culturally, the closeness to family and desire to help one’s own environment can be seen as a supportive obligation rather than a deviation. How good it is to lay off blame and recognize the conditionality of behavior and management.

The soul and its key pillars such as politics, security, and religion can teach new entrants more and prepare them better than mere principles of economics and business.

Some lessons can be taken from history which permeates our lives but is usually forgotten. We bemoan the disruptions from terrorism but neglect that the Crusaders already wrote home about their fear of terror. We debate new approaches of artificial intelligence in teaching and communication but don’t recall the effects which Gutenberg’s printing press of 1440, wireless telegraphy, or the introduction of radio had on business and society. We deplore the differentiation of groups based on religion but conveniently forget the impact of Torquemada, the Inquisition, or the reactions to Luther’s theses on the church doors of Wittenberg. 

Retrospection of the far-reaching consequences of past international conflicts and reconciliations may bring some new insights to the solution of complexity. Not all measures are equal at all times. Tariffs, for example, can be a tool to deal with crises and promote trade. 

International marketing offers a new linkage in cultures and values. New progress in thinking and behavior can and must shape a greater global commonality in values.

Professor Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international marketing and trade at Georgetown University and the University of Kent in Canterbury. 

JIBS Silver Medal

Dear Colleagues
I am pleased to have been selected for the 50 Year JIBS Silver Award. Here is the letter of notification.

As Managing Editor of JIBS, it is my great pleasure to inform you that the AIB Executive Board has awarded you the JIBS Silver Medal, as a formal recognition of your intellectual contributions published in the journal.  More specifically, the Silver Medal has been awarded to a small number of IB scholars who have published at least 5 significant papers in JIBS during the first 50 years of its existence (we excluded book reviews, as well as other more minor contributions such as letters or short syntheses of papers in introductions to special issues).

The Silver Medals will be given to the Awardees at the AIB Conference in Copenhagen in June 2019.  

Please do let me know at your earliest convenience whether you can attend the JIBS celebration event on Tuesday, June 25, and please do include Dr. Ayesha Malhotra (ayesha.malhotra@haskayne.ucalgary.ca), our associate for this special occasion, in your response.  All the details of the event are provided in the attachment to this email.

I look forward to seeing you all in Copenhagen!

With best wishes,

Anne

Anne Hoekman

Managing Editor

Journal of International Business Studies

www.jibs.net

History does not always tell the Future

Historically. increased international trade activities are often linked to the growth of a country. National power in the world was often the result of creating new markets and trade. For example, the Roman Empire achieved immense growth through the linkages of business rather than the marching of legions and warfare. Many economic successes also occurred when previously closed economies embraced international trade like South Korea in 1960s and China in 1980s.

So far, in this century, more than a billion people around the world have been lifted out of poverty by the power of international trade. International competition has greatly stimulated innovation and productivity. 

However, world trade is in flux today. Conflicts have emerged over market instabilities and insecure trade structures which have led to major inequities.  No longer are societies certain that an increase in trade resolves current economic and societal shortcomings. Will a better life result from simply doing more of what was done in the past?  

Globally some policymakers intend to ride inequities to the hilt. They  give preference to the continuity of rules over the adjustment to reality. For them tradition is the overriding decision tool. 

But, what happens when the fundament has changed? When a volcano erupts and sends a stream of glowing lava flowing down the mountain,  the affected villages are no longer fit for shelter. Today, President Trump reflects the need for new actions in a new era. He is positively  willing to disregard the past when its performance distorts the playing field. The consequences have been important. 

In 2017, the U.S. started to renegotiate its trade agreements with Canada,  Mexico, and with South Korea. It questions the World Trade Organization (WTO) and  challenges the whole trade administration system. In addition, a series of import tariffs came into effect. All these steps indicate a better understanding of shortcomings in trade and a quick-footed willingness to precipitate a curative impact. President Reagan already indicated that “all politics are local”. That principle is expanded into a new approach which states “timing matters for change”.

Continuing large trade imbalances and growing foreign investment control are sources of dissatisfaction. Domestic producers fear to be

squeezed  by global rivals. New production technology, such as product printing, makes manufacturing history obsolete. Processes also matter. China has taken full advantage of the trade infrastructure built by the U.S. and the EU only to subsequently challenge the status quo. The United States’ share of world exports has declined precipitously from 25 percent in the 1950s to less than 9 percent in 2017. The U.S. share of world imports now accounts for 13 percent of world imports. When compared to its exports, the United States clearly has an excess import consumption.  

Reshaping a global system is tough work. Since 1945, the United States has been at the center of the global economy. In its competition with the socialist system market orientation has clearly been won by America. Encouraging now other nations to also help guide the world to better lives does not represent an abdication of leadership. The United States’ willingness to let others participate  in the design and implementation of crucial adjustments demonstrates a willingness to permit others to learn, an encouragement of  self determination, and a great spirit of security and comfort with  change 

The debates over international trade might rumble on for years. But we already know that trade policy must become more domestically oriented while domestic policy must become more international in vision. Doing so, must shape the future.

Professor Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international marketing and trade at Georgetown University and the University of Kent in Canterbury. His latest book is ‘In Search for the Soul of International Business’ 2019, Businessexpertpress.com 

Cambridge/Kent/Czinkota Competition for excellence in International Business Case writing

INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE

Cambridge/Kent/Czinkota Competition

for excellence in International Business Case writing

Applying:

Case submitted by faculty and students, can cover the entire spectrum of the International Business sphere, covering, for example, but not limited to, Trade and Investment Policies, the International Business Environment or Strategy and Operations. The deadline for submission of the previously unpublished final case, including instructor’s solution materials, is April 15, 2019.

Length of submission: Less than 3,000 words (the solution material does not count against this limit)

Please submit to Prof. Michael Czinkota M.Czinkota@Kent.ac.uk

Cases will be evaluated and selected by an international Jury whose decisions are final.

Prizes:

Winners receive a Certificate and will be entered in the Kent Business School Book of Honor

Prizes are:

🏆 First Prize: £ 500

Second Prize: £ 250

Third Prize: £ 125

Prizes 4-12: £ 50

Winning cases are also eligible for publication in the forthcoming Cambridge Press book by Prof. Michael Czinkota, Prof. Ilkka Ronkainen and Prof. Suraksha Gupta

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact M.Czinkota@Kent.ac.uk

Douse The Wildfires

Public information should be both accurate and interesting. When there is a conflict between the two, many information users prefer an outcome based on truth. Lately, there have been growing scandals which taint media considered traditionally to be of quality.

Some believe that this is a problem only encountered by President Trump or the United States. Far from it, we are not alone! From around the world one learns about misdirections and shortfalls in media accuracy. For example, late last year the German magazine Der Spiegel had to admit that its key investigative reporter, Mr. Class Relotius, had plainly fabricated stories in many of his articles over the past seven years. The individuals he described or allegedly interviewed either did not exist or had not made the attributed statements. Relationships were mischaracterized and the context reported was either falsely described or non-existent. 

As the most important information source for many users, the media must take responsibility for the ethical and honorable delivery of fact-based and reliable messages. The opportunity is there. New information gathering capabilities can be a tool to improve quality.

Continuing poor work will further erode the public information space. For example, one can easily imagine a land without newspapers. Already, their role in the wrapping of fishes has been severely diminished.

The issue is of particularly great importance to the global investment community. Poor information leads to increased uncertainty and risk. In 2013, stock markets lost $130 billion in two minutes after AP posted false news about an explosion in the White House that was said to have injured President Obama. In the same year, the Chinese construction company Zoomlion’s share price tumbled 26.9% on the Hong Kong stock exchange when the state-owned CCTV network published a series of fake stories by a corrupted reporter.

For individual investors, wrong news will hurt their confidence in products or companies which they might use or invest. In consequence, lack of investment may lead to great opportunities missed.

In the long run, people have to learn, absorb, understand and react to surprising political results or sudden economic unrest. Life will continue to present spectacular events like the 2016 U.S. presidential election or Brexit, which can lead to confusing flows of information. Crossnational effects can be triggered by national inaccuracies. In German’s “Spiegelgate”, fake pieces largely focused on U.S. policies and segments of the American population. There were stories about U.S.-Mexican border conflicts with made-up “Mexicans Keep Out” signs, which may have intensified local disagreements.

Media worldwide need to regain public trust. Fact-checking must be improved. Credibility requires more transparency and a greater indication of global linkages. Also, the tasks of gathering and distribution should be viewed with appropriate humility.

It will be difficult for media both old and emerging to maintain and re-build credibility.  When President Trump tweets about an informational heap of bovine waste, he clearly reflects the risk of a decline comparable to that of the typewriter and medical application of leeches. Media need a commitment to honesty, accountability, transparency and personal responsibility, also for its global communication, in order to offer a safe and reliable public information space.

Professor Michael R. Czinkota (czinkotm@georgetown.edu) teaches international marketing and trade at the University of Kent in Canterbury and Georgetown University. His latest book is “In Search For The Soul of International Business”, (businessexpertpress.com) 2019.