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. 

Modern International Business and Our Humanitarian History

We debate new approaches to teaching and communication, but don’t stop to think what effect Gutenberg’s printing press, wireless telegraphy, or the introduction of radio had on business and society. We highlight the disruptions from terrorism but neglect that already the crusaders wrote home about their fear of terror. We complain about the new phenomenon of pirates in Somalia – though such profession was riding high in the Caribbean or during Roman times in Sicily (which is where Pompeius earned his early reputation when he brought about their demise). We deplore the differentiation of groups based on religion, but conveniently forget the impact of Torquemada and the inquisition, or the reactions to Luther’s theses on the church doors of Wittenberg.

International Business, Trade and Their Terminologies

For decades, the use of the term “Most Favored Nation (MFN)” status has led to demonstrations and even street battles. Now, the problem has gone away, since governments have changed the terminology and only speak of “Normal Trade Relations (NTR)”, a goal that seems to be acceptable to all. Definitions which shape our understanding of core issues such as “fairness,” “market gaps,” “dumping,” and “natural,” can be changed or amended, and thus present us with new realities.

Many of today’s business executives discover that their activities are but one integral component of society. Politics, security, and religion are only some of the other dimensions that historically, and maybe again in the future, are held in possibly higher esteem than economics and business by society at large. Those who argue based on business principles alone may increasingly find themselves on the losing side.