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BA 529 FINAL EXAM

MAHESH REDDY MURAKA
BA 529
Final exam
Schiller International University
Dr. Harris

1. What is the greatest challenge to a company that decides to set up a branch in another nation?

Online auction site eBay is one of the world's best-known firms, boasting 157 million active buyers and reporting just shy of $18bn (£11.4bn) in revenues last year. Yet when it first tried to launch in China it failed. The difficulty of competing with local rivals meant that in 2006, a mere two years after entering China, it was forced to admit defeat and shut down its main website in the country. Instead it formed a joint venture with a local partner to help operate an online auction business in the country. Critics say it failed to recognise that having a strong US brand would not automatically translate to success in China.
And eBay is not the only firm to struggle with transferring a successful business model overseas. Tesco reportedly spent a decade preparing for the launch of its Fresh & Easy chain on the West coast of America, with its top executives even spending time living with Californian families to observe the way they lived and ate.
Yet six years after it opened, it announced it was pulling out - costing the firm a hefty £1.2bn.
Similarly one of the world's best known brands, US giant Starbucks, was forced to close almost three quarters of its shops in Australia just eight years after it opened them, after it struggled to win sales from local competitors.
There is also an important aspect that needs to be related to the process of internationalisation: Experience. The process of entering international markets by new ventures provides firms with knowledge that can be used to build additional value by the creation of skills (Barkema & Vermeulen, 1998; Ghoshal, 1987). According to Zahra et al. (2000) “New ventures competing in international markets, for instance, draw from multiple knowledge bases in their different business operations and learn new skills that augment current capabilities.” This perspective serves to highlight the fact that after the first experiences in terms of international ventures, firms are more confident of the process and therefore there is a lower risk associated to the entry in international markets. However, a major challenge for firms entering in new ventures in international markets for the first time is to bridge the distance to the host culture. Cultural distance is defined by Luostarinen (1980: 131-132) as "the sum of factors creating, on the one hand, a need for knowledge, and on the other hand, barriers to knowledge flow and hence also for other flows between the home and the target countries".
A very important aspect of the process of internationalization is the distance between certain cultures. This issue is very central to the international Business literature, as confirmed by Sousa and Bradley (2006: p. 49)
SURVIVAL:
Despite the difficulties, international expansion is often the only way for firms to increase sales. When domestic growth has stalled, other countries can provide a business with fresh customers potentially in an area with less competition or where demand for a particular product or service is higher. And of course, having a presence in more than one country ensures a firm isn't reliant on the health of just one country's economy for its success.
Over half of businesses (55%) saw a positive impact on their bottom line within just twelve months of expanding into international markets, according to the British Chambers of Commerce recent survey of 4,700 companies.
Ultimately, it's a matter of survival, says leadership expert Steve Tappin, who says that going global is often the only way for successful companies to keep growing.
Got to win those countries
When Jeff Immelt, chief executive of US giant General Electric (GE), took the helm over a decade ago, some 70% of its operations were in the US. Now it operates in more than 160 countries and over half of its revenues come from overseas.
For him, targeting deals in developing countries is a top priority because their rate of growth vastly outpaces that of the US and he says GE will never be so US-focused again "unless we are failing horribly".
"I sit in my office every day and say I've got to have higher market share in China than I have in the United States," he says. "I've got to win Brazil, I've got to win Africa. There's no choice. I've got to, I've got to win those countries."
Hiring locally
Similarly, Liu Yonghao, chairman of New Hope Group - one of China's largest agriculture businesses, says the high population and limited land has made production in its home country expensive and forced it to look overseas to lower its costs.
It's taken the firm almost two decades to build about 50 factories in 30 countries, with different focuses on production, distribution and trade, research and development and services. And now overseas sales account for a tenth of total sales. Mr Liu says one of the biggest lessons it's learnt is that relying just on Chinese managers to run overseas divisions is not the best approach. Recently, when it acquired an Australian firm of around 800 people, it sent just three Chinese board members to the firm and kept the main positions of authority including chief executive, sales director and chief financial officer unchanged. "We united the Chinese market and market forces, and the results have been good. Your product can't be very competitive when you're not assimilated into the local market and society."
But Victor Koo, chief executive of video-sharing giant Youku Tudou, often dubbed China's YouTube, warns that having local managers on the ground isn't enough unless they are actually given genuine authority and can make decisions without having to check them with head office first.
"When you're an international company and you're trying to compete with a local company, if it means that every time you need to make a decision you need to go back to headquarters and then come back, especially in a space like ours, in the internet space. you're going to lose to your local competitor."
EBay chief executive John Donahoe, who wasn't at the helm during the firm's first foray into China, says the reality is it takes a very long time - somewhere between 10 and 15 years to establish a firm in new markets. It now has 25 different domestic marketplaces globally which all use the same technology, but are run by local teams.
"We treat each market a little bit differently. They're all connected in a common technology platform, but balancing that local ownership, while also being part of a global technology platform, that's what we're trying to do," says Mr Donahoe.
This feature is based on interviews by leadership expert Steve Tappin for the BBC's CEO Guru series, produced by Neil Koenig.

2. Good strategies alone will never guarantee successful multinational operations?

Strategy itself can be seen as a plan for an organization. After recognizing the need for strategic change, the manager sets goals. Then he must determine actions to achieve those goals with the resources he has available. Prior to the Implementation members of several functions should be involved in the Formulation stage. Those who get involved should have credibility, thus other stuff follow their lead and see the importance of change. Therefore those involved must have a proper knowledge to educate others. In the Planning stage the manager has to organize the implementation effort successfully. Resources have to be allocated, responsibilities and authorities need to be set and capabilities and concerns of functions need to be solved. * Different strategies often call for the use of different organizational structures. A differentiation strategy aimed at increasing quality usually succeeds best in a flexible structure. * A low-cost strategy aimed at driving down costs works best in a more formal structure, which gives managers greater control. * At the corporate level, when managers pursue a strategy of vertical integration or diversification, a flexible structure is needed to provide sufficient coordination between different business divisions. * Managers are also challenged to create organizational structures that allow flexibility on a global level.

Asking a few can identify key drivers
Fundamental questions:
• Is this an organizational capability that is absolutely vital? Could something else be more?
Essential in causing the vision/mission to happen?
• Defined relatively, what is most important to competitive success and mission completion?
• Is this something that the organization is positioned to do better than its competitors?
• Will doing this well translate directly into continued or future success?
• would not doing this well cause the organization to fail?

3. What is the greatest advantage of using a worldwide product structure?

In a product structure, the firm is organised around specific products (or services) or related sets of products (or services). Typically, each product group contains all the traditional departments a functional structure has, such as finance, marketing, operations, human resource management departments, and so on. In a product organisational structure, managers report to the president or head of the company by product type. Retail companies consisting of stores in various cities primarily use this type of structure. Each product is generally treated as a profit center. That is, the expenses related to a product are subtracted from the revenues generated by the product’s sales. Most commonly, the heads of the product or services units are located in the headquarters of the company. However, this is not necessarily the case. The principal advantages of a product structure are as follows: * There is usually greater product responsiveness to market changes. * It often reduces the operating decision-making burden of the top executive. * Individuals in different functional areas within the product group focus more on the specific products and customers. * The performance of the firm’s products (profits and losses) is typically easier to evaluate.

Organizing is the process by which managers establish the structure of working relationships among employees to allow them to achieve organizational goals efficiently and effectively. Organizational structure is the formal system of task and reporting relationships that determines how employees use resources to achieve goals. Organizational design is the process by which managers make specific organizing choices that result in the construction of a particular organizational structure.

* According to contingency theory, managers design organizational structures to fit the factors or circumstances that are affecting the company and causing them the greatest uncertainty. Thus, there is no one best way to design an organization. * Four factors are important determinants of organizational structure. They are: 1) the nature of the organizational environment, 2) the type of strategy the organization pursues, 3) the technology the organization uses, and 4) the characteristics of the organization’s human resources.
The Organizational Environment

* The more quickly the external environment is changing and the greater the uncertainty within it, the greater the need to speed decision-making and communication so that scarce resources can be obtained. In such situations, the manager’s goal is to make organizing decisions that result in greater flexibility. Therefore, they are likely to decentralize authority and empower lower-level employees. * In contrast, if the external environment is relatively stable, uncertainty is low, and resources are readily available, managers can be organizing decisions that bring more stability or formality to the organization’s structure. * In today’s marketplace, change is rapid and competition is intense. Therefore, most managers are seeking ways to structure organizations that allow people and departments to behave flexibly.

Strategy

* Different strategies often call for the use of different organizational structures. A differentiation strategy aimed at increasing quality usually succeeds best in a flexible structure. * A low-cost strategy aimed at driving down costs fares best in a more formal structure, which gives managers greater control. * At the corporate level, when managers pursue a strategy of vertical integration or diversification, a flexible structure is needed to provide sufficient coordination between different business divisions. * Managers are also challenged to create organizational structures that allow flexibility on a global level.

Technology

Technology is the combination of skills, knowledge, tools, machines, computers, and equipment that are used in the design, production, and distribution of goods and services.

* The more complicated the technology, the greater the need for a more flexible structure that allows managers to respond quickly to unexpected situations. * If technology is routine, a formal structure is more appropriate because tasks are simple and procedures for performing tasks can be outlined in advance. Examples of nonroutine technology include scientists in research and development laboratories developing a new product or top management engaged in planning sessions to develop a their company’s strategy direction. Examples of routine technology include typical mass production or assembly operations where workers perform the same task repeatedly. * Small-batch technology is used to produce small quantities of customized, one-of-a-kind products and is based on the skills of people who work together in small groups. Because small-batch goods are customized, a structure that decentralizes authority and allows employees to respond flexibly to the unique requirements of each product is most appropriate. * Mass-production technology is based primarily on the use of automated machines that are programmed to perform the same operations time and time again. There is less need for flexibility, and a formal organizational structure is preferred because it gives managers more control over the production process.

Human Resources

* The more highly skilled a workforce and the more people are required to work together in groups or teams to perform tasks, the more likely an organization is to use a flexible, decentralized structure. * Flexible structures, characterized by decentralized authority and empowered employees, are well suited to the needs of highly skilled people. * The extent to which an organization’s structure is flexible or formal depends upon the organizing choices that managers make about four issues: 1) how to group tasks into individual jobs, 2) How to group jobs into functions and divisions, 3) how to allocate authority in the organization among jobs, functions, and divisions, and 4) how to coordinate or integrate jobs, functions, and divisions. Managing Globally: DaimlerChrysler, Volkswagen, and Decentralization

In 2001, managers at two different German car companies made two very different decisions concerning how to structure their companies. At DaimlerChrysler, CEO Jurgen Schrempp was furious about the billions of dollars of losses its U.S. Chrysler division experienced. He felt that this happened because his company was too decentralized. After the merger, Schrempp had left many decisions to the Americans and he believed that they had not made the tough choices required to reduce costs and improve quality. So he installed a German management team who would report directly to him so he could make the key decisions.
At Volkswagen, they were having a different problem. Managers believed too much centralization at the top of the organization had led to the lumping of all the cars together, to the point that the public could not perceive the difference between Audis and ordinary Volkswagens. So at Volkswagen they created two divisions, one for luxury cars and one for mass-produced cars. Decision making authority was decentralized in both.

Types of Integrating Mechanisms

* Managers can use various integrating mechanisms to increase communication and coordination among functions and divisions. The greater the complexity of an organization’s structure, the greater is the need to increase communication and coordination among functions and divisions. * Five integrating mechanisms are available to managers to increase coordination and communication. Listed in increasing complexity, they are: direct contact, liaison roles, task forces, cross-functional teams, and matrix structures.

4. What is the most important cultural value a meta-national company needs to encourage so that its alliance partners and subsidiaries share knowledge?

The Meta-national Corporation creates advantage on a world-wide scale. It does not limit itself to the international exploitation of those strategic advantages that it created in a national or "home-country" setting. Building on the fact that the relevant knowledge base in many industries is increasingly dispersed and contextually embedded, the Meta-national creates value by accessing, melding, and leveraging distant capabilities and market knowledge. It uses effective sensing and capturing nodes in each defining market and critical capability cluster. It manages attractors that coalesce and integrate dispersed knowledge and capabilities, while keeping knowledge nodes effectively and efficiently connected. A framework is presented to assist in understanding the major challenges, and propositions are presented to deal with the implementation of a Meta-national strategy. Neither the opportunity, nor the difficulty, to draw on dispersed and differentiated sources of knowledge and to achieve Meta-national innovations, have been well recognized initially by most companies.
Understanding the challenge of Meta-national innovation has proven equally hard. Some traditional multinationals simply suffer from ignorance: not having the experience of dispersed – multi-site - innovation projects, their management does not realize how different running a Meta-national innovation project will be from their experience of co-located projects. Many informal face-to-face interactions solve most problems under co-location, but these do not take place under dispersion. Unaware of likely difficulties, managers with no experience of multi-site innovation apply what their experience of co-location taught them, then fail and learn not to try again.

5. What is the greatest disadvantage of using a virtual team? Briefly explain why you chose that factor.

Disadvantages of Virtual Teams * Cost of Technology - The successful working of virtual team is supported by the efficient use of multiple communication technologies such as instant messaging, emails and video-conferencing, among others. No one tool can provide the complete support. The cost associated with these installation and maintenance tools is little on the higher side. * Conflicts, Lack of Trust & Collaboration - The cultural differences between the members of virtual teams gives rise to number of conflicts. For example, while an American would write a straightforward email describing a bad situation, this would be perceived as impolite by a South Asian (say Japanese) member of the team. This would lead to conflicts, mistrust and difficulties in fruitful collaboration, which is so vital for the success of virtual team functioning. These challenges are also precipitated by the absence of non-verbal cues so intrinsic to face-to-face interactions. * Social Isolation - Many members of virtual teams are adversely affected by the lack of physical interactions. Most of the communications in virtual environment is task-oriented. In today’s society where job is an important social force for most of us because many of our workplace colleagues also constitute our close friends, this gives a not-so-good feeling of social isolation. This in turns counter-effects productivity as well as leads to stress.
All these disadvantages can be overcome by following a different leadership/managerial approach, trainings, greater role clarity and effective communication strategies. Organization both big ones such as IBM, Microsoft, Whirlpool as well as SMEs are reaping the benefits of virtual teams for some time now. It has been a well-recognized fact that Virtual Team is not a passing tide but it is here to stay.

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Reasons for Failure of Virtual Teams
Last year Bob Stuart was given the ‘Best Team Leader’ award because his team had delivered all the milestones accurately and on-time. Along with the award, he was also a given a greater responsibility of leading a bigger and more diverse team whose members were located in 3 different countries. But this year not only that Bob’s name was nowhere found on the nomination list of best team leader award but his team could not even meet the project milestones. Do you also find yourself in a similar situation? If yes then this article has just the information you were waiting all along to pull you out of this not so desired situation.
With the growing need for shorter cycle time, enhanced innovation, lower operating costs and leveraging global talent, virtual teams come as a solution. Virtual teams give the much-desired competitive edge to the organizations in this fierce business scenario. Though many organizations adopt virtual teams but only few are able to squeeze its juice while the remaining only witness worse results. This article attempts to summarize the six underlying reasons for the failure of virtual teams. 1. No Differential Treatment to the Dynamics of Virtual Team - Just like the aforementioned case, many organizations do not acknowledge the greater complexity of a virtual team in terms of time, distance and culture differences. No training or orientation is imparted to either the leaders or the members of the virtual team. It is widely believed that virtual team is just another type of team. 2. Role & Process Ambiguity - Most of the members of virtual teams lack the clarity of either their task roles or their relational roles or even both. They do not know what specific activities they need to perform and what would be their outcome. Moreover due to the absence of face-to-face interactions members are unable to build workplace relationships, which are so vital for information sharing and trust. The uncertainty about the performance criteria as well as the career path is always there to haunt the members. All this causes confusion in terms of which all are on the team, who needs to perform what activities, how is one’s role dependent on the other etc. negatively effecting productivity and timelines. 3. Ineffective Leadership - Bob Stuart comes across as an ineffective virtual team leader even though last year he won the ‘best leader award’. Leaders do not adopt new leadership tools when it comes to virtual team. So if one continues to communicate with pigeons or post cards in today’s fast paced world when there are emails and SMS, he is doomed to fail. In addition to the technical skills a virtual team leader requires strong interpersonal and team building skills which aid integration of dispersed virtual team members towards shared goal. 4. Lack of Trust - Trust is the vital force to determine the success of virtual team. The socialization process intrinsic to the development of trust in a team is absent in the virtual team environment. Lack of trust at the level of either the team member or the team leader results in low relational commitment and high conflicts evident in low productivity and performance of the team. 5. Poor Team Engagement - Engaging a team member is so easy in traditional environment - take the member for a cup of coffee and give an informal feedback, as you pass his cubicle ask him to share his personal thoughts on the new product design or on the action plan decided in the last meetings. But all this is not possible when your team member is sitting in a different continent and he sleeps when you work or vice-versa. Members only come together to perform their tasks with all the meetings and discussion centered on the job. Members build their own perceptions about the other team members, decisions taken etc. This could be a silent killer for the functioning of a virtual team. 6. Lack of Effective Communication - In the virtual team environment there is a lack of nonverbal visual cues, which are so central to building trust among the members. Though there are myriad of communication tools such as emails, videoconferencing, instant messaging, phone etc. but one needs to have a knack for what, when and how to use them in order to ensure effectiveness. Many a times, members are left on their own without any constant progress updates about the project, clear and detailed responsibilities and timelines. They are not given a view of the bigger picture of how the work done by them is adding value to the overall project or organization.
There are specific behaviours, which demonstrate disengagement of the virtual team members such as frequent absence from team calls, lesser participation in team meetings and no interest in sharing information with the other team members or in overall project progress. If you witness any of these, know for sure that it is time you need to overhaul the virtual team management approach so as to emerge successful. The disengaged or dysfunctional team could be due to any of the pitfalls discussed above. Rather than rectifying when the problems crystallize, you need to take pre-emptive measures right from the formative stage of virtual teams. Don’t be another Bob Stuart!

6. What can a manager do to develop a strong organizational culture?

Building a strong culture within a team is at the core of business success. You want a culture that recognizes and embraces shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize the goals of the organization. And it’s a good idea to make sure it suits the best people who work at the company while making a positive impression on customers and anyone else associated with the business.
Establishing a culture you believe in means having a clear and consistent vision and knowing how you'd like everyone, inside and outside, to view the company. Many old-school CEOs and leaders were often “business operations first and people second.” But it's the people that make a business successful. The greater inclusion of people in the operation of the business has led to far more significant contributions by employees, which spill over to more appreciation from customers. So unless you are alone with nothing but technology, your business is built around people producing products and providing services for other people.
It’s a good idea to start by sitting down with your board of directors or co-founders to write down what your core values are and how you want to weave them into the DNA of your team. It’s important that the founders uphold the culture from the very beginning. To do so, the culture has to be more than just a shared vision. If you have a vision without a strategy, it will never be more than a vision.
Following are some things I believe to be the cornerstones of a solid business culture.
1. Transparency.
At my company, we go over all the key metrics of the business with the entire company. The goal is for all employees to feel they know the thinking, responsibilities, and strategy at various levels of the company and can share ideas and feedback no matter who they are.
Another thing we do to help bring more transparency into the organization is what we call a TGIF (I got this idea from Google). Our TGIF calls take place every other Friday and are all-hands calls. Everyone in the company can participate and ask questions. Since people often feel intimidated or uncomfortable in an any-question-welcome situation, we built a private forum on the Integrate server where employees can ask anonymous questions.
2. Time to disconnect.
We all need to hit the reset button once in a while -- people can't come in early and leave late every single day without getting burnt out at some level. While you want employees to have a work-hard founder’s mentality, you need to recognize the work-life integration that exists and how significant it is to make sure you have personally fulfilled, clear-thinking people. It’s important to understand that sometimes life will get in the way of business and everyone should be allowed to take care of pressing personal matters.
3. Empowerment and a sense of freedom.
You empower people by not micromanaging, erring on the side of giving people general guidelines rather than explicit, detailed directions. Informed employees are more involved and empowered in a company. And the more freedom people have to take on tasks, manage them, find solutions, and execute them, the more they feel connected to and woven into the company’s culture.
4. Physical space.
If you haven’t watched Susan Cane’s TED Talk on introverts, I highly recommend it. She opened my mind to the idea that American businesses are built for extroverts, down to the floor plans of our office spaces. Although open spaces are great for some, other people need to be able to close the door to be at their most productive. It’s important to consider the comfort level of your employees before you decide how to lay out space or what type of office space to lease.
5. Talking to customers and employees.
At different points in a company’s maturation process, you're almost guaranteed to go through weeks or even months where you feel lost. When you haven’t nailed a product market fit or you’re having challenges relating to your product or corporate vision, the natural tendency is to turn your attention to where you or your team went wrong. Another way to try to solve these problems is by talking to your customers.
“I go out to talk to customers to understand what works and what doesn’t work in the product," says David Tomizuka, CFO at Integrate. "It [also] helps you refine your approach and know how you're going to market it. And probably the most important thing is it fires you up. You get a lot of enthusiasm from being out there with customers and talking to people about your product.”
It's also important to touch base with your employees. “As an executive, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the minutia and the day-to-day operations that you're not out on the front lines as a leader,” Tomizuka adds. “So many leaders I know never go out and talk to their employees without an agenda. I used to schedule time just to walk the halls and get a pulse on how the culture is doing, how the employees are doing, and build and develop relationships. Making personal connections makes such a difference.”
6. Your organizational design.
Simply put, organizational design is the processes, structure, and hierarchy you put into place that allow you to put your culture into practice. It’s “how you do things.” This will include your communication, company policies, team building, performance indicators, performance evaluations, division of responsibilities, and even how you schedule, and run, meetings. For example, do you have a weekly meeting at the same time and in the same place, or do you hold meetings only when there's something worthy of discussing at a meeting? Are meetings for all employees, division heads, or certain team members? Do you always meet in conference rooms, in a specific area of the office, or by conference calls, or does the setting change?
If designed well, everyone in the business can do his or her job more effectively. Your business culture will significantly be enhanced if the organizational design you put into place clarifies authority, responsibility, and accountability.
Losing What You Have While Building for the Future
This comes up regularly with organizations that have created the kind of culture that they sought early in their business development. Leaders and/or key long-time staff worry about protecting their culture when growing. Although the concern is valid, I revert back to my image of organizations as people. You can worry (and appropriately so) about what’s going to happen to your kid if you let him out of the house. But at some point they will start going out. And you can’t—nor should you—stop them.
Of far greater value would be to back up to the beginning and start by teaching, visioning, etc. We cannot stop our organization’s culture from evolving. It’s going to change, and next year it will be different than today. The key is to avoid the negative vision—it’s not about what you don’t want to happen to the culture as the organization develops. Growth is a positive thing. The question instead is, “Given the growth that we’re going after and the way the world may change around us, what would the organizational culture of my dreams look like in five years? By writing down the vision of the culture you will create when successful, you are likely to get there.

7. What is the most important characteristic a company should look for in another company before developing a strategic alliance?

There are five general criteria that differentiate strategic alliances from conventional alliances. An alliance meeting any one of these criteria is strategic and should be managed accordingly.
1. Critical to the success of a core business goal or objective.
2. Critical to the development or maintenance of a core competency or other source of competitive advantage.
3. Blocks a competitive threat.
4. Creates or maintains strategic choices for the firm.
5. Mitigates a significant risk to the business.
The essential issue when developing a strategic alliance is to understand which of these criteria the other party views as strategic. If either partner misunderstands the other’s expectation of the alliance, it is likely to fall apart. For example, if one partner believes the other is looking for revenue generation to achieve a core business goal, when in reality the objective is to keep a strategic option open, the alliance is not likely to survive.
Examining each of the five strategic criteria in depth provides insight into how the strategic value of alliances can be leveraged.
1. Critical to a business objective
While the most common type of alliance generates revenue through a joint go-to-market approach, not every alliance that produces revenue is strategic. For example, consider the impact on revenue objectives if the relationship were terminated? Clearly, a truly strategic relationship would have a great bearing on the prospects for achieving revenue growth targets.
In addition to a single strategic alliance, related groupings of alliances—networks or constellations—may also be critical to a business objective. Sun Microsystems has established a group of integrator alliances that function as an effective marketing channel and drive significant revenues for the company each quarter. (See article, Constellation Strategy, elsewhere in this issue of IBJ Online).
This category also includes alliances with high potential, such as alliances that have large but unrealized revenue opportunity. Consider the impact of new industry standards that make it possible for products from different manufacturers to work together. This can unlock customer value and boost the revenue potential of new, technology-based products. From writable DVD formats to next-generation wireless technologies, technical standards are democratically determined in consortiums of interested industry participants. With product development racing in parallel, the first mover’s advantage can be substantial, and hence alliance development and lobbying within an industry become paramount to financial success.
Cost reduction may also be a core business objective of the alliance, particularly among supply-side partners. By investing together in new processes, technologies and standards, alliance partners can obtain substantial cost savings in their internal operations. Again, however, a cost-saving alliance is not truly strategic unless it has an underlying business objective, such as “to achieve an industry-leading cost structure.”
2. Competitive advantage and core competency
Another way in which an alliance can prove to be strategic is to play a key role in developing or protecting a firm’s competitive advantage or core competency. Learning alliances are the most common form of competitive/competency strategic alliances. An organization’s need to build incremental skills in an area of importance is often accelerated with the help of an experienced partner. In some cases, the learning objective of the relationship is openly agreed between the partners; however, this is not always the case. Learning alliances work best when:
1. The objectives are openly shared
2. There is little chance of future competition (such as when the partners are in adjacent industries)
3. The cultures of the organizations are similar enough to enable process and methods to be leveraged, and
4. The governance structure of the alliances is established to promote learning at the executive, managerial and operational levels.
3. Blocking a competitive threat
An alliance can be strategic even when it falls short of establishing a competitive advantage. Consider the case of an alliance that blocks a competitive threat. It is strategic to bring competitive parity to a secondary segment of a market in which the firm competes, when the absence of parity creates a competitive disadvantage in the related primary segments of that market. For example, competing in the high and medium price range of a market with a premium product may leave the firm vulnerable to a low-priced entry. If the firm’s manufacturing processes do not permit the creation of a low-priced product entry, a strategic alliance with a volume partner in an adjacent market can successfully block the competitive threat.
Another example of strategic alliances that block competitive threats are the airline alliances that permit route-sharing among carriers. The two primary determinants of customer flight selection are routing and cost. Therefore, the adoption of route-sharing alliances by the airlines blocks the competitive threat of preferential routing in the specific markets in which the airline chooses to compete. In essence, strategic alliances within the airline industry ensure competitive parity with respect to routing and force other factors such as on-time departures and customer service to become the bases for competitive differentiation.
4. Future strategic options
From a longer-term perspective, an alliance that is not fundamental to achieving a business objective today could become critical in the future. For example, in 1984, a U.S. consumer products company needed to expand distribution beyond the Midwestern states. Faced with the prospect of European competition at some point in the future, the firm made a strategic decision to invest in an alliance with a distribution and support services company that had incremental distribution capacity in the U.S. and a similar presence in Europe, rather than invest in expanding its own local distribution capabilities. With the option to expand into European distribution at any point, the firm could work to sew up the U.S. market before expanding too quickly internationally.
5. Risk mitigation
When an alliance is driven by intent to mitigate significant risk to an underlying business objective, the nature of the risk and its potential impact on the underlying business objective are the key determinants of whether or not it is truly strategic. Dual sourcing strategies for critical production components or processes are excellent examples of how risk mitigation can become the context for supply-side strategic alliances.
As process manufacturing companies advance the yield of their operations, suppliers often collaborate with the manufacturer to ensure their new products fit within its new operations. The benefits of such an alliance are cost savings to the manufacturer and accelerated product development for the supplier. In situations where the supplier’s product is critical to the manufacturer’s operation, it may be necessary for the manufacturer to have strategic alliances with two competing suppliers in order to mitigate such risks as unilateral cost increases or degradation in quality of service.
Joint ventures and minority equity investments
Among relationship commitments, joint ventures and equity investments are closest to the strategic end of the spectrum. However, investing a large sum of money in a partner does not automatically make the relationship strategic. One needs only to survey the wreckage of the dot-com era for proof of failed minority equity investments in alliances. It may be economically sound to invest $1 million in a distribution relationship that is projected to return $1.5 million in incremental sales the following year. This would not necessarily be strategic to a firm with $800 million in annual sales, unless the alliance also served an alternate purpose that met one of the five strategic criteria. For example, if the achievement of a core business objective, such as access to a new market, were enabled by the investment, then it would be strategic to the firm.
Management
How, then, should strategic alliances be managed differently than traditional alliances? There are countless lists of reasons why alliances fail. However, aside from ensuring “sound strategic alignment” between the partners, most determinants of failure are less than strategic in nature.
Lack of executive sponsorship is often a source of alliance failure. With strategic alliances, the key to effective executive sponsorship is visibility and accountability. Since failed alliances can directly impact a business in a meaningful way, or even have adverse implications for the executive’s own financial bonus or prestige, he has a strong incentive to consider the strategic alliance as important as his other primary responsibilities.
Metrics determine just how the alliance and accountable executives are kept on track. While clear metrics are required of any alliance, shared metrics between the partners are absolutely critical to the success of a strategic alliance. Shared metrics bring immediate alignment of focus between the parties, and when executive sponsors are held accountable for the shared metrics, the two firms become aligned as one.
Poor alliance governance structures are another common source of alliance failure. Strategic alliances are best served by formalized governance structures with clear mandates that are directly linked to the shared metrics underpinning the partnership. At Hewlett-Packard we often create strategic alliance executive committees using an “N by N” mapping of key HP executives to their counterparts at the alliance partner. The number (“N”) and position of the executives participating in the review meetings—usually on a quarterly basis—is tailored to the specifics of each strategic alliance. The attending executives represent the business unit(s) and core functions that are critical to execution of the strategic alliance.
Regular meetings of executives from the partner companies continue the relationship building that begins while formulating and negotiating the terms of the strategic alliance. Trust is perhaps the foundation of a strategic alliance and these relationships are the building blocks for establishing trust amongst the individuals who represent the two parties in the strategic alliance.
The real reason that most alliances fail is the constant change in the business environment. Trust allows the parties in a strategic alliance to have the difficult discussions that will transform the alliance over time and give it longevity. When corporate strategies change as a result of a changing business environment, the assumptions upon which the strategic alliance was originally based also change. What was once a strategic investment may no longer remain strategic without modification to the terms of the alliance. In the most extreme cases, the trust built between the two companies enables the adaptability—even renegotiation of the financial terms—to accommodate changes in market or other conditions that impact one of the partners.
Strategic alliance organizations are feeling increased pressure. As critical personnel become stretched and financial resources become scarce, strategic alliance organizations must allocate their resources in the most efficient manner possible so that truly strategic alliances can support and accelerate the strategy of the business. The five strategic criteria outlined in this article are primary determinants of the strategic value of an alliance. Using these criteria to identify genuine strategic alliances in the portfolio today and as a guide for developing future strategic alliances are the first steps to improving the impact of an alliance organization. The management principles, also described above, are the next steps towards improving the effectiveness of the strategic alliances themselves.
How to Share Ideas
Intellectual property, or IP -- whether it's a new technology or customer lists -- plays a complicated role in an alliance. On one hand, it often lies at the center of a joint venture. But most companies are used to keeping secrets secret -- and suddenly, employees are being asked to do otherwise. Here are two ways to avoid IP problems.
Make it clear what you are sharing -- and what you are not. Partnerships can be quickly frustrated when rank-and-file employees aren't sure which intellectual property they can share with the other company. Slowinski recommends convening a private meeting with your employees to go over the ground rules for disclosing intellectual property: what must be shared; what may be shared, depending on the circumstances; and what can never be shared. Also explain how the company will protect its partner's intellectual assets. And it's worth keeping assets that may be shared separate from those that may not -- on a separate server, perhaps.
Plan for the end. Whether business alliances break up over a disagreement or just run their natural course, many eventually end. But once IP is shared, it is often hard to put it back in the bag. The agreement should address this issue in advance. Does the use of your partner's assets end with the venture? That is often the case when one partner licenses a new technology or other IP to another: When the alliance ends, so does the license. But what about client lists? And what happens to the intellectual property you develop jointly? Be certain that your agreement specifies who gets the kids in the event of a divorce.
Put it in Writing
"If you don't have a written agreement, you have no agreement," says Barry Sloane. The document should encompass all the parties' legal obligations. If the allies have to come to other understandings -- over, say, a mission statement -- these should be attached to the contract in an appendix, says Lynch.
Don't jump to conclusions. Beware, writes venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki in The Art of the Start, beginning the negotiation with a draft contract. The document can take on a life of its own and potentially upend the talks.
Anticipate the worst. The contract should completely define the process for when things go wrong -- and be sure, says Sloane, to allow for quick exits. "We think marriages are best when they're shotgun marriages." According to Kawasaki, an escape clause "assures both parties that they won't be trapped in an untenable predicament."
Resources
The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (strategic-alliances.org) has a list of consultants and a library of articles, available to members.
The Licensing Executives Society (lesi.org) is an organization of people interested in technology and IP transfer, including company officials who acquire technology from other businesses. The North American chapter (lesusacanada.org) has 5,000 members.

8. What is the greatest challenge for a brick-and-mortar company that decides to sells its products on the Internet? most brick-and-mortar brands, e-commerce contributes 8-10 per cent of revenues globally. For instance, US retailer Macy's, which has the most successful e-commerce platform, reported $3.1 billion of omni-channel sales last year, while its total sales stood at $27 billion. Considering India's vast geography, prohibitively huge real estate prices and unfriendly regulations, one may expect e-commerce contribution for physical retailers to be much higher, but that would certainly not be the case because most retail brands have not penetrated the small towns and cities.
Unlike matured economies, where offline stores have helped create awareness about the benefits of online shopping among their consumers, in India it has clearly been an after-thought. "I would blindly shop at Macy's online. The price is not the sticky point, it is the brand which makes me access Macy's.com. But I don't trust Shoppersstop.com. The company has built 10 years of brand equity around its stores, but has never helped me build a habit to visit Shoppersstop.com," says Chopra.
Shrikhande of Shoppers Stop admits that the omni-channel play will be one of the toughest journeys for all brick-and-mortar retailers in India. "Connecting the 72 stores and four distribution centres to the 400 brands across eight sizes and stock-keeping units is never easy. It needs technology and a lot of data crunching. The other big challenge would be to ensure on-time delivery."
Though most brands will depend on third-party supply chain and logistics companies to deliver, there are teething problems even in that segment. "During the sale period, every retail brand is on sale and the logistics companies don't yet have the capabilities to deliver so many orders on time," says Sawlani of AND Design.
To add to the woes of brick-and-mortar retailers, they do not have the kind of financial backing that their online peers have. "The fact that the likes of Snapdeal and Flipkart are able to offer such crazy discounts and set up the logistics chain is because they have the luxury of burning private equity money," says Chopra.

KABIR LUMBA, MD, Lifestyle International - Nobody realised that the (e-commerce) market would grow so fast on the back of discounting
Perishable Merchandise
Though an omni-channel presence is getting increasingly important for retailers across the board, the going will be very tough for food and grocery brands. "The big challenge would be handling supply chain and logistics as the category consists of a large amount of perishables. Neither the retailers nor the logistics providers are equipped for it," says Peshwa Acharya, former marketing head of Reliance Retail. Agrees Dave of Ambit: "Imagine delivering eggs or seafood to a home. That introduces a completely different element. You can't imagine the complexity in terms of inventory management, sourcing, and supply chain."
Says Khattar of Godrej: "We are not going to sell cold cuts, cheese and wine on Snapdeal. However, we do sell them on our own platform as that caters to a much smaller geography and we are able to handle the supply chain and logistics." Similarly, Shaswat Goenka, Sector Business Head, RPG Retail (Spencer's), says that considering the challenges of online grocery and food retail, his priority will be to first focus on the profitability of his brick-and-mortar stores before venturing into online food and grocery retail. "The logistics issues in online retailing kill the business," he says, adding that work is on to get the company future-ready with the launch of Spencer's Retail mobile app that would tell customers how far the nearest Spencer's outlet is and the best deals available at the stores. "The idea is to enhance customer service and win their loyalty before introducing newer platforms," he says.
Retailers must also keep in mind the kind of merchandise that they offer online. Though Biyani says that 70-80 per cent of his food offerings on the omni-channel platform will be private brands, Acharya says offering one's own brand of jam, biscuits, butter or wheat flour on the online platform will not work. "Retailers have to think out of the box and have to come up with differentiated products, ideally products that consumers will not find anywhere and would be willing to pay the premium for."
For example, Tesco Online in the UK gets a substantial chunk of revenue from its e-commerce platform. Apart from the regular branded products that Tesco sells, it also sells a large offering of gourmet food and wines under its own brand, which has a huge following. "A large part of Tesco's online sales come from these differentiated offerings. The Indian food and grocery retailers have to differentiate in order to be successful," he explains.
For Acharya, food and grocery retail is the holy grail of online retail. "Once it is cracked, it will be a cakewalk for the other verticals," he adds. Life will continue to be challenging for brick-and-mortar brands, but they must get their act together or risk losing the share of their wallet as well as footfalls to their online peers. "India has to go through the cycle where the customer has to first evolve. Retailers are up with a generation who want to buy from Jabong or Snapdeal for the discounts they offer. As they mature a set of more sophisticated customers will evolve, who will be willing to shop and spend online as well as at offline stores," says Rastogi of General Atlantic.
Till then, the challenge for brick-and-mortar stores is to help consumers develop both online and offline brand loyalty for their products by providing better shopping experience and improved services.
- WITH INPUTS FROM ARPITA MUKHERJEE

THE IMPORTANCE OF SELLING ONLINE
Although the current state of commerce shows 90% of sales are still happening in brick-and-mortar stores with only about 10% coming from online purchases, the more important stat to examine is where the growth is taking place. Target said in their Q4 2015 earnings call that eCommerce makes up only 5% of their total sales, but it accounted for two thirds of their increase in comparable sales.

This is the kind of growth that small, mid-sized, and mid-market brick-and-mortar businesses can’t ignore.
CHALLENGES
When expanding into new channels and beginning to sell online, you are bound to face a few roadblocks. The three most difficult challenges you will face are:
1. Tracking Inventory Levels Across Multiple Channels
When you’re just managing your brick-and-mortar store, it may have been easy to track inventory. You could have gotten by with simple spreadsheets. A confusing aspect of selling on multiple channels is tracking how much inventory to have onhand across in-store and various online channels. How can you forecast your purchase orders? How much should you keep stocked at your brick-and-mortar store and how many products should you keep at a third-party logistics (3PL) shipping company?
2. Understanding the Profitability of Products Selling on Multiple Channels
The cost structure between brick-and-mortar, an online store, and different channels for products will be different. You will need to adjust the price to account for the different costs. Selling the same product at your brick-and-mortar store will have a different profitability profile than it will selling on Amazon or your hosted eCommerce store.
3. Implementing the Fulfillment Process of Online Channels
So now you have your products listed online and you are receiving orders. Does this mean you have to hire a warehouse manager to ship all of these orders? No. You’re competency lies in product sourcing and merchandising. Do not add additional payroll expenses for non-value added activities. This challenge can be overcome by utilizing Amazon’s FBA service, as I will discuss in the process of how to implement an online selling strategy.
PROCESS
We have established the importance of selling online as well as the challenges you will face, but what is the step-by-step process to overcome all these multichannel selling challenges, and grow your online business without letting your brick-and-mortar business suffer? Follow this 7-step process:

1. Build a Catalog Database of Products
Having a catalog that includes all your inventory with vital information is crucial for listing your products. Having all the information in one excel or Google Sheets will expedite the process for listing your products. The information you should track are: UPC code, title of product, category, product cost, and a link to the folder of all the images.

2. Take Professional Photographs
Having a brick-and-mortar store, you may not have a need for images. When it comes to eCommerce, high quality photographs are what your customers see and can be a deciding factor of what they are going to buy. Imagine a customer walking through your store and can only read text without seeing the product. They are not likely to make any purchases. I recommend 7 images of different angles, lifestyle shots, and of the retail package if you have it.
3. List Products on Amazon
Listing products on Amazon should be your first step in selling online. Forty-four percent of people begin their online purchasing directly in Amazon.com. Being on Amazon immediately gives you access to hundreds of thousands of customers that transcends geographical location. You will be a third-party seller on Amazon which means that you are still the retailer, but Amazon gets a percentage of the sales for bringing customers to their site. Amazon also requires the most extensive amount of product information, so by tackling this channel first, it will make the other channels that much easier.
4. Send a Portion of Inventory to Amazon FBA Warehouses
To solve the problem of managing shipments once you start seeing online sales, the best strategy is to utilize Amazon’s FBA program. FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) is a service that allows you as a retailer to store inventory at Amazon’s fulfillment centers across the country. When orders come in, Amazon associates will pick, pack, and ship your product to customers. Amazon FBA allows your product to become “Prime” which is an attractive offer from the eyes of the customer. Of the 54 million Amazon Prime customers, the average customer spends $1,500 annually on the site. The moral of the story is you would be foolish not to use Amazon FBA because it solves the challenge of implementing a new fulfillment process and you will see an increase in sales for using the program.
5. Integrate an Inventory Management System
Even at this point with only two channels (your brick-and-mortar store and Amazon), you run into the challenge of keeping track of your inventory. Luckily, there are cloud-based inventory management software products that track your inventory levels for your retail store, Amazon, and other marketplaces so that you do not sell out of your product and are then unable to fulfill an order that comes through another channel. I recommend Stitch Labs. Stitch Labs also solves another problem of tracking the profitability of products sold on other channels.
6. Create a Hosted Store
Your next channel to start selling through should be a hosted online store. I recommend Shopify. A Shopify store is equivalent to your storefront on the Internet. You can have your own domain name of your store, share your store’s story, and expand your brand. You should also start creating an email list of your customers to begin email marketing campaigns. Through this channel, you’ll own the most data about your customers and are less dependent on another channel - for example, Amazon - if they decide to raise fees or implement new policies.
7. List Products on Multiple Marketplaces
Amazon and Shopify are set up, the next step is to start expanding to the other channels that make sense for your business. The idea is to be where your customers shop and to have the most eyes on your products. Other channels, along with their customer profile include: * eBay * Etsy * Rakutten * Jet.com
CONCLUSION
As a retail store owner, you need to start selling online in order to remain competitive in the future. Customers have changing behavior in how they shop and you, as the business owner, need to keep up with these evolving trends. You can follow this process and do the legwork yourself, but if you find yourself too busy managing your own retail store to expand to selling online, reach out to amzhelp.com if you want to hire the experts for implementing this strategy.

9. How can a company best prepare a worker to go on an expatriate assignment?

At the point when a customer sends a worker abroad, there is the likelihood that it won't be a win for either. This is actually a major sympathy toward organizations, and not just due to the time and cost included in a universal task. There is likewise the potential loss of human capital, since those decided for assignments are regularly rising stars in the authority positions, or have particular abilities which the association needs. In spite of these worries, numerous representatives finish their worldwide assignments, as well as flourish at the same time, and go ahead to give their associations an enduring degree of profitability.

* Inadequate choice criteria * Inadequate introduction/preparing of exiles to help them in adapting to the way of life, work values and * Ethics of the host nation * Inadequate arrangement of life partner and youngsters in adjusting to the new culture * Marital troubles and high separation rates coming about because of social stun * Substance misuse * Inadequate corporate correspondence emotionally supportive networks accommodated exiles while on task * Gender issues * Repatriation issues

Developing a Global Mind-set
Raphaele Gauducheau, general manager of the Mediterranean region at Right Management, noted that in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, putting leaders into cross-functional or cross-business-unit roles helps prepare them for future global assignments. “It forces leaders to get out of their comfort zone and think differently with fresh perspectives,” she said in the report.
Establishing a selection process that includes screening for key competencies—such as the ability to adapt socially and cultural fluency—and setting up a local, on-the-ground network to prepare and ease expatriates into their new role are additional ways to bring about successful overseas assignments.
Ron Pilenzo, president & CEO of The Global HR Consultancy, based in Hobe Sound, Fla., and former president of the Society for Human Resource Management, agreed that the lack of attention to the cultural differences in the expat selection process is critical. Most U.S. companies simply try and match skills and pay little attention to the economic, political and cultural differences in an overseas assignment, he said. "Most expat failures are attributed to a mismatch of the individual's spouse, or family members and believe that pre-assignment training and counseling will fix the problem. But the most critical mismatches of an expat with wide differences in values, beliefs, managerial style and team orientation in a different cultural setting will blow up the assignment and leave a wake of destruction behind," he said. "All the training and preparation in the world cannot fix the wrong person going into the wrong country or region where the differences are so huge that they cannot be overcome by preparation before or during an assignment."
Roy Maurer is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

Job Security Top Incentive for Expatriate Employees, SHRM Online Global HR, June 2013
International Assignments Expected to Increase in 2013, SHRM Online Global HR, May 2013
New York Maintains Rank as Lowest-Risk City for Business Worldwide, SHRM Online Global HR, April 2013
Be Careful When Drawing Up Expatriate Agreements, SHRM Online Global HR, March 2013

10. As a new expatriate who must hire twenty local employees, what can you do to ensure that you are hiring the best applicants?
Not at all like the expat worker, have neighborhood representatives had no experience working inside your association. They will require time to adjust to your association's techniques and working schedules, from IT frameworks to reporting structures to correspondence styles. Likewise, the nearby contract might stand up to dialect and social hindrances when associating with central command.

The principal inquiries new companies regularly grapple with are whom to contract, when and where to discover great applicants. The accompanying is a summary of a few nuts and bolts.
What position to fill first will vary for every organization, contingent upon industry, area and the aptitudes of the authors Entrepreneurs must come down their staffing plan to a modest bunch of individuals who can get the organization's item or administration to showcase. Abnormal state administrators aren't typically contracted until the organization has seen some critical development.
With regards to whom to contract, little organizations frequently do best with adaptable competitors who are utilized to littler situations. As a rule, the perfect hopeful can work with a lot of self-governance and doesn't require hand-holding. As all businesses rapidly take in, there's a huge improvement between a laborer who's accurately coordinated to their occupation and their association, and one who is definitely not. * Develop exact sets of expectations. * Compile a "win profile. * Draft the promotion, depicting the position and the key capabilities required. * Post the promotion in the mediums destined to achieve your potential occupation . * Develop a progression of telephone screening questions. * Review the resumes you get and distinguish your best applicants. * Screen competitors by telephone. * Select possibility for evaluation.

* Assess your potential possibility for their abilities and traits utilizing a demonstrated evaluation instrument. * Schedule and conduct applicant interviews. * Select the applicant * Run a historical verification on the person to reveal any potential issues not uncovered by past testing and meetings. * Make your offer to the hopeful.
11. Provide an example of how non-verbal communication can cause a problem within an organization. Briefly explain your answer.
Most of us remember cringing as children when our mothers gave us that look -- the look that meant we were in deep trouble. She didn't have to say a word. And even if she did say a word -- even if it was kind -- you could probably still tell you were in trouble because the brain processes both verbal and nonverbal communication at the same time and notices when someone's words don't match their body language. A wealth of emotions can be conveyed with a look, a sigh, a smile or a tilt of the head. Nonverbal communication is not just something we do to show how we are feeling, but we also depend on our interpretations of it when we interact with each other.
Conflict:
Nonverbal communication includes body language, tone of voice and facial expressions, all of which can be misinterpreted. When nonverbal cues are misinterpreted, it can create conflict in a relationship. For example, if you share a deep secret with your best friend, and she frowns at you, you might interpret that as disapproval -- even though she may have been frowning in concentration. If you cross your arms while talking to your boss, you might just be cold -- but your boss might see that as a sign that you disagree with him. If you speak to your lover in a sarcastic tone, he might become defensive -- even if the actual words spoken were not accusatory.
Discomfort:
Nonverbal communication can also cause you to feel uncomfortable around another person, even if the communication is not misinterpreted. For example, if your friend stands very close to you to hear you talk, you might feel as if he is invading your personal space. If your partner's tone of voice seems sarcastic, but his words aren't, you still might feel like he is making fun of you. The important thing to remember is that most of the time, it isn't intentional. Much of our nonverbal communication is unconscious. In some cases, we don't meant to do it, but we can't really communicate effectively without it.
12. Briefly explain how culture could influence a negotiation session.
Different people negotiate different ways. An older gentleman might negotiate one way, while a single mother of three might negotiate another way. These differences are not only present here in the U.S., but also when we negotiate with individuals from other countries. Culture influences how individuals negotiate and how they view and interpret the negotiation process.
If we understand that negotiations are conversations aimed at reaching an agreement, and if we can also understand that different cultures reach agreements in different ways, then we have the basis of international negotiations. That is to say how one culture may look at the negotiation process totally different than another. These differences can create conflict in the process.
There are several main areas where cultural differences impact negotiating. The following are all differences that may arise during the negotiation process due to cultural differences: * Desire for a long-term relationship or just a one-time deal * Preference to win negotiating or preference for a win-win negotiation * Informal or formal attitude * Direct or indirect communication style * Show emotion or hide emotions * Decisions made by the group or by the leader
Let's look at each of these points to get a better idea of how they could affect negotiations.
13. Briefly explain how a country’s political system could affect the design or redesign of a job.
Political economy analysis is concerned with the interaction of political and economic processes in a society: the distribution of power and wealth between different groups and individuals, and the processes that create, sustain and transform these relationships over time.
Any new democracy must choose (or inherit) an electoral system to elect its legislature. Equally, political crisis within an established democracy may lead to momentum for electoral system change, and even without political crisis campaigners for political reform may attempt to put electoral system change onto the political agenda. Decisions to change or indeed to keep in place, an electoral system are often affected by one of two circumstances:
• Either political actors lack basic knowledge and information so that the choices and consequences of different electoral systems are not fully recognized * Conversely, political actors use their knowledge of electoral systems to promote designs, which they think will work to their own partisan advantage.
Organizational change is pervasive today, as organizations struggle to adapt or face decline in the volatile environments of a global economic and political world. The many potent forces in these environments competition, technological innovations, professionalism, and demographics, to name a few shape the process of organizational adaptation. As a result, organizations may shift focus, modify goals, restructure roles and responsibilities, and develop new forms. Adaptive efforts such as these may be said to fall under the general rubric of redesign.
When the environments change, the organization must eventually respond, and today this must occur at a rate and in ways never before seen or imagined. Organizations that are not able to adapt quickly enough to maintain their legitimacy or the resources they need to survive either cease to exist or become assimilated into other organizations.
14. Provide an example of when a company should involve employees, and groups of employees in setting work goals.
One of a manager’s key responsibilities is encouraging the growth of his or her employees. By setting measurable and attainable goals, the manager not only guides improvement in employee performance, but can actively help strengthen the business and enhance its reputation as an employer of choice. * Set Goals That Align with Company Objectives. * Invite Employees to Identify Job-Specific Goals. * Set SMART Goals * Emphasize Attainable Goals * Set Consistent Goals for Employees with Similar Responsibilities * Reward Employees Who Achieve Their Goals * Work Closely with Employees Who Fall Short of the Mark
When employees fall short, avoid recriminations or other negative responses. Focus on their sincere attempts to succeed and give them the resources necessary to get it right the next time.
Employees can be very busy in their roles, but that does not mean they are high-performing if their roles are not directly contributing toward achieving the overall goals of the organization. The first step toward solving this problem is to establish clear performance goals. Some people have a strong negative reaction toward setting goals because they fear goals as “the law” that must be maintained and never broken. Some people fear they will never achieve the goals. Others have disdain for goals because goals seem to take the “heart” out of their work.
15. Briefly explain how culture affects leadership behaviors.
Leaders shape the way people think and behave—leaders are viewed by others as role models, and employees look around to see if their behavior is consistent with the organization’s espoused values and philosophy.
Leaders set the agenda. Leaders influence the organization’s culture and in turn the long-term effectiveness of the organization. Leaders and managers set the context within which organizational members strive for excellence and work together to achieve organizational goals.
A leader is someone who selects, equips, trains, and influences followers and focuses them to the organization’s mission and objectives, causing the followers to willingly and enthusiastically expend energy in a concerted, coordinated effort to achieve the organizational mission and objectives. * A leader is able to exercise influence. * There is a vision or mission. * Followers are willing to work toward the vision.
There were two other aspects of the “way things were done” there that captured the other key values of the business. First, the company emphasized getting the work out the door as quickly as possible. “Just get it done and dusted” was the mindset. This showed little respect for the craft of development or the customer. Getting it done mattered more than how well it was done or whether the client was happy.

References:

* Guest, D. E. (1987). Human resource management and industrial relations [1]. Journal of management Studies, 24(5), 503-521. * Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2005). Social entrepreneurship: Creating new business models to serve the poor. Business horizons, 48(3), 241-246. * Doz, Y. L., Santos, J., & Williamson, P. J. (2001). From global to Meta-National: How companies win in the knowledge economy. Harvard Business Press. * Egelhoff, W. G. (1982). Strategy and structure in multinational corporations: An information-processing approach. Administrative Science Quarterly, 435-458. * Boyer, K. K., Hallowell, R., & Roth, A. V. (2002). E-services: operating strategy—a case study and a method for analyzing operational benefits. Journal of Operations management, 20(2), 175-188.

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