Free Essay

Multinational Management

In: Business and Management

Submitted By Mashchapeyama
Words 13896
Pages 56
By Mashell Chapeyama

Effects of globalization in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe, like other countries, has been affected by globalization. The first thing is that the welfare of the people in the country improved. There is good medication that is coming from other countries. During drought periods we get food from as far as America. China has been contributing also to the country. A lot of funds have been donated to the country. This fund was used to assist in education. So many children are now learning in the country. The life expectancy of the people has also improved due to medication and good food that is coming from other countries. There has been an improvement in the development of the country. We have received new technology from other countries that have led to economic growth. For example, in Zimbabwe about fifty percent of our fuel now comes from bio-sources. Fuel is now being made from plants. This has led to the creation of employment. The rate of employment has increased of late. New technology has flowed in the country. We are now able to use solar energy, wind energy and hydropower due to globalization. Due to globalization the political system has changed in my country. We have now adopted democratic type of governance. This is as a result of the influence of organizations such as United Nations. Regional blocks also emphasize on the need to be democratic in governance. One negative impact has been that of environmental degradation. Due to demand of products by other countries, a lot of resources have been used up. For example there is mining where a lot of resources are exported. That has led to environmental problems. A lot of forests have been destroyed of late, giving way to agricultural activities.
Some of the following are benefits that have arisen from globalization in my country:
• Economic growth
• Improvement in health services
• New technology came into the country
• Variety of food can be eaten
• There is improvement in communication.
Reference

http://www.worldbank.org/depweb/beyond10/be-12.pdf http://sta.uwi.edu/salises/workshop/csme/paper/wbaumol.pdf http://www.ilo.org/public/english/wcsdg/docs/report.pdf http://www.milkeninstitute.org/pdf/globalization-pb.pdf http://www.aaas.org/spp/yearbook/2000/ch8.pdf http://www.globaled.org/issues/176.pdf Self-reflection essay
Multinational management

I have never worked in a multinational company. I have had some relatives who worked in multinational organizations. However, there are a number of multinational organizations in Zimbabwe. Some of these are banks like Barclays or Standard Chartered Bank. We have mining companies such as Anglo-America. Despite this I do not have much knowledge on how they are run. Since I have never been in a multinational company, I have carried out a research on the performance of these companies so that I would answer this assignment question. What I am writing is not based on what I have experienced but on what I have read.
The following are some of the problems that I have found in my research as the ones that bedevil multinational companies.
• There is difference in cultures. As a result of the varying cultures, the strategies that can be created at the head office may not work in other countries. An example is of a company that has its head office in USA and has its other branch in South Africa. The head office is located in Pennsylvania for example. What this means may be that the main strategies or policies are crafted in USA but are to be applied in South Africa. This leads to situation that the strategies and policies of the company that are designed in USA may not work in South Africa. The policy crafted in USA to be applied in South Africa may not be very responsive to the culture of South Africa.
• The other problem is that there are varying business backgrounds. The management of varying branches may not share their experiences since these are based in varying environments. The socio-economic and political situation in the two countries differs.
• The marketing and competition levels are different. This means there can not be general policies and strategies that may be used in many countries as with respect to marketing and product development.
• The other problem relates to the use of labor. Some multinational companies employ people from different countries. This leads to varying cultures and needs at one company.
• Benefits and compensation can be very difficulty to peg. Branches from varying places may require different compensation levels. Therefore achieving equity may be difficulty.
• Different cultures may lead to distrust among the various employees.
• Product quality may need to be varied based on the culture and the background of the market.
What I have learned

There are a few things I have learned from the research I undertook. The following are some of the things that I have learned:
• To be successful as a multinational company manager or leader, one has to be a cultural relativist. We need to accept the culture and values of other people. We must not be ethnocentric.
• One needs to have a good understanding of human behavior in order to manage in a multinational company.
• One needs to apply various leadership knowledge and skills in the day to day running as a strategic measure. I would recommend the use of contingency approach to leading people.
• How the course will assist

The course will assist me to develop a good mind set that would enable me to fit in a multinational company. I will learn how management is done in some countries
I expect to find cases studies on running multinational organizations.

Reference
Craigslist

Craigslist refers to a web system where advertisements are placed on the internet so that people can access the information. It resembles the format of classifieds advertisements in newspapers. A lot of things are advertised. This ranges from jobs, personal requirements, internships, and even about pets. People can access a lot of information. People can post their advertisements and read others. People can therefore respond accordingly if they see what they want. People for example can search for goods such as vehicles or search for jobs. They can post situations wanted or auctions that are likely to take place. Individuals can post their work on the internet. Pictures or illustrations or diagrams can also be used there. Contact details are put.
What factors contributed to the growth of the craigslist?

There are a number of factors that contributed to the growth of craigslist. The first one is that many people can access the advertisements that are flighted. It is estimated that millions of users access the craigslist per day only in the United States. The other factor is that it is free to go to the craigslist and get whatever information one wants. People can use various languages in the craigslist. This adds to the aspect of accessibility. Another factor is that craigslist use open source software. These soft wares get better time after time, giving quality service to its clients. There is constant feedback from many people. This allows craigslist to improve its services. Decisions that are made are as a result of the feedback that is obtained from many people around the world. It provides an efficient service to its customers and is philanthropic oriented
How does craigslist differ from eBay?

EBay has a focus on maximizing profit for the shareholders. This is so because it is a public company. However craigslist is not there to maximize profit. It is there to also offer service to the people on philanthropic or social reasons. It does aim to make a lot of profit at all cost.
What is the business model of craigslist?

Craigslist is basically an advertisement model of business. There is web advertisement. It emerged or is related to the older broadcast method. In most cases it is free. It can however use banners or advertisements that can be paid for. Search engines are used to surf for information that is required.
How can traditional newspaper classifieds compete with craigslist?

In modern times people no longer have much time to look for newspapers. The reason is that newspapers are basically expensive, unlike the advertisements on the internet. It is easy just to get on the internet and find what you want. The craigslist can be updated on a daily basis unlike the advertisement in the newspaper. This makes the craigslist more popular and more preferred for. The new generation is used to the internet than to the newspapers.
Change of the craigslist versus usability

The new change has come up as a result of the feedback that was given by the users. That definitely has improved the work and nature of the craigslist. The improvement of the soft ware means that the new craigslist is better and more preferred for. This also makes it easy fro people to access the material that is on the craigslist.
Conclusion

The coming of the internet has brought in new ways of doing business which is very convenient. Craigslist is now a better way in which people can share what they can offer to each other in terms of materials or life opportunities.
Reference
www.craigslist.com www.craigslist.org/about/sites www.newyork.craigslist.org
Modeling culture on for dimensions

My country is Zimbabwe. It is found in eastern and Southern Africa. Although it is not directly written on Hofstede cultural dimension analysis as given in our discussion assignment, it comes under Eastern Africa. Eastern Africa has the following ratings:
• Power distance (FPI) 64
• Individualism (IDV) 27
• Masculinity/femininity (MAS) 41
• Uncertainty avoidance (UAI) 52
• Long term orientation (LTO)
These are the popular dimensions on which a culture can be determined. However I do not think that is possible to gauge all countries of the world basing only on these dimensions. There are other facets of dimensions which can not be measured used these factors only. These dimensions can not determine all aspects of culture, such as norms, rituals, values and folklore. So other measures must be used in conjunction with the above to come up with a comprehensive understanding of each culture. There are other aspects that can be used in addition to the above. The following must also be incorporated:
Universalism versus particularism Universalism is a concept of culture that points out that human beings around the world can be governed by similar rules or laws. This also emphasizes the importance of agreements and contracts in the culture of a people.
On the other hand particularism is the opposite concept that suggests that each group of people must be governed by their own rules and laws.
So a society can also be measured based on the above aspects.
Neutral versus affective relationships

The above is the other instruments that can be used to classify cultures. Neutral relates to people who do not want to divulge what they are, what they think. These people are secretive about who they are.
Affective relationship is about how other people use verbal or non verbal means of communication to inform the world of who they are and what they think.
Achievement versus ascription

There are people who want to gain status based on their achievements in life. The other people are gauged on how they best suits in social settings. Cultures can therefore be compared based on that.
Time orientation
There are people who can be classified as to how they view their past, their present and their future.
The cultures that concentrate on culture base their life experience and motive on their history. This means the history of the family, that of the country or business. That influence who they are and how they view the world.
Those with a present time culture want to enjoy their current life style and existence not influenced by the past or the future.
Then we have those who value their lives based on their future aspirations and plans. Culture can be viewed based on that.
Culture can not be taken as a group of people with the same traits. Traits are about personalities not about culture. How people live and think is not influenced by traits but by orientation and background. The people are socialized to be who they are in relation to the society than being molded by virtue of their traits.

Reference

http://www.home.sandiego.edu http://www.sagepub.com/ump-data/11711-chapter7.pdf http://www.sba.muohio.edu

Self-reflection essay
South Africa

My country is Zimbabwe but it is not found on the list of countries provided so I have to use South Africa which is a country next to Zimbabwe. South Africa is bordered by Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and Botswana. It has a population of about 43 million people. It is a typical multicultural country. Blacks are about 75, 2%, whites 13, 6%, Colored 8.6% and Indians 2.6%. There are many religions such as Christianity 68%, Hinduism 2% Muslims 1,5% among others. On top of this there are 11 official languages. There are various ethnic groups in the country. The South Africa society is based on both the nuclear and extended families. The tribe is of utmost significance, which makes it a collectivist culture. The tribes give people emotional as well as economic assistance and support. Even people who live in the urban areas give support to their relatives in the rural areas.
There are various etiquettes depending of where the people are based and what they are doing. There greeting style depends on the ethnic heritage at stake. Generally the people greet by shaking hands. Where there is a stronger relationship between the male and female a kiss on the cheek is used. Eye contact and smiling are attached to the greetings. South Africans give others gifts on particular occasions such as on birthdays or Christmas. I n business terms they make use of short term transactions. They do not believe and use long term relationships as bases for doing business. However at the work place senior personnel is respected and listened to. Face to face meetings are mostly appreciated. As with relationship to negotiations the South Africans are good at putting on the table their realistic offers for exchange. For successful negotiations trust must be established first. During discussions there do not want interruptions when someone is talking. Their approaches are aimed at the win-win situations. Decisions come as a result of wide consultations.
Generally what has been described is true. It may vary a bit since we are in Zimbabwe. Trust building is very essential. Another thing I wish to add is that in business terms there is need for intermediaries. To start negotiations some one that is neutral could be used. That is why broking is rife in the country. Counseling by elders is very much respected. The group system at the work place is very much used. I definitely fit in, in what has been described. For example consensus is very essential as well as consultation.

One Anecdote
In Zimbabwe, there many products that comes from China. When the products came they were referred by Chinese words that are “Zhing zhang.” Some people used these words to stand for cheap things which people could afford, only to understand later that the words mean goods of poor quality in Chinese.
Reference

www.kwintessential.co.uk www.worldbusinessculture.com www.faculty.css.edu

Holding a meeting with people from various continents

If I were to hold a meeting with people from the various continents of the world there are a number of things I should do and I should be aware of. In this respect the most important thing to take into consideration relates to the different cultures from which the people originate. We should all be aware of the various etiquettes of the people. For example the etiquettes relate to non-verbal communication, verbal communication, greeting styles and other interpersonal connotations. Prejudices, biases and stereotypes must be taken into consideration. There are a number of steps which should be taken in order to create good rapport and understanding. There is a need to create a common stand point during the meeting. The rest of this discussion looks at these steps and considerations in details.
In a meeting with such diverse people there is need for self introductions. In this discussion diverse people will refer to all these people from the various continents. Each delegate must introduce himself or herself to others. He can tell others about a bit of the etiquette in their countries. These may include greeting etiquette, communication etiquettes and a bit of their non-verbal means of communication they use in their various countries. These people must give a s much as possible so that the others understand them and deal with them accordingly during the meeting. People must also talk of how fluent they are in the languages they are using for communication. As each person gives his own background and cultural etiquettes, beliefs and values, it is wise for the other delegates to write a brief about them in such respects. It is essential to make such introduction longer than normal so that the delegates have a chance to understand each other better. This is also assists in that all the delegates have a better self-awareness as related to this meeting as well as the awareness of the other people around. During breaks and other times it may be wise to refer to such notes. Before the meeting had started it would be best to carry a research of the culture and the dos and don’ts of that culture, in respect of each delegate.
Related to this it may be good to put tags on each of the delegate’s sitting position. The tag may have the name of the person and the place of origin. His business area of specialization may need to be shown as well. Knowing who is who may be good so that you refer to the person in a way that is suitable to him/her. Brainstorming and wildstorming on our cultural differences may be vital. That assists to bring a common perspective for the work on hand, which is the agenda of the meeting. A small speech to inform every one of our cultural differences and the need to avoid distractions can be given by the facilitator.
Another very essential thing to do before the meeting starts in seriousness is to come with a short code of conduct that would be used during the meeting. This meeting code spells out clearly the ground rules to use during the meeting. All delegates must participate fully and openly in coming up with this code of conduct during the meeting. This assists everyone to know things that do offend others. If ground rules are understood it may be very easy to have a smooth flowing meeting. The ground rules must be posted somewhere where all the people can see. This assists in that during the meeting if people are not following these meeting etiquettes as agreed upon the facilitator of the meeting may remind all the delegates to abide by that code. There is need also to agree on time keeping and other housekeeping issues.
Related to the above it may be essential to give each delegate some roles to play during the meeting. One of them may be a time keeper; another one may be there to remind others if they are breaking the ground rules. Another person may be the facilitator or chairperson. Such delegation of duties ensures that each one plays his/her role properly and guides others through the proceedings of the meeting.

The other essential thing to do that would avoid unnecessary diversions that arise from cultural misunderstandings is that before the meeting progresses it noteworthy to agree on the objectives of the meeting. If there are clear objectives and aims that means all the delegates would need to concentrate on the objectives at hand than to be distracted by minor cultural differences and connotation. Clearly spelt objectives bring the team closer as they strive to meet them. The agenda must also be agreed on so that there is no time for unnecessary objections and distractions. It may be essential however to create a system where all the delegates can ask for clarification during the deliberations.
Housekeeping issues must be paid attention on. That may include what the food each delegate may want, what refreshments must be prepared, accommodation and other issues. There should be a question and answer session on house keeping issues so that each person is fully conversant with everything before the crucial meeting starts.
In conclusion it must be stated that before a meeting which involve diverse people a home work must be carried by each delegate on the cultural nuances and etiquettes that can come into play during the meeting. Roles must be clear, as much as the agenda and objectives. House keeping issues must be equally addressed. With a good ground work done with ground rules established a successful meeting can take place, where every one would come out satisfied.

Reference

www.worldenough.net/picture/general/introductionmodule.pdf www.getbusymedia.com www.weforum.org/faq www.fluentin3months.com/life-lessons Negotiation a French Businessperson

In business there are many negotiations that are done by business people. The way the negotiations are done is influenced by the culture of the people who are involved in the negotiations. This forum looks at how best to negotiate with a French businessperson. The French people want a negotiation process that is slow in pace. What this mean is that the negotiation process must not be hurried through. The French want the concerned parties to debate over the issue which is being negotiated for. The debate may be carried on until an agreement is reached. For them negotiation should be a cooperative process. What counts best in the negotiation process is the level of logic shown. The negotiating parties must bring out facts and figures in a logical and coherent manner. However during the process of negotiation the parties must avoid confrontation. The negotiators must be calm and composed, showing a lot of friendliness as well as respect. The decisions are usually made after a long time; hence there is need for patience. At the end of the negotiation a written contract is usually drawn that spells out detailed conditions and terms of the contract. During the negotiation the people involved must show a lot of knowledge in the subject of discussion. One must show that he understands the products and working systems of the companies involved. One thing that must not be done is to get too much in personal details as well as confidential information, especially in the early stage of negotiations. The presentation of material must be highly formal.
How communication patterns and listening habits differ from my culture

There are some differences in terms of habits that relate to communication and listening in relationship to Zimbabwe. Communication in France must be direct, whereas in my country it is a bit protracted with some analogues and examples. Arguments in presenting opposing views are accepted in France business etiquette, unlike in my country where arguments and opposing views are not taken lightly. A lot of questions are accepted in France. In communicating in English the French want short and simple sentences, yet in my country long sentences with a lot of big words are valued as any indication that a person is educated and knowledgeable. The talking in France must be slow if the language used is English, yet in my country it is allowed to speak even as fast as one can. Silence is required to allow people to interpret what has been said.

Reference

www.globalnegotiationresources.com/cou/france.pdf www.globalnegotiation.com www.digitalcommons.law.uga.edu

Zimbabwe culture in context of Richard Lewis Model

Richard Lewis carried out his research on how to categorize various cultures and sub cultures. His model is created in such a way that almost all cultures fit into it. The model looks in various aspects including, the talking aspect of people, emotional orientation, perspective on truth, interaction with the environment, working time, types of relationships, borrowing patterns, level of power, social and professional approaches, among others. This discussion focuses on the evaluation of the Zimbabwean culture, in which the writer was brought up. On the onset it must be emphasized that the Zimbabwean culture has its sub cultures based on ethnic orientation. Zimbabwe has got two main ethnic groups, the Shonas and the Matebele people. Due to the increased advent of globalization a number of other minority groups have come into Zimbabwe, hence making part of the overall culture. The smaller groups include the Asians, Europeans, Americans and the sub group named the colored. The dominant sub cultures are Matebele and the Shona cultures. These two groups of people are the base of the native culture, which shall be referred to during the discussion.
According to Richard Lewis model of culture, our culture fits into the broad group called multi-active. The other two broad types of cultures include the linear-active and reactive one. Multi-active culture reflects the culture of a people who base what they do on what they say. Some call these dialogue oriented people. The best way to differentiate these three groups of culture is mainly by looking at their characteristics. Lewis (1990) identified people with the type of culture they are in. Lewis did not categorize the people and their culture all by their countries. In his discussion he related continents to cultures. In some respect he specified the countries and their cultural orientation. According to Lewis, “Latins, Slavs and Africans,” (p3) are multi-actives. This has made it clear as to which culture Lewis put Zimbabwe in. Zimbabwe is in Africa. Therefore, according to Lewis it is in multi-active culture. The next thing to do is to assess as to what extent the multi-active description of Lewis fits into what the Zimbabwean culture is like. In a very broad way Lewis came up with a way of categorizing culture. Whereas there are a lot of ways in which what has been described is true of the Zimbabwean cultural context, there are other ways in which it is disputable. To fully understand what Lewis implies we must be comparing the cultures rather than to look at the face value of what is said. The description of culture according to Lewis is relative or is comparative not absolute. If one looks at cultural differentiation at an absolute level it could be very difficulty to understand the concepts. In this respect the writer’s evaluation is based on the comparisons between multi-actives and reactive as well as linear-active cultural aspects.
In which ways in Zimbabwean culture fits Lewis’s description? According to the characteristics of Lewis (p5) the following are comparatively true of the Zimbabwean culture:
• Does several things at once
• Plans grand outline
• Displays feelings
• Confronts emotionally
• Have good excuses
• Often interrupts
• People-oriented
• Feelings before facts
• Gains status by connections
• Speech is for opinions
• Is gregarious
• Speech leads to thought
• Roams back and forth
• Borrows and gives freely
• Seeks favor
• Mixes social and professional lives
• Spoken word important
• Religion retains strong influence

To illustrate the truth of my assertion a few examples of how my people and I behave according to the norms of our culture shall be explained and exemplified.
The first outstanding description of Lewis which is true of our culture relates to emotions. There are three related issues that have been identified by Lewis as part of being multi-active. The point is that people in of African decent, based in Africa “display feelings, confronts emotionally, show feelings before facts.” I agree with these assertions. It is true that our people display emotions. When someone is angry he/she shows his/her anger, through what he says as well as actions. Diplomacy follows after someone would have shown that he is aggrieved. An example is if a man takes another person’s wife, what usually happens is that the aggrieved person confronts the offender, sometimes physically and other times verbally. The aggrieved person can fight the person who has been found intimate with his wife. The litigation process follows later. Other people would be involved after there would have a show down between these people. When the angry person meets the offender emotions are arise, the voice is raised. Even in the classroom situation, the teacher can beat the student who would have done wrong. That is very different with other cultures.
The other aspect is that of interrupting when someone is talking. This in most cases is linked to the issue of high emotions were there are talks, especially disagreements. If someone seems to be talking what is not true, people can easily interrupt. It is not wrong to interrupt someone during his/her talking for special reasons. Interruption may be used to show disagreement or to correct facts. Others interrupt with questions. Even in training program, the consultants or trainers give people to ask questions as the lecture goes. Unlike other cultures where questions have got their own segment.
One aspect that I agree with is that people of our culture are people-oriented. This is true since our culture is a collectivist one. Group opinions are more often accepted. What the majority want is what takes place. The only controversy though is that most of the African Leaders are despots or dictators. When it comes to politics it seems democracy is not the norm. I feel individualist societies were supposed to be more dictatorial than collectivist culture. That is just food for thought. However, in most social settings the group decision is valued and respected. At the place of work there are many work groups to accomplish various tasks. In the classroom there is a high usage of group work. The people are very gregarious or sociable. That can be evidenced by the extended family ties. The working people in towns supply people who are in the rural areas with food staff and other necessities. That social aspect is rampant among many African cultures. In our culture the humanity aspect is highly valued. This humanity aspect called ubuntu means that we are people because of others. Every one of us is like what he/she because of others. I dislike the contrast that is there when we come to the work of philanthropy. Africans are not good on volunteerism and donation of goods and materials. Yes they are good in looking after their kith and kins, but not on every other person. That is a controversy that is found in humanity and in nature. With their aspect of ubuntu, Africa countries should have been the donors. Anyway in case of emergences they assist other countries. I think this humanity ends on personal level and not on national level.
To us as Africans spoken word is very important. Most of our promises are through the word of mouth. What a person says is taken as truth, until the point it appears that it is a lie. If a person uses words to joke; at the end of what he would have said; and after everyone else would have laughed or got puzzled, we say, “I was just joking.” Otherwise that could be taken as truth. If something would have been said in the presence of others, those other persons become the witnesses to such a commitment. In our society if someone borrows money or other things there is nothing that is written down. Every one waits for the time when that person returns what would have been borrowed. If a person does not return what has been borrowed then the word spreads around, that person may never be assisted by community members if he has another problem.
What are some aspects of what Lewis said of our culture that I do not agree to?

What Lewis said about our culture as follows seems not to fit well in what actually takes place on the ground:
• Often disregards rules
• Likes flexible working time
• Talks fast
• Overlapping speeches acceptable
• Unrestrained body language

I feel that to say that Zimbabweans disregard rules seems wrong. The people in my country are law-abiding people. They obey what has been agreed by a group. If the constitution has its stipulation the people follow it. Even at homes there are rules which children should obey to. At schools there are rules. Generally the people obey rules. The idea of collective effort works here quite well. If Lewis concluded this for the Africans he could have overlooked something. What I think he did not take into account in his research could be the level of literacy in Africa. People in Africa do not break rules due to disobedience but due to ignorance. With a high rate of illiteracy a lot of people may not be aware of some of the rules and laws. Compliance to laws should go hand in hand with the knowledge of existence of such laws. In this regards I disagree with Lewis
Africans in general and Zimbabweans in particular are good at working based on pre agreed arrangements. In Zimbabwe people work within the set time limits. For example the normal working day in Zimbabwe is eight hours a day. People are used to it and want it to continue. There is no evidence on the ground that shows that people want flexible working hours. We have a traditional working time limit in Zimbabwe. Maybe with the emergence of self-employment in Africa that flexibility comes in.
I would rather say that Zimbabwean people talk slowly. There may be other ethnic groups who talk fast but not most of the Zimbabweans. That seems to apply to other parts of Southern Africa. In South Africa and Botswana people do not talk fast. This seems different as compared to people from Asia. I have never been to Asia, but judging from the films we see on the televisions the Asian people speak fairly fast. The Europeans to me speak faster than most Africans. I have this experience during my school days. After the war of Liberation against Britain which ended in 1980, we had a lot of expatriate teachers. I was taught by teachers from Ireland, UK and German. The British talked faster than us Zimbabweans. Probably the Germans were a bit slower. The Cubans were not o fast at speaking. There are few issues that I have disagreed with, and many more that I agreed to. However it may be difficult for me to comment on some of the points. This is so because I can not understand the research constructs that were used by Lewis. On some of these there is no clearly demarcated meaning of terms. For example I can not understand what unrestrained body language could mean. There is no known standard for measuring that. I think that is a slight limitation in interpreting social science studies and their implications. This is so because for one to understand there may be need for the research constructs to be specifically defined. Such a factor could mislead me in my interpretation of Lewis’s model. However I generally would agree with it, except in the areas I have pointed out.

What I learned about our communication patterns

I have learned a lot about our communication patterns. There are things that I have come to realize as good for communication that we use in our culture. There are things that we people who grew in this culture must be aware of and control ourselves during communicating with others.
What we are good at

We are good at interacting with others. This is an advantage for us. At the place of work communicating and interacting with a diverse people is recommended for the effective running and performance of the organization. We must cultivate the group and team spirit. This is good for us at University of the People. We have an advantage in interacting with others. We value our group at Uopeople as a special group which we must keep in touch with for us to learn a lot. As we focus on the good of the group we must always keep on giving each other useful feedback. We must give each other the positive aspects that are done well and give critical review of how our peers should improve in order to learn. I am good at interacting with others using the course forum. We must continue to cultivate such an activity. At Uopeople we are one team with one mission, that of academic and professional development. So we must assist each other for the good of all of us, according to our African concept of ubuntu. The group is important. We can not learn merely as individuals but as a group.
One of the things we should always cultivate which is inherent in our culture is that of dialogue. As a dialogue oriented culture, we must use that basis to share what wewe know and what we think. We must not stifle our creativity. The experience at Uopeople should further develop our willingness to share our thoughts and feelings in positive ways. Linked to this I have learned that our culture is relationship oriented. This means that we must keep on cultivating relationships that enhances learning. We must not create boundaries with whom to communicate with or not at the university. Now is the chance for us to gain from the diversity which we have at the university. We have people from all over the world whom we can share our experiences. I have learned that we must not shy out from telling others our experiences from Africa. As with the assertion of Lewis, that we have a vision for the good of us all. The organization needs must be put on first choice of our learning agenda at the university. This means that we must work hard to follow the rules and procedures as well as deadlines at the university if we are to succeed.

The bad aspects that originate from our culture we should work to stop

Our culture has got things that can inhibit our ability to learn at the university and achieve our best. It is said that our culture cultivates the use of emotions in our day to day interactions. Putting emotions ahead of logic is not good. We must therefore learn to control our emotions when interacting with other students. We must not create personal agendas during our learning. We must receive critical comments as learning points than as aspects of confrontation. We must also respond to other students’ queries and comments with composure.
The other essential thing to do is to avoid excuses in our learning activities and programs. For example we must not give excuses for not submitting assignments on time. We must not have excuses for not sticking to the university policy and procedures. This means that we must plan our things in advance.
In our culture it has been asserted that we view the spoken word as very important and do not respond to letters in time. The letters we may get in our learning process are the instructions we get from our tutors. We must learn to respond to these as early as possible. I have seen that I have got a daunting task to do. I am one of the students who submit my work just on the deadline. I know I have got a lot of work to do, since I am also employed, but I will strive to do my assignments on time. That is a challenge I do have and I should face head on.
In conclusion I have learned a lot from the analysis of the Richard Lewis Model of culture. Our culture fits quite well in the model, although there are a few grey areas that I can not agree to. I have taken heed of a number of lessons that I will apply to my learning at University of the People. A few differences in approach are explained by the model. For example my failure to submit my assignments early in the week.

Reference

Lewis, R.D (1990).Cross culture: The Lewis model.
Advantages and disadvantages of recruiting expatriates

Expatriate employees are people who come from another country or countries to work somewhere where they were not brought up. An example is a British citizen who goes and works in Nigeria. The main aspect is that the culture of place of origin and the country or works are different.
Advantages

• One of the advantages is that there is coordination of activities for companies that are located in different countries.
• People who come from other countries may have a lot of knowledge and experiences that was obtained from other countries where they could have worked before.
• The expatriate can be very essential in conflict management as some people may take them as being unbiased. They can be useful to bring some resolution.
• Those people may have a lot of support from other people across the world.
Disadvantages

• There is a problem of language. Expatriates have problem of language. They take a long time to learn a language. That brings problems of communication.
• The problem of culture may make the expatriate not to settle well in the organization. The difference in culture may make it difficulty for the expatriate to settle.
• There may be a problem of racial discrimination among the various groups.
Reference

http://www.efst.hr/management/vol6no1-2-2001/11-treven.doc www.scpnetwork.org/resources/hunnicut%20%20expat%20%20indigenous.pdf Living and working in a foreign country

The question that faces each one in this age of globalization is whether one should go and work in a foreign country. Despite that other people may not naturally wish to go abroad they can be forced by economic hardships to live and work in another country. Personally would like to go and work in other countries should the opportunity comes. Looking at what we have covered this week I have gained a lot of knowledge on how to prepare myself for any possible relocation to a foreign country where I would work.
I have learned a number of things that I would be able to apply in a foreign country. I have learned that they are not only qualifications that make a person efficient in working in a foreign country. On top of the required qualifications I should learn the language of that country. Therefore is vital to identify the possible country of relocation in time so that I can learn the required language. Since I speak and write English well I think I will only think of going to work in an English speaking country. If a country is not English speaking one, it would be vital if English is one of the official or business language in that country. I can no longer just apply for jobs in a country where I have to learn a new language. The language is a cornerstone of communication. Yes there would also be need to learn other non-verbal communications cues in addition to the language.
The second thing that I have learned is that I must be conversant of the culture in a place I may wish to go and work. Culture has been linked to the strategies that can be used in a company. For example collectivist culture would make use of group decision making procedures and systems, whereas that can be different with an individualistic culture. Since culture can affect the corporate strategies I may need to know the various cultural aspects of that country. The option I may have is to search on the internet about the various etiquettes of that country such as communication etiquettes, dressing codes and other cultural connotations. Knowledge of the cultural perspective of a country assists in getting rid of conflicts that may arise due to communication misunderstandings. If I need to work in a foreign country I need to find some organizations where I can learn a lot about the people’s cultures and other behavioral norms.
In the mean time I should learn to develop a global mindset. A global mindset may refer to the various skills and perspectives that can be easily applied in other countries. To have a global mindset one must be able to quickly adjust to conditions as well as maintaining flexibility through out the system. Learning various management and leadership perspectives and approaches is very important. That would make it easy for me to apply the required approach depending on the country that I would have relocated to. There is need for me to quickly learn the legal system of that country.
Finally I have learned that I should be geared to learn a lot of new things if I relocate to another country. Apart from the socio-cultural dimensions I need also to understand the legal and economic systems of the country I relocate to. I must familiarize myself with the dominant management and leadership approaches used in those countries. I should as well seek to learn a lot of things through consultancy. I need to get mentors in foreign countries who can teach me in the country’s culture and language. If I work in management position there would be need to seek the advice of seasoned people in that country. I can enroll for management development programs in that country. Consulting with other companies for certain services could be helpful for new organizations.
Reference

www.efst.management/vol16no1-2-2001/11-treven.doc
Diversity and team

Diversity refers to the presence of various categories of people at the place of work. It encompasses the presence of the two genders, male and female, as well as the various age groups. That also includes people with different needs, people from various religious and political backgrounds. Diversity also relates to people who come from various cultural backgrounds. The level of education and experience bring in diversity. Disabled people also make part of diversity in an organization. One of the important aspects of diversity in the place of work is that diversity assists in coming with unique solutions to problems. If there are people of different backgrounds when there is a problem ideas come from such people. That can assist in coming with various suggestions from which people choose their alternatives. In order to harness such diversity there should be a common goal, mission or vision. People must have the same focus. In organizations, such focus can be achieved through open communication. Education and counseling can also assist to achieve that. By having diversity and open communication a culture of innovation and creativity can come up. Such a culture is good for organizational effectiveness. The goals of the organization can easily be met. However, that works well if all the various people in the company are given the platform to make decisions. There is a broad focus towards a goal. With cooperation, collaboration and consensus we can have a learning organization that can easily adjust to change. The other advantage is that there is a better focus on the market. The products that can be developed can meet the needs of various groups of people, since the ideas to meet the needs of the people also come from various types of people. The marketing strategy is also likely to meet various market targets. The people can easily make use of each other’s strengths. The weaknesses of other people can be covered up since there is a large pool of people from various backgrounds. Diversity also means that there is a large pool of skills and expertise that can drive the company forward even in times of turbulence. With diversity the groups think problems can be covered up. People bring various dimensions of looking at issue. Conformity is reduced. A few people may stand up and questions certain ideas and practices that may not be good for the organization. Diversity therefore is vital for the effectiveness of the organization.

Reference

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/diversity-impact-work-15985.html http://www.ehow/info-8543211-advantages-diversity-teams http://www.brighthub.com/office/collaboration/artcles/11086
Diversity versus multicultural group
At Uopeople there are people who come from different places, around the world. This means that people who interact at the university come from various cultures. Although diversity deals with many aspects such as level of education, place of origin, religious beliefs and gender among others, having various cultures is part of it. This discussion will just look at diversity as it relates to culture.
Diversity in our class has assisted me much. Firstly, I have come to know a lot of views about how people behave and live in their cultures. This was evident in the assignments which we have. My peers have brought out various views, especially, as examples in the assignments and the discussion questions. So when I assess the assignment I get a lot of information on the way people live in other places and how we differ in our corporate or business approach. I have learned new ways of doing business due to the examples I have got from my peers. Since I am in the human resources field, the understanding of people is critical in my approach. I have learned how people ought to be treated in different cultures. I have learned bits of how to deal with the management of people at work. For example in dealing with conflict at work we must understand the underlying causes of the conflicts. Some conflicts arise due to diversity. For example some people may have their own religious beliefs which may bring conflicts if others try overlooking that. I have learned to be more receptive of how people look at things. That may be due to their upbringing. We have learned a lot about the two broad groups of culture. These are the collectivist and the individualistic one. In our class we have people who come from individualistic cultures. They have assisted us to find how they do business in their areas. My culture is collectivistic, so I have learned of business etiquettes of people who come from other cultures particularly the individualistic one. When we were looking at the various cultural trends my peers were able to give us real examples from their cultures. We also learned that different cultures have varying communication etiquettes. In speaking to other people we must first of all understand their points of views or their broad approach to communication. We have also come to understand that even in negotiating we need to take approaches that are suitable to the people whom we are dealing with. Taking wrong approaches to negotiations may lead to loss of potential business opportunities. So, the main way which I benefitted was from the various points of views which I got from my peers which have assisted to enrich my learning process. My peers have managed to give me examples that were realistic. I have interacted with people from USA, France, Zambia, Nigeria and Haiti among others. They have managed to bring to my attention how diverse we are.
In our communication at Uopeople I have learned a lot of things. Firstly, I have found out that some people are more open in their communication. That is found in the feedback which I got from them. Some of my peers are more specific and particular, about the standards. Some are more lenient than others. If you fail to follow the instructions given by the tutor, you may get very low marks. The other thing which I have learned is that of using examples in our communication. Since we come from different culture using examples assist others to get the real points. So, some of my peers used examples, while others do not, that is acceptable; however I have learned that it is best to use examples and illustration in communicating with people from other cultures. The other thing I have learned is that of using the personal point of view in our assignments and discussions. I have also learned to show my feelings in our assignments, especially the learning journals and discussion tasks. In Zimbabwe, we were discouraged from using the first person narrative in our assignments, however at Uopeople we are encouraged to use it, especially in our journals and in questions were we are asked our point views. I have addressed that by using the first narrative voice in my essays where it is necessary. The other thing related to communication that I have learned is that of using diaries. In my country we do not usually use diaries. However, the use of the journals at the University is a way to make us used to such a system which we can use at the place of work as well. In my discussion, I have learned a lot from the tutor. I have not forgotten that the tutor is part of that richness that has come from such diversity. The clear and constructive instructions from the tutors have assisted me. In our culture, which is collectivist, we are not so open to each other if someone has made mistakes. This is so because we have been socialized to conform. However, at the university we are encouraged to express ourselves. That has mainly through the encouragement from our tutor and peers to give open and constructive comments during assessing other students’ assignment. So I have as well learned some positive attitudes.
In conclusion I can say that I have learned a lot of things from the University. I have learned a lot in terms of communication and etiquettes that are found in various places.
Reference

www.worldenough.net/picture/general/introductionmodule.pdf www.getbusymedia.com www.globalnegotiation.com www.digitalcommons.law.uga.edu Lewis, R.D (1990).Cross culture: The Lewis model.
Company growth
Introduction

There are a number of ways in which companies can grow. This discussion will look at ways in which companies can grow. It will also look at how Davis service group managed to grow. A company grows by three means that is mergers, takeover or establishing new investments.
Ways in which companies grow

Companies expand into other countries. The first means of expanding is through mergers. A merger is where two companies join together. This is achieved through negotiations and agreements between the two companies. In such case the companies share some resources such as human resources, financial as well as premises among others. An example could be that there are two companies that are in agricultural sector. Let us say that there are two companies; if the first company is called AB and the second company is called XY- a merger means that these two companies join together. This results in having one management team. The head quarters may be relocated. A takeover is different from a merger. With a takeover, one of these two companies buys the other one or buys many shares. A takeover usually means that one of the companies maintain a higher share ratio, which is equal or above 51%. This means that the company with the most shares has control over the other one with lesser shares. If company AB buys 52% shares of company XY, it means that company AB controls most of the activities of the new company. The last means of growth is where a company starts new businesses in a foreign country or countries.
How the acquisition of Berendsen provided good opportunities for growth.

Berendsen was acquired by Davis Service Group. In 2002 Davis service group acquired Berendsen. Berendsen was a company that supplied textiles materials like sheets to many hotels in Europe. That was what Davis Service group was doing in UK. So these two companies were doing the same business. The opportunity was good because Davis Service Group was performing well, financially; it was more profitable than Berendsen. So, Davis Group had more resources which it could use for expansion. The market in UK was almost saturated, meaning that there was little prospect of the growth of the customer base. On the other hand, Berendsen was struggling financially. Berendsen also had the advantage of having experience in the countries were Davis Group wanted to expand into. On the other hand Davis Group had more management expertise.
Aspects that encouraged horizontal growth

Horizontal growth means that the two companies that join are at the same level of operations. For example they are exactly in the same business. In case of Berendsen and Davis Service Group, they were in the business of providing textile materials to hotels. What made it best for that are the strengths of both companies. Davis group had better management expertise. It was in a better financial position. On the other hand, Berendsen had a better knowledge of the cultures in which it was located, such as Sweden. Both companies were located in the area where there was a common currency; that is the Euro. The language that is mainly used is the same, which is English. The customers have almost similar tastes. The countries in questions are in almost the same level of development. Another thing is that the market in Europe was growing, since the economies were also growing. That was further enhanced by good transport system that link most of those countries in the form of modern trains. Communication has been further enhanced by the use of the internet and emails. There is vast human resources with the required education, training and skills.
Aspects that have enhanced organic growth rather than inorganic one

These two companies have been enhanced to adopt organic growth due to several reasons as follows. Both companies have been leaders in the textile business in the various countries. They were in a better position to get more customers due to their merging. Due to their different management expertise they could learn from each other. The other thing is that trade is still growing fast in Europe. As a result, there are many new companies that have been opening premises in Europe. Such countries would need to have good accommodation.
Where these countries could expand into

If these countries were to expand in other areas of the globe I could recommend them to go to Asia. The main reason is that Asia is currently the fastest growing region in terms of economy. There are many emerging big economies. The fastest growing economy in the world at the moment is China which is in Asia. India is also growing very fast. So, most of the countries in Asia are expanding their economies which could make them very good markets for people who may need more time for leisure and recreation- hotels and accommodation.
Reference
www.thetimes100.co.uk/downloads/dsgplc/dsgplc-13-full.pdf
Risk assessment

Introduction

A business needs to assess the risks that it faces in the environment. This is so because it needs to align its strategies to the risk, by finding ways to deal with or circumvent such problems. There are various models of assessing the risks that a business can face. The following are some of the models:
• SWOT analysis
• Scenario planning
• PEST analysis.
These are not the only ways to assess the risks that a company may face, however these are the most commonly used ones.
SWOT analysis is used for examining both the internal and external business factors that affect a company. The two aspects of this method that are used to assess the external environment are the opportunities and strengths.
The environmental aspects that are looked at are the following:
• Political aspect
• Economic aspect
• Social
• Technological ones.
How likely is a multinational corporation to expand into your country?

In Zimbabwe it is very difficult for multinational countries to come and operate. There are a number of reasons for that. The main reason is that the political system in the country is in a bad state. There has not been a rule of law in the country. For years there has never been free and fair elections. During elections there was excessive violence that led to the death of many people. As a result the country has been under sanctions for more than ten years now. The European Union and United States have imposed sanctions on the country. So no companies are willing to come and invest in the country. The government has seized many companies that are owned by multinational corporations. That has led to the closure of many companies. Recently the Zimbabwean government has introduced an indigenization policy. The policy states that for all business that operate in the country, 51% of the shares must be given to the black people in the country. In getting the shares the government or people do not buy the shares; they take the shares by force. That has led many companies to close in the country. The land redistribution program has led to many companies leaving the country. A lot of companies that were into farming were taken by force by the government without compensation. That has scared away investors. Zimbabwe is termed an investor drought country. Some countries have retaliated to the government. The government as well does not honor international agreements such as the International labor organization one, among others. The cost of borrowing money is also high.
In conclusion I can say that many companies have left the country and a few companies that are still operating in Zimbabwe are those from China, which is also a company with poor human rights record.
Reference
International risk management

There are various risks that affect a business venture. These vary from economic risks, social and technological ones among others. However, I feel that the most important risk to be considered and managed by managers is the political and legal risk. Political and legal risk usually refers to the general state of things in a country ranging from stability, peace, or turbulence to government policies, practices and operations of institutions and agencies. A peaceful political environment leads to better business opportunities and success, whereas a turbulent or uncertain political situation leads to poor expectations and anticipations that retard business growth and investment. The laws, regulations and enforcement of these are very decisive on how business is conducted in the country. This essay outlines and discusses how the country’s political-legal system affects the business environment.
The following are some aspects of the political-legal system in a country:
• Government laws and legislation
• Environmental legislation and control
• Possible future changes in law
• The nature and system of the government and how the government changes
• Government policies, programs and practices
• Tenure of office of the government and how there is change-over
• Trading legislations
• Existence of wars, peace and stability
These are not all the political issues that affect business but this outlines gives a clear picture of what the political-legal system of a country encompasses.

The political legal risks are at the heart of business for several reasons. The first reason is that the political system affects all other aspects of business in the country. If the political situation is not good, it means that the economic, social and investment risks are also there. Instability in politics affects all the other sector of the economy. For example, if there is war in a country the currency of that country tumbles. The interest rates may adversely change, whereas the social situation changes in that people may migrate from the country. This may lead to the reduction of the market and the increase of bad debts, for example. Since people want to take refuge in other countries the labor force is affected. This is unlike the other risks. The other risks can not extent into other sectors of the economy. What this means is that the technological risk can not affect the political system. The social risks may not always means that there would be political turbulence or instability. So the political instability affects all other sector of the economy. For this reason, there is need to follow closely the political developments in the country.

Whereas technological or social risks can not drive people out of the country, the political situation does. The unstable political system reduces confidence in the economy and drives investors away. Even existing businesses may move out of the country. A very good example is the lack of rule of law. If there is not good track record of the rule of law in the country business would not expand their investment in the country. Zimbabwe at the moment has a bad record in terms of the rule of the law. This follows the forceful acquisition of business properties by the government without even paying compensation. The first phase of that bizarre practice was the land redistribution program. Although land redistribution was vital, the way it was conducted made many investors to shun the country. The government compulsorily acquired farms from white farmers in the country in 1999. There was not even compensation on the properties of the companies involved. That led to the business confidence to tumble in the country. From that time onwards many investors left the country and there are no new investors who are coming in, except the Chinese entrepreneurs who are bad in terms of corporate social responsibility. As if that was not enough in 2010 the government introduced the indigenization law. This law stipulates that the black Zimbabweans must own at least 51% of shares in all and /or any businesses in the country. However, these indigenous people can not buy these shares but are just freely given by the companies. This shows how government policies can adversely affect the country. This leads to a lot of court cases that even takes a lot of money from the investors. The investor confidence plunges down.

The other problem that can be posed is how the government changes. In some countries the election period is peaceful and the change-over is smooth. However, that is not always the case. An example of poor government changeover is that of the Arab uprising. There has been a lot of violence that has led to businesses crumbling in most countries. An example is that of Libya. There was an uprising that lasted for around eight months. There was a lot of fighting that left businesses shattered down. Some of the entrepreneurs were killed during the violence. That situation can not sustain business. That same situation is in Syria. One thing that would accompany political instability is economic and trade sanctions. For example in Libya, the trade in oil was stopped. That is due to sanctions and then the disturbance caused by the war. That scenario existed in my country, Zimbabwe and other African countries. Most African countries are ruled by dictators. These dictators can not leave office peacefully. During elections they cause violence. In Zimbabwe, all the past elections in the last twenty years were very violent. That destroyed infrastructure and has led to the death of some entrepreneurs. Many business people were killed and that led to the crumbling of their businesses. Potential investors were shunned out.

Terrorism is another threat to business. This is so because terrorists can attack people indiscriminately. For example when terrorists want to attack certain people they may attack a business complex, hence harming many people and destroying property. An example is the September bombings of the twin towers in the United States. If the twin towers were a business unit then property could have been destroyed. Look at the terrorists threats and attacks in Iraq. That has left the country devastated. How can this assist the managers and how can the managers take action and responsibility of this? The managers must ensure that they reduce investment when there is political instability in the country. In terms of multinational and transnational companies, the managers may choose to move their properties and investment funds to countries where the economy is stable. They leave little investment in turbulent times, until peaceful and conducive conditions return.

This discussion has touched on what political-legal system encompasses and has explained how the political risk is the most important one which managers must concentrate on. However, this essay was not exhaustive on how the political situation in the country affects business. There are many ways in which the political situation affects the business world in any country. However this discussion has highlighted examples of how such a system affects business.

Reference http://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/06/political.asp http://internationalinvest.about.com/od/globalmarkets100/a/c http://www.irmi.com/expert/articles/2000/wagner10.aspx http://www.qfinance.com/business-strategy-best-products/politicalrisk

Responsibility of western countries in assisting developing countries

Developed western countries have got a role to play in enhancing economic development of the less developed countries. One way in which developed countries assist developing countries is through direct investment. This means that developed countries give money to developing countries to start businesses there. Developing countries thus start some investment. Another way is through educational and training opportunities. Developed countries allow people from developing countries to learn in their countries. This means people from developing countries get the required knowledge and skills which they then use in their own countries leading to economic prosperity. Without required skills developing countries can not prosper in their economic drives. The other means of assisting developing countries is through opening markets for goods and services from developing countries. That can be achieved through having multilateral agreements, where trade agreements allow for trading with developing countries on favorable terms. Transference of technology to developing countries is another way in which developed countries assist developing countries. Health assistance is also important. Developed countries assist developing countries with medication. This is so because economic development goes hand in hand with health state of a country. Developed countries also work so that there is peace and equality in developing countries. Through the World Trade Organization, there is an arrangement that developing countries can be assisted when there are disputes in relationship to trading. Developed countries also offer technical assistance to developing countries. Debt relief sometimes is given to poor countries. Very poor countries can have their debts cancelled. These are some ways in which developed countries assist less developed ones.

Reference

Trade between developed and developing countries http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/62/19/2501905.pdf
Making globalization work for the least developed countries http://www.unohrlls.org/userfiles/publications/LDC/LDCs
Achieving sustainable development and promoting development http://un.org/ecosoc/docs/pdfs/fina-08-45773.pdf Foreign direct investment for development http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/47/51/1959815.pdf
Ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility
Ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility are aspects that are closely related, however they are distinct. For a business to be viable and profitable it must be ethical, sustainable and have corporate social responsibility. This discussion explores, in short, how a company can achieve the above. It is possible that an organization can achieve one of these three attributes but fail on the others. Having a strong corporate vision is essential to achieve all these three. The company must have a clear vision, mission and values statements, which are supported by clear policies, practices, programs and procedures.
Sustainability

Sustainability concerns the ability for an organization to achieve its objectives, from short run to long term ones without compromising the ability of future generations from doing the same. In broad terms sustainability deals with the ability to maintaining and protecting the environment. So, in other terms a company must preserve the natural resources from depletion so that people in the future will be able to use such resources. There are a number of initiates which the organization must follow to be sustainable. The first thing is that such a company must make use of renewable source of energy. Renewable sources of energy are the sources of energy that does not get finished. Examples of renewable sources of energy are the use of wind energy in industry, the harnessing of solar energy as well as the use of hydro energy in industry. As a result a company may use solar energy to charge batteries that can be used during the night; computers can be run using solar energy during the day. Solar energy can not be finished. Electricity can be generated from solar power, as much as from water resources and wind.
The other way of being sustainable is by recycling materials. It is important that all materials that can be used over and over again be used in such a way. An example is that of plastics. Plastic containers can be reused or recycled so that they are used over long periods of time. There are many plastic containers that are used in industry; if the containers are damaged they can be recycled. There are companies that buy broken plastic containers and materials for recycling. Paper can as well be recycled.
Another way of being sustainable is through going green. Companies must use green products in its processes. For example in farming some companies are now using compost and manure instead of using fertilizers and other chemicals. At times it is impossible to stop the use of all chemicals; however organizations must minimize the usage of such materials. Another sustainable thing is growing and maintaining trees and wildlife. In my country, Zimbabwe we have a tree planting day. Each year many organizations plant trees. There are campaigns that are held to remind people of the importance of preserving nature. There is also need to use machines that preserve energy and emit less greenhouse gases. This means machines in industry must be efficiency. These include vehicles. This ensures that there is less emissions of green house gases into the atmosphere. Disposal of chemical wastes among others must be done in ways that do not damage wildlife and the environment. In Zimbabwe most chemical containers must be burned in areas where the gaseous emissions do not escape into the atmosphere.
In order to achieve the above sustainable targets the organizations must plan well. There must be well documented vision, mission and values statement that relate to sustainability, ethics and corporate social responsibility. There must be programs and practices that are documented in order to comply with sustainable standards. Clear policies must be in place and followed religiously. There is need to work with organizations that deal with the environment. Compliance to product standards may be essential.
Corporate social responsibility

One thing that a company must do is corporate social responsibility. This deals with ways in which the organization plows back into the community in which it operates. This is so because any organization relies on the community. For example an organization may be using roads from the community; it may use water resources from the community to do its business. It may be essential as a result to show an appreciation to the community in which you do business. There are many various ways of achieving that.
One way to do so is for the company to assist the vulnerable members of the society. The vulnerable members of the society include the elderly people, the children and the disabled. For example the organization which I work for makes many donations to schools, elderly people’s homes, and children centers. One other important thing we do at our organization is helping people who are infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. We provide food stuffs to those people who come in the open on their HIV statuses. We also donate towards the youth games in our country.
Another way which we do to meet our community responsibility is through protecting the environment. We take part in many activities which are aimed at protecting the environment. For example we have a clear policy that we must at all cost take part in stopping veldts fire in the community. For example if there is a fire outbreak our organization assists in putting out the fires. We assist in wildlife conservation efforts. We use methods of doing business that do not degrade the environment. We have a clear policy and procedures for the disposal of non-degradable materials in our premises. We recycle and reuse some material which is major components of our production drive. We assist in developmental initiatives. We assist in road and sewerage maintenance in the community. We work alongside the local authority. Recently we assisted in maintaining the local road as well as doing clean up activities at the nearest business centre and town. The other aspect which we do is assisting in cultural and traditional activities in the area. We have many traditional rituals. For example we have rainmaking ceremonies in the area. We donate goods for use during such periods. Another thing which we do as a corporate social responsibility is looking at the welfare of our workers. There is need for good sanitation system. During periods when food is scarce we source food for our employees. There are many activities which can be done at work. However, what is important in order to achieve such responsibilities is to have a clear vision on that. An organization must have a clear policy on corporate social responsibility activities. It is important as well to involve members of the community in identifying their needs. One way is assisting when members of the community bring a request for help. It may be essential to contribute money towards the local community trust fund.
Ethics at the workplace

The above issues of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility may be related to ethics at the workplace. Ethics is about what is right or wrong. With ethics there is no right or wrong answer or way of doing; it depends on how an individual or corporation views the issues on hand. There are many activities at the work place that may require decision about ethics. In order to achieve good ethical decisions and considerations at corporate level, there is need for the organization to have clear statements about its intentions. The company must have clear vision and mission statements. These statements guide the organization in its day to day decision making. There is need for the company to establish clear ethical policy on issues that recur. Having various corporate policies is a good precedence of dealing with ethical issues. An example of a policy that can assist in ethical decision making is one on salaries and wages. Many organizations have grading systems and structures that guide how people are paid at the place of work. Such policies assist in removing biases and prejudices. We have, for example, a health and safety policy at Chipinge Banana Company, which spells out how we deal with safety issues. That assists to remove discrepancies in dealing with issues related to safety of workers and members of the community. There is also need to have clear programs relating to various activities. Procedures must be in place. All these would guide decision makers on a day to day basis. A clear values statement must be in place. Some of our core value sin our organization includes the following:
• Honest
• Transparency
• Integrity
• Professionalism
• Truthfulness
• Trust
• Open-mindedness.
Having such core value assist the organization to be ethical in its practices. There are many areas in which ethical practices must be adopted. An example is on the wage level which a company has. A company must take surveys to establish the requirements of people in their day to day living. In Zimbabwe we use the poverty datum line to establish wages and salaries. It would be very unethical to peg wages below the poverty datum line. That is a question of ethics. Other issues that need ethical considerations include the following:
• What healthy and safety standards to maintain
• Effort to preserve the environment
• Issues dealing with child labor
• Level of wages in respect to the prevailing wages
• Living standards of our workers
• Ratio of wages to revenue.
Therefore ethical issues must be looked at critically. This discussion has just given an outline of how the corporate world can implement ethical standards as well as how to address sustainable issues and corporate social responsibilities. In general terms in all these three areas a company must have the following:
• Clear policies
• Clear vision and mission statements
• Core values
• Tying these activities to the business activities through the business plan
• Clear procedures and practices
• Responsibilities on these must be tied to some senior positions in the organization. With these the company can do well.

Assessment of the entire course

The course enabled me to understand many aspects of business as they related to conducting business in different countries. One issue to be greatly considered in setting business in other countries is about the culture of such countries. Culture determines how well a business fares in another country. There is need to use the proper etiquettes in doing negotiation for example. Various people have different ways of entering into negotiations. This is so because negotiations are an essential aspect of any business. You need to negotiate with workers, negotiating with suppliers and the community for example. There is need for intercultural and cross-cultural understanding. Without understanding the culture of the people in an area where a business operates may lead to disaster. I have learned that if you are a manager who workers in a foreign country it is important to learn about the specific aspects of the people’s culture. Learning the language of the people is one such aspect
There are some decisions which are strategic which may need to be made. These may need good and thorough research. For example there may be need to know the staffing systems to use; should we use regiocentric staffing or geocentric. Where could the head quarters be? We looked on how the company may expand. Mergers and acquisitions seem to worker better than establishing new business. So there is need to use a good expansion strategy after careful considerations of various aspects in the countries. There is need for proper environmental scanning before venturing into foreign countries. We can use various methods of environmental scanning to assess the various risks that we can encounter in other countries. We can use the SWOT analysis. PEST or scenario analysis. We have learned a lot of things. However, one of the important things we learned is the need to look critically on the legal-political environmental factor before venturing in a foreign country. All these enriched my understanding of how to conduct business as a multinational or transnational corporation.
Reference

www.iisd.org/business/pdf/business-strategy.pdf www.eabis.org/uploads/media/white-building-a-sustainability-strategy-into-business.pdf www.cgi.st-andrews.ac.uk/management/media/clegg-kornberger-rhodes2006.pdf www.tepper.cmu.edu/ethics/whybizethics.pdf www.ejbo.jyu.fi/pdf/ejbo-vol6-no1-pages-4-5.pdf

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