In any business field, international expansion is a high-risk strategic movement that requires due preparation. Despite having the resources to initiate transnational operations, many organizations fail to navigate the waters of the multicultural world, which results in significant losses. This essay will summarize and discuss the article by Seah (2021) that reviews common mistakes peculiar to culture in expansion.
By explaining common strategic mistakes in business expansion, the article provides guidelines for businesses willing to go global. According to Seah (2021), the steps towards staying global after expansion include glocalization practices, adapting global strategies to the host market’s needs, and exploring business/managerial cultures in the new market. The remaining steps that Seah (2021) proposes are diversity management programs, efforts to incorporate local employment and taxation legislation into HR practices, including employee benefit policies, and exploring subcultures in the accepting country. Using the international failure cases of Honda, Pepsi, Microsoft, and Walmart, Seah (2021) demonstrates how the five procedures support the emergence of cultural awareness, the lack of which creates almost unpredictable reputational damages. The author also expands on several cultural barrier reduction strategies, for instance, striking the right balance between the cultural needs of employees in the host country and the head office. Implementing visual materials and introducing professional language standards to eliminate the sources of misunderstanding, such as slang words and regional business jargon, are also recommended. Therefore, the source outlines the ABCs of global expansion relevant to any industry.
Transnational Management and Issues in COVID-19/Post-COVID-19 Environments
The author’s main points can be related to transnational management and disease pandemics’ influence on global competitive environments. Specifically, by emphasizing the significance of analyzing international, regional, and local cultural practices and making this knowledge reflected in complex organizational hierarchies, Seah (2021) problematizes cultural awareness in cross-border management. From the cultural standpoint, managing organizations with business activities stretching across national boundaries requires excellent adaptability and sensitivity to subcultures’ values, and the mentioned case studies demonstrate it. Instead of freezing the business environment, the COVID-19 era might be accelerating organizational change speed. This requires businesses to master remote workforce management skills to enter the post-COVID-19 market without lagging behind competitors who did not postpone expansion. Recommendations from the article might be adapted to expansion by hiring remote international teams, especially when it comes to diversity management (Seah, 2021). It is unclear how global business environments will look like after COVID-19, but advice on exploring subcultural differences would encourage the creation of workplace conditions aligned with particular populations’ safety concepts.
From my perspective, the source captures the essence of cultural awareness in business environments. Instead of addressing awareness at the country level, Seah (2021) effectively anatomizes the concept of culture, distinguishing between region-, local-, and subculture-specific behavioral patterns that might affect demand, business-making, and teamwork. Without adequate subcultural analysis skills, businesses lose the opportunity to produce effective market segmentation strategies, resulting in overusing harmful stereotypes about nations and making specific employee and customer subgroups feel misunderstood. Finally, in my opinion, the work challenges many organizations’ one-sided approach to cultural responsiveness by explaining the need for self-awareness in terms of culture. Thus, the source contributes to the recognition of the role of cultural responsiveness in overseas expansion projects.
To sum up, the assigned reading provides a set of practice-oriented recommendations related to cultural sensitivity development. Adaptability and openness to new information will be crucial in cross-border management both now and after the end of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Considering this, practical advice from the article will be likely to remain relevant to international business contexts.
Seah, L. (2021). The importance of cultural awareness in international business. Airswift. Web.