International Business Reflective Marker
International Business Reflective Marker
Hockey is one of my favorite sports. In my assortments, I possess a hockey stick Manufactured by Sher-wood Hockey. The company specializes in the manufacturing of sports accessories. I was surprised to notice a small white sticker with a “made in China” inscription. While we are exposed to many products coming from China, having a company based in Northern America, which was known for its quality products, manufacturing its products all the way in China instead of Canada was surprising. In any case, China is not recognized as a hockey powerhouse. It initially did not make sense, however, when a company that has a brand portfolio that is easily identifiable decides to move its manufacturing facilities half way across the globe, it must have had very compelling reasons.
Background on Sher-wood Hockey suffices.
The company started as a family business in the late 1940s and progressively grew into a recognizable name in the hockey fraternity. With time, the enterprise was distributing its products to other countries. In less than six decades, the family company has become a multi-national organization. The global presence of such a company reflects the globalization of business today. There are many companies doing business across the globe and from all corners of the world, thus interesting to reflect on the globalization phenomenon.
According to Dahlman, globalization being hailed as the late twentieth century ‘big idea’ does not seem to have a precise definition and it has assumed a cliché-like terminology in current times. Nevertheless, the terminology can capture the elements of the broad perception that suggest that there is a deepening and speeding up of global interconnectedness almost in all features of life, from the economic, illegal, artistic to ecological (Dahlman, 2004). At the basic level, there appear to be extensive alterations or the world that is being shaped by both financial and technical forces to a shared commercial and also political ground.
It can, therefore, be argued that globalization is a complex concept and often difficult to define. However, due to its expansiveness, there are various ways of looking at it. Some scholars have views of globalization as the incremental global interconnectedness associated with contacts and linkages as well as the interaction of cultures. However, such a simple approach to a complex phenomenon does not tell the whole story. There is a need to delve deeper and discover what makes and drives globalization.
Globalization is perceived to be a set of processes which have personified a type of alteration in both the local and spatial organization of artistic, societal, transactional, and networking activities. The phenomenon embodies several types of change. First, we observe that globalization involves some stretching of the political, social, and economic affairs across continents and the broader political frontiers (Hill, Cronk & Wickramasekera, 2007). Secondly, it reflects a type of intensification of the flow of investment, trade, finance, and even migration. The third change involves the intensity of global interconnectedness which has accelerated the speeding up of global contacts and the development of modern communication and transport systems. These developments have seen the rapid diffusion of ideas, capital, information, and goods. Fourthly, the global interaction can be associated with a deepening impact that has seen events taking place at distant places having serious global consequences (Mooney and Evans, 2007). It means, therefore, some local events can have a significant global ramification and within a short time. It can also be observed that some political and economic events, such as the economic meltdown experienced in Europe and northern American can have an enormous effect on the global political economy.
With the rapid development of information technology such as the internet, Umemura and Fujioka (2012) states that the flow of capital and labor among countries and multination’s can be affected by an unprecedented amount and speed. It can, therefore, be argued that production, service, and capital activities can be undertaken with ease across the continents. According to political economists, the first stage of globalization can be traced to the quest for the discovery of overseas territories which were followed by colonization. The second face, which started after 1870, utilized technology which saw a high imbalance between the colonial and industrializing West and the other parts of the world. The Western countries moved into the undeveloped world in search for markets for their industrial goods and raw materials for their factories. However, the world was changed by the events of the first and second world wars. The previously strong empires were diffused through the declarations of independence by the former colonies. Nevertheless, as the larger part of Europe was ruined, the United States of American was undergoing a huge economic development.
The third stage may be situated around the 1970s to 1990. The industrialized West found that their national markets were insufficient; consequently, this stage witnessed widespread and accelerated economic expansion through the hegemonic international corporations who became significant players in the world economy. The growth of these corporations was enhanced by the emergence of communication technologies. The revolutionary communication technology inventions included communication satellites, optical cables, and computers as well as the internet which appeared in the 1980s.
With the increased trade among many nations, tariffs barriers were broken while many trade agreements were signed between nations and regions which led to much regional integration. However, in my opinion, the globalization was harnessed by the big multinationals. The phenomenon that started with the formation of the Dutch-East India company way back in the 17th century, while contemporary multinationals are the like of Nestle, Michelin, Lever, Bayer to list but a few.
As argued by Moncada, Vivarelli & Voigt, the last phase of the globalization process is characterized the rapid growth of the information technology starting with when the personal computer was made widely available and later boosted by the internet. The increased use the mobile phone has also revolutionized communication with many corporations being able to carry out their transaction with ease across borders. As the communication technologies were facilitating the business transaction and management, the changing of political attitudes and adoption of friendly economic policies have enhanced the enterprises and consumers abilities to exploit the advantages offered by the evolving technologies (Moncada, Vivarelli & Voigt, 2011). Suffice to say, the world has also witnessed a convergence of economic approaches with most countries and nations embracing the free market ideas and more significantly, consumers have ceased to concern themselves with the origin of commodities. For instance, products made in Asia finds their markets in North America, and products made in South America can be found in Asian markets.
In his article, Staritz (2010) argues that the emergence of worldwide markets for assorted goods and the creation of internet trading is an indicator of how globalization is changing economic and cultural practices. Today, we can talk of global production or global brands such as Coca-cola, Adidas, Toyota; products that have become commonplace in all parts of the world. Of significance is the establishment of global corporations from Asia, such as Tata of India, which has established its presence in the developed countries. It can be argued that the globalization has enabled even the smallest SME such as a budding musician writing and recording his music in a small room to get a global reach through U-tube or Amazon.
The global presence of such a company reflects the globalization of business today. It would be interesting to reflect on the globalization phenomenon. Some scholars have views globalization as the incremental global interconnectedness associated with contacts and linkages as well as the interaction of cultures. The phenomenon embodies several types of change. First, we observe that globalization involves some stretching of the political, social, and economic affairs across continents and the broader political frontiers. Fourthly, the global interaction can be associated with a deepening impact that has seen events taking place at distant places having serious global consequences. It can also be observed that some political and economic events, such as the economic meltdown experienced in Europe and northern American can have an enormous effect on the global political economy.
According to Mooney and Evans, (2007), the industrialized West found that their national markets were insufficient; consequently, this stage witnessed widespread and accelerated economic expansion through the hegemonic international corporations who became significant players in the world economy. The growth of these corporations was enhanced by the emergence of communication technologies. Suffice to say, the emergence of worldwide markets for assorted goods and the creation of internet trading is an indicator of how globalization is changing economic and cultural practices.
Dahlman, C.J., 2004. Technology strategy in East Asian developing economies. Journal of Asian Economics, 5(4), pp.541-572.
Hill, C.W., Cronk, T. and Wickramasekera, R., 2007. Global Business Today: An Asia-Pacific Perspective. McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Mooney, A. and Evans, B. eds., 2007. Globalization: The key concepts. Routledge.
Moncada-Paternò-Castello, P., Vivarelli, M. and Voigt, P., 2011. Drivers and impacts of the globalization of corporate R&D: an introduction based on the European experience. Industrial and Corporate Change, 20(2), pp.585-603.
Staritz, C., 2010. Making the cut?: Low-Income countries and the global clothing value chain in a post-quota and post-crisis world. World Bank Publications.
Umemura, M. and Fujioka, R. eds., 2012. Comparative Responses to Globalization: Experiences of British and Japanese Enterprises. Springer.