Category: Business

What are the many cultural, political & geo-economic challenges faced by organisations operating in a global environment. How could they be addressed?

The major cultural challenges facing a global enterprise is understanding and adapting to local business customs and norms. In the Real World Case we saw how business in Africa tends to go on at a leisurely pace – a practice that undermines the principles of efficiency and expediency that multi-national enterprises thrive on. Understanding cultural sensibilities and adapting to them requires an open-mind and a flexible management approach. This can prove quite challenging if the top management is too engrained in their B-school trained approach. Often government bureaucracy or red tape can hinder expedient project execution. Red-tape can thus be considered both a cultural and political issue. Another political issue is the state of development. As emerging economies are mostly from the Third World, the available infrastructure can be quite rudimentary. This is a geo-economic challenge, for a majority of the population might be IT illiterate, as reflected in minimal usage of . . . Read More

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The Real World Case mentions several organizations. For each organisation, discuss the business drivers for that organisation to expand globally.

The main companies discussed in the Real World Case are Cadbury, Forrester Research and A.T.Kearney.
The case of Cadbury’s expansion into emerging economies is discussed at length. As affluence levels increase in emerging markets, the consumer base for chocolate-based sweets also increases. Since chocolate-based sweets are not a subsistence commodity, its consumption is directly correlated to affluence levels. In the era of globalization, many suitable markets have opened up for companies such a Cadbury spanning different continents. The appeal of chocolates and sweets is universal and is not restricted by cultural sensibilities and norms. As a result, Cadbury is well placed to exploit a lucrative, erstwhile untapped, market for chocolates and sweets in developing countries.

Forrester Research is a services company and not a products company. This could work to their advantage, as they could offer their services to a range of industries venturing into developing . . . Read More

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Water as a commercial commodity

How do you evaluate the growing expectations and the changing role of companies in the arena of water management? Discuss the potential and the limits of what corporations can ultimately achieve in the business of water.

Given the abysmal record of private companies in managing water resources and their equitable distribution, the public has a sceptical view of privatization.  International controversies over water privatization are shaping the debate across the world. In a world of six billion people, of which a sixth don’t have access to safe, drinkable and cost-effective water, privatization looms as the great big threat to what prospects they have for fulfilling this basic need.  As the failure of privatization in Bolivia, India, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, South Africa and Philippines suggest, privatization is not sure shot method for optimal utility and usage of limited water resources. To many commentators, these instances of failure of . . . Read More

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The business of water consumption

In terms of the scholarly discussion on corporate social responsibility please outline the key arguments that may support the actions of the firms given in the case. Furthermore, discuss the main arguments against corporate social responsibility considering these firms’ actions. Use scholarly literature and examples from the case study to illustrate.

Though water is considered as essential to survival of all life forms, getting access to quality water is increasingly becoming difficult in the under-developed world. While privatization is promoted as the solution for this crisis, previous examples of such a move have resulted in adverse results, especially for the poor. Where privatization of water has been implemented in the last 10 years, contentious debates and protestations have risen in the communities affected by the project. In the case study titled ‘The Business of Water’, we read about the activities of some of the major water and beverage . . . Read More

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Is it still possible to run a business nowadays using the philanthropic principles of the Cadbury Brothers which were so popular during the 19th century?

Cadbury’s is one of the most recognizable brands in the world of sweet products.  Its flagship chocolate varieties have become synonymous with consumable cocoa products.  And to maintain such sweeping monopoly and brand loyalty over more than a hundred years is a great achievement.  What is also remarkable is the fact that Cadbury’s had always conducted business in a socially responsible manner.  It is one those exceptional enterprises which did not operate purely on the basis of profit motive.  Cadbury’s had had an impressive track record of employee welfare schemes and other philanthropic activities.  But, unfortunately, such a philosophy is seldom seen in the business world today, where greed overcomes any humanitarian impulse. This essay will argue that the corporate culture and business philosophy followed in Cadbury’s during the 19th century is impossible to apply in the present times.

When John Cadbury started the . . . Read More

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Decision Making Process: Buying a House

Decision making is integral to management practices.  The decision-maker will have to consider various factors before arriving at his/her decision.  Recently, I made an important decision in personal life, namely, to buy a house.  I used the management principles I learned in the course as a guideline trough my decision making process.  I would like to believe that I have made the correct choice.  But when it comes to evaluating how good my choice was, I need to make a time-wise longitudinal study.  In this sense, only ‘time will tell’ how good the decision was.

One of the features of managerial decision making is the lack of any systematic approach to it.  In other words, decision making is usually an unstructured process, which is built on broad rules of thumb like weighing pros and cons, exploring risk potential, understanding historical precedents of similar scenarios, etc.  Hence, in my own project to buy a house I had to adopt a free flowing, open-ended . . . Read More

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Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets – Article Review

The article chosen for analysis is titled ‘Google to Fund, Develop Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets’. It is published by the Wall Street Journal on 24th May 2013. From a Managerial Economics point of view, the article throws light on Google’s market expansion in emerging economies.  Google is renowned for its innovations in the field of information technology.  In recent years, the company has ventured into creating hardware for that would complement and support its popular software applications. Google’s search engine is its flagship product which is very prevalent across the world. On the back of the stupendous success of the search engine, the company has created numerous web applications such as gmail, youtube, google books, etc which are ever gaining in popularity.  The company is known for coming up with fresh and interesting ideas that create new niches in the markets related to the web.  The article in question talks about one of the . . . Read More

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To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road?

The Silk Road (or Silk Route) was a vast network of inter-continental pathways that was a key artery of trade and cultural exchange during ancient times. First developed during the Han dynasty two millennia ago, the routes connected China to India, Europe, Arabia and beyond. While silk produced in China was a major commodity being traded along these routes, far more significant cultural and intellectual exchanges happed through this conduit. This essay is an exposition of how Buddhism provided a basis for cultural and commercial exchange along the Silk Road.

At the time of the Silk Road’s highest utility, several new religions were taking root across geographies. For example, two millennia ago, Christianity was born, having broken away from Judaism. The other major monotheistic religion, Islam, was born much later in history. Though these religions had their original doctrines, they were also defined in relation to one another. In other words, there were key distinguishing . . . Read More

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Satisfying all stakeholders when the business is competing in mature product markets is difficult

The business dynamics at play in a mature product market is quite different from that of newly introduced products.  Companies dealing with mature products will have to employ different manufacturing and marketing tactics than those adopted for trendy products in order to succeed.  One of the concerns facing the management is satisfying all involved stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, vendors, and to a lesser extend the society-at-large. Satisfying this diverse group is arduous at the best of times, but it gets close to impossible during an economic downturn or an industry-wide recession.  Another handicap facing mature products is that the markets they operate in are likely to be mature as well, making growth prospects for the product as well as industry very tough. The rest of this essay will present various factors that have a bearing on stakeholders when a business is competing in mature product markets.

Shareholders are one of the main (if not the most . . . Read More

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Marriott Hotel: Case Study


Marriott has established strong brand equity due to its excellent processes and an openness to adapt. Yet, there are areas where it could improve, leading it to the position of a leader in the field of Hospitality Management.

One of the areas where the Marriott management could look into is its Corporate Social Responsibility program and think of making it more effective. It is right now a vogue among corporate institutions to state that they treat the larger society the same way they treat their customers and shareholders.  But this is usually nothing more than lip service and token/unsubstantial measures.  Marriott’s CSR program is drawn up in earnest purpose with consideration to all sorts of current social problems, including poverty, environmental degradation, welfare of children, etc.  But the amount of resources it actually allocates to these programs is rather small. This is one area where the management could reassess and . . . Read More

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