In the two and half century history of American history, the nation has seen a fair share of disasters and emergency situations. Some of these events were man-made, like the great Wall Street crash of 1929. Others were natural events, like the high-magnitude earthquake that hit Los Angeles or more recently Hurricane Katrina. For much of the country’s history there was no exclusive government agency that was mandated to prevent or manage emergencies. Often the military or the paramedics would step in and, with the aid of volunteers, deal with the situation on an ad-hoc basis. But the disorganized and unsystematic nature of these efforts would lead to less than satisfactory response to the event. It is only in recent decades that organized and exclusive government agencies were set up to prevent and manage unexpected emergencies.
It is with the formation of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in 1979 that the nation had a separate government body for tackling . . . Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
The book International Business: Environments and Operations is a quality and standard scholarly work by the authorial team of John Daniels, Lee Radebaugh and Daniel Sullivan. It covers a broad range of topics and is fairly in-depth in its treatment. One of the important topics dealt with is the relationship between Political Ideology and MNEs. Business leaders always keep a pulse on the political climate of the markets in which they operate. Often political decisions have significant implications for business prospects. In the era of globalization, MNEs act as investors to local economies, either inducing or reducing capital based on perceived political conditions. For example, if an MNE perceives the political ideology of a local government to be hostile to business interests, it can simply pull out of the country and invest that capital at a more favourable country. Authors Daniels et al touch upon this important facet to business practice in their book.
Just as governing . . . Read More
Professor Joseph M. Sussman’s hour long lecture aims to give an overview of the topic. At the outset, he explains how Critical Contemporary Issues (CCIs) are intricately tied to Complex Sociotechnical Systems. For understanding and designing solutions for urgent and important issues facing society, technical factors have to be taken into account. Indeed, technology and technical excellence will play a major role in addressing such contemporary issues as climate change, economic growth, mobility, large-scale manufacturing, health, and developing country megacities, etc. Moreover, an integrated knowledge across multiple domains and disciplines is required to building Complex Sociotechnical Systems.
Professor Sussman begins by defining what a sociotechnical system is. The complexities associated with these systems can be structural, behavioral, evaluative or nested complexity. The emphasis is laid on Intellectual Content Integration, whereby, “design solutions must focus . . . Read More
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