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Challenges Facing Global Managers

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Challenges that managers will face in the future may not only be with their existing local management responsibilities, but will probably include managing business abroad. Not only will change in the structure of the organization will occur, but also the roles and responsibilities of people within the organizations. The form of change which will be applied depends on many factors such as management, skills and expertise, and resources. The companies might focus on integration, disintegration, or merging both of them. Companies will be faced with many challenges and will need to optimize their organizational objectives.

The reason why the organizations may expand into the global market is the firm’s existing market has been saturated. A good example of a saturated U.S. market would be Coca-Cola. Coke wanted to increase their market and expanded into the global market. As such, Coke had to adapt managing globally. Expanding globally, will force organizations to adapt with various environments, geographical separation, cultural and national differences in business practices. These are just a few challenges global managers will be facing in the future (Hallin).

Today, as we live in a global world, many believe increasing our ability to access to foreign markets and the increasing number of worldwide mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures are forces that will influence companies to expand their businesses into international markets.

As we have recognized in our marketing classes the four P’s of marketing are significant to include in strategic planning. The definition of “Place” in the marketing mix is where you can expect to find your customers. As such, one of the most important problems that the companies will face when pursing global expansion is the selection of the best location for global expansion. There are two stages of global expansion. First, the companies must determine which countries offer the best market and operating environment. These include technological, political, economic, physical and social factors. Then the facilities of the country should be determined.

One of the most important features that the global managers will face is the different values of cultures. Cultural empathy and integrity in dealing with people from various cultures will be important for managers to think and act on. Global managers do not have to know the culture in detail, but will need to think and act with an open mind. Managers should understand the worldwide business environment, work and be open to learn from people from various cultures. Global managers should treat everyone equally whether they are American, Australian, Mexican, etc. A Global manager’s role is similar to being a coach. The global manager should not play the actual game but be responsible for the team’s success, have the expertise to improve the player’s skills, have the experience to guide the team’s strategy, and have the authority to change their players. The global managers should recognize the importance of international management development and have the ability to view the world from different points of view. A critical task will be to use global knowledgeable to identify opportunities in the growing global world.

Moreover, global managers also must focus on the unique needs of marketplace trends while maintaining a corporate advantage. Furthermore, the global managers must integrate their knowledge of their company’s mission and capability with the market.

As the world we live in continues to operate globally, it will be necessary for companies to learn to operate as if the world is one large market. Companies will need to look at regional and national differences, and draw on the similarities between countries to enhance their competitive advantages.

Merrill Lynch in Japan

1. Given the changes that have occurred in the international capital markets during the past decade, does Merrill Lynch’s strategy of expanding internationally make sense? Why?

In the modern world, globalization is a fact of business life. The company that does not take every opportunity to expand its business into other countries will lose out to a company that will take that risk. The ascendancy of the World Trade Organization, the enactment of NAFTA, and the EU agreements, and changes in worldwide communication such as e-mail and cell phones are historically recent examples of the favorable changes in the international business climate. Merrill Lynch’s management was very aware of these global changes and decided to take advantage of them before a competitor did. Merrill Lynch made some significant acquisition moves in the United Kingdom and Canada in the 1990’s. Merrill Lynch also saw Japan as a market to be exploited, in part because of a WTO deal in 1997 that relaxed prohibitions against foreign firms selling financial service products, and the bankruptcy of one of Japan’s major brokerage houses, Yamaichi Securities, in the same year.

2. What factors make Japan a suitable market for Merrill Lynch to enter? Japan was an attractive market for Merrill Lynch in 1997 for the following reason: There was lots of private money there that investors might be persuaded to invest in mutual funds. Using today’s exchange rate, there were almost 12 trillion U.S. dollars in assets held by Japanese citizens. Ninety-seven percent of this total was invested in low yield bank accounts and government bonds, not Merrill Lynch’s specialty of mutual funds. So, it could be said that Merrill Lynch had eleven and a half-trillion compelling reasons for competing in the Japanese market.

3. Review Merrill Lynch’s 1997 reentry into the Japanese private client market. Pay close attention to the timing and scale of entry and the nature of the strategic commitments Merrill Lynch is making in Japan. What are the potential benefits associated with this strategy? What are the costs and risks? Do you think the trade-off between benefits and risks and costs make sense? Why?

Executives at Merrill Lynch first considered a joint venture with a¬†Japanese bank, but this plan was rejected because, even though Sanwa¬†Bank’s existing distribution structure could be used, it was felt that the¬†Japanese customer would not associate Merrill Lynch as the seller, and¬†that Sanwa bank would benefit more from the association over the long¬†run.

This left the other, much more expensive, alternative, which was to build a¬†distribution network from nothing. If timed correctly, this move could result¬†in Merrill Lynch not only being the first foreign firm to offer its services to¬†the Japanese public, but also to beat native Japanese firms that would just¬†be beginning to offer these new services to the consumer. The costs¬†would be enormous to find offices, equip them, and then hire, train, and¬†manage local employees. But, as mentioned before, there was a goodchance of becoming an entrenched major player in investing tens of¬†trillions of dollars, and collecting the associated fees for doing it.¬†As often happens in business, one entity’s misfortune is another’s¬†opportunity, and so Merrill Lynch saw an opportunity in late 1997 when the¬†Yamaichi Security firm failed. Merrill Lynch quickly moved to acquire fifty¬†offices and hire about thirty percent of Yamaichi’s workforce. This reduced¬†the cost of establishing a Japanese network. Merrill Lynch was ready to do¬†business in February, 1998, and has successfully met asset management¬†projections since. Obviously, the associated risks paid off for Merrill Lynch¬†in Japan.

Works Cited

Hallin, Daniel C. and Paolo, Mancini. Americanization and Globalization.

25 November 2004.

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