intermediate merchant chain. If poor quality results in excessive returns,claims,or inability to sellthe product,the manufacturers are provided with the warning signals which are a prerequisite toremedial action.This severe and direct impact of poor quality on the manufacturers’income has the useful by-product of forcing manufacturers to keep improving their market research and early warning signals,so as to be able to respond promptly in case of trouble.Direct access to the marketplace is not merely a matter of receiving complaints and other infor-mation about bad quality,important though that is. Even more important is the access to the mar-ketplace
products are launched and sales programs are prepared. In the capitalistic economies,the autonomous companies all make their own forecasts on how much they expect to sell. Their abil-ity to thrive depends on how well they are able to realize their forecasts. The potential benefits anddetriments force the companies to pay attention to the needs of the marketplace,since it providestheir income.
Protection of Society.
The autonomy of capitalist enterprises enables them to misrepresenttheir products,sell unsafe products,damage the environment,fail to live up to their warranties,andso on. The extent of such practices has been large enough to generate extensive preventive legisla-tion. In this connection,see Section 35,Quality and Society.
There are many of these,including:
Many countries harbor multiple languages and numerous dialects. These are a seri-ous barrier to communication.
Customs and traditions:
These and related elements of the culture provide the precedents andpremises which are guides to decisions and actions.
Ownership of the companies:
The pattern of ownership determines the strategy of short-termversus long-term results,as well as the motivations of owners versus nonowners.
The methods used for managing operations:
These are determined by numerous factors such asreliance on system versus people; extent of professional training for managers; extent of separa-tion of planning from execution; careers within a single company versus mobile careers.
In some countries,there is a prior history of hostilities resulting from ancient wars,religious differences,membership in different clans,and so on. The resulting mutual suspicionsare then passed down from generation to generation.It is clearly important to learn about the nature of a culture before negotiating with members of that culture. Increasingly,companies have provided special training to employees before sendingthem abroad. Similarly,when companies establish foreign subsidiaries,they usually train localnationals to qualify for the senior posts.
Collaboration across cultures is a many-faceted problem. For example,a system may be designed incountry A but the subsystem designs may come from other countries. In like manner,companiesfrom multiple countries may supply components,carry out manufacture,marketing,installation,maintenance,and so on.Numerous methodologies have been evolved to help coordinate such multinational activities.Those widely used include:
QUALITY AND THE NATIONAL CULTURE