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A firm does not have to become a multinational enterprise, investing directly in operations in other countries, to engage in international business, although multinational enterprises are international businesses. All a firm has to do is export or import products from other countries. As the world shifts toward a truly integrated global economy, more firms, both large and small, are becoming international business. What does this shift toward a global economy mean for managers within an international business? As their organizations increasingly engage in cross-border trade and investment, it means managers need to recognize that the task of managing an international business differs from that of managing a purely domestic business in many ways. At the most fundamental level, the differences arise from the simple fact that countries are different Countries differ in their cultures, political systems, economic systems, legal systems and levels of economic development. Despite all the talk about the emerging global village, and despite the trend toward globalization of markets and production, Differences between countries require that an international business vary its practices country by country. Marketing a product in Brazil may require a different approach than marketing the product in Germany; managing U.S. workers might require different skills than managing Japanese workers; maintaining close relations with a particular level of government may be very important in Mexico and irrelevant in Great Britain; the business strategy pursued in Canada might not work in South Korea; and so on. Managers in an international business must not only be sensitive to these differences, but they must also adopt the appropriate policies and strategies for coping with them. A further way in which international business differs from domestic business is the greater complexity of managing an international business. In addition to the problems that arise from the differences between countries, a manager in an international
business is confronted with a range of other issues that the manager in a domestic business never confronts. Managers within international businesses must develop strategies and policies for dealing with such interventions. An international business also must decide which foreign markets to enter and which to avoid. is not a trivial problem). Is it best to export its product to the foreign country? Should the firm allow a local company to produce its product under license in that country? Should the firm enter into a joint venture with a local firm to produce its product in that country? Or should the firm set up a wholly owned subsidiary to serve the market in that country? As we shall see. It also must choose the appropriate mode for entering a particular foreign country. Nominally committed to free trade. Then it must decide how best to coordinate and control its globally dispersed production activities (which. They must find ways to work within the limits imposed by specific governmental interventions. while a firm that adopts the right policy can increase the profitability of its international transactions. Since currency exchange rates vary in response to changing economic conditions. A firm that adopts a wrong policy can lose large amounts of money. Conducting business transactions across national borders requires understanding the rules governing the international trading and investment system. the choice of entry mode is critical because it has major implications for the long-term health of the firm. as we shall see later in the book. In sum. they often intervene to regulate cross-border trade and investment. Cross-border transactions also require that money be converted from the firm¶s home currency into a foreign currency and vice versa. managing an international business is different from managing a purely domestic business for at least four reasons: . An international business must decide where in the world to site its production activities to minimize costs and to maximize value added. Managers in an international business must also deal with government restrictions on international trade and investment. an international business must develop policies for dealing with exchange rate movements.
. and (4) International transactions involve converting money into different currencies. (2) the range. (3) an international business must find ways to work within the limits imposed by government intervention in the international trade and investment system.(1) countries are different. and the problems themselves more complex than those confronted by a manager in a domestic business.of problems confronted by a manager in an international business is wider.