While I have been through many different subjects through the course of time in higher education that I have undergone none have captured my attention more than the lessons I have learned about business cultures and business organizations. I find it rather interesting that depending on the country that a business is in even though it is the exact same business which has been offshored to a different location the dynamics of the local culture changes the way in which the business culture develops. In the world of business the topic of outsourcing has been a much contested and debatable topic.
Some corporations believe that if they outsource their services the way in which the business is run would change and in fact would ruin the company. This particular notion was put to the test when the 2008 financial crisis started and companies found themselves in need of more affordable methods of operation while at the same time maintaining quality services. Inevitably, though with much reluctance, these companies thought to outsource their services to more affordable locations such as the Philippines since the local populace is able to speak English rather well and could do the same job that westerners are
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When it comes to outsourcing to a different location it goes without saying that the local business culture is vastly different than that of the U.S. Great Britain or other locations. The thing is though the way in which a company is run and the way in which a local populace acts when blended together can be considered the business culture of that branch of the company. Take for example Toyota, though it may have several hundred dealerships around the world the way in which each branch is run while adhering to company policy is different from each other.
A branch ran in the U.S. is starkly different than one ran in China due to the local cultural and business standards. Combining this example with the recent trend in outsourcing it has been shown that while different businesses have to inevitably change the way their operations work through outsourcing the business culture of the home office of the company is not applicable to that of the offshore location. Rather it can be said that a business culture is developed overtime through the interaction of the offshore representatives and the local staff which creates its own unique brand of business culture that can work within company policy and become a success.
Through my own research it must be noted that companies such as Sprint, Verizon and AT&T have outsourced a lot of their operations to outsourcing companies in the Philippines such as Convergys, Sykes and Teleperformance and as recent stock data has shown investor confidence in these companies has remained steady showing that the business culture of outsourced companies can meet international standards and enable the company to thrive. This fact alone has actually created a trend wherein multiple companies appear to be offshoring or outsourcing several of parts their operations to numerous outsourcing destinations such as the Philippines due to the need to save money.
What is both challenging and fascinating about business culture is the different forms that it takes and the different ways certain companies do business due to differences in their business culture which in the end affect the average consumer. For example let use the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and the case of China as an example. Lately China has been criticized for exporting products which are shoddily made, at times toxic and in some cases downright dangerous.
One explanation for this is that China’s manufacturing sector has been a third party supplier to most international importers for many years, it is due to this that it has never had to worry of its direct image to the consumer however this resulted in a lack of care over how the end product wound up as since meeting quotas and supplying the product has been what they’ve been doing for years and they’ve stuck to this attitude even going so far as to use inadequate methods of production resulting in the current criticisms over Chinese goods.
The concept of how a company is viewed by the general public is under Corporate Social Responsibility and as such due to the fact that a lot of companies in the Western world deal directly with the consumer (Walmart, Walgreen, Costco and Super Savers to name a few) their image to the consumer is very important to them since a good image equates into customer loyalty which results in a greater sales revenue. While the concept of CSR is a familiar one in a lot of business sectors in the world today, China due to it previous orientation as an isolationist state, as well as past influences of communism China has always done things its way which has diverged greatly over what is the norm elsewhere and this attitude has continued onto the present.
It is due to this attitude that the concept of CSR has not lodged itself into the majority of the corporate strategies of China’s industrial sector. Comparatively Hong Kong Kong’s method of risk management and control for its numerous industries are among the best in world. Due to its previous status as part of the British empire and its current status as an important financial, industrial and corporate center in the Asian region Hong Kong was able to develop better methods of risk management and control due to the continued number of foreign influences found within it and the sheer number of foreign companies that call the island nation its home.
Through the amount of competition between the numerous foreign companies representing the different industries present within Hong Kong the spread of corporate best practices for the industry is actively taken up by Chinese companies present within the area in order to keep up with foreign rivals since if they don’t they would be passed by importers looking for quality goods that can be obtained in a congested market. This shows that differences in business cultures have profound effects on how a company is run and the end result that the consumer receives.
The companies in China and Hong Kong are just two examples the rest of the countries in the world have hundreds if not thousands of companies each with its own distinct business culture. As such the study of business culture is a difficult one yet by being able to understand it you will be able to know what exactly to expect from the people you are dealing with, how to gain their confidence and what the end result of your business transaction with them will be.
From what I learned about business organizations they are a remarkably flexible way of conducting the different aspects of business from large to small organization to charitable and non profit organizations all of them from what I have learned possess their own unique characteristic that sets them apart from each other. What truly fascinates me are nonprofit and charitable business organizations, I have always wondered how they are able to stay afloat even if they don’t conduct business in the normal way that other companies do.
From what I learned they usually finance their operations by way donations and interest rates that they receive from charitable trust funds. The thing is I have learned that not everything in this world can remain uncorrupted that even organizations whose goal it is to help the impoverished or to fund studies which will benefit mankind as whole there is usually some aspect to them that has been abused by devious minds. Did you know that contribution to certain non profit organizations can be considered as tax deductible? Some wealthy and influential people at times actually take advantage of this by donating a sizable contribution in the form of a new wing to a building or even new equipment to a nonprofit organization then they put down a much large amount as to what was actually spent and get a considerable tax write off.
Not only that but recently there has been news of donations of rather large amounts of money to different nonprofit organizations that deal with finding alternative sources of energy the thing is these large donations are from organizations such as Exxon Mobile, Shell and Petron. One must wonder why these large business organizations would donate money to studies that would put them out of business. A more plausible explanation would be that the money is more of a bribe to doctor studies in there favor and delay any sort of discovery.
When delving into the world of business organizations at times you would see that the practices some of them take such as passing off their debts and business expenditures to the customer by raising prices, the creation of secret cartels in order to create steady prices and not to mention the fact that at times those at the top don’t seem to know what they are doing resulting in massive losses for the company which are transferred to stock holders which can devastate the business may seem unreasonable and even criminal but that is the result of the system that is currently in place.
What is rather unfortunate these days is that with the current economic downturn affecting a lot of businesses these days the economic situation in the world has started to look somewhat bleak. Judging from what has been going on with Europe with the massive amount of debt that Greece incurred and the $1 trillion dollar bailout package apparently not working the current economic situation in the world might start to change for the worse before it can get better.
If the economic situation in the world does get better soon I plan to open my own business in the future, maybe start off with a small LLC (Limited Liability Company) and work my way from there or I might just go into the stock market myself.
All in all I greatly appreciated the lesson that I learned in class because it was through them that I became a little less naïve and more aware of the different aspects of the economic world and how it could come to affect my daily life. If I were to recommend a subject that you should try out that is both fascinating and challenging then the arena of business would be the best place to start.