Business and International Development
Nowadays, the world of business is developing and getting advanced at a very faster rate. It is now possible for a company in United States to sell its products in any part of the world, such as, Africa, Asia, Australia, etc. During this mode of international development, we will try to comprehend and discuss the term of international development. (Debra Johnson, 2003)
We will try to relate the definitions and understanding that has been given by different and various NGOs, media, and thousands of investors around the world. We will also try to examine their every day activities and communications and their utilization of the term of international development in their decision-making processes and other operations of the company.
In this regard, we will also try to relate and link developing countries with the developed countries, as products and services are manufactured by these developing countries. Therefore, we will examine if there is anything happening for the support and strength of these developing communities around the world. In this way, we will also go through a list of challenges that have to overcome by the international development and fulfill the needs and demands of the developing countries in a mutual and sustainable manner. (Hans Wolfgang, 1964)
In this part, we will briefly summarize the findings and information that we got after the accomplishment of the survey, which was related with the international development of the business sector around the world.
A common and coherent understanding of international development lacks in some of the multinational companies, NGOs, and corporations that are engaged in this concept. One of the reasons of this lacking is that a wide range of terminology and approaches are invoked by the international development, and therefore, everybody cannot understand and interpretate the exact meaning and understanding of the concept. (Hans Wolfgang, 1964)
Secondly, translation of this concept has not been done in every language, and therefore, it is quite difficult to understand any language, which is not a native language of the marketplace. Therefore, it has been seen that sometimes terminology, and sometimes philosophy are approached for defining the concept of international development. (John F. Kennedy School of Government, 1995)
In emerging markets, the role of private sector as the central one was agreed by all the respondents during the survey, despite all the differences and distinct definitions of the international development. However, this role was considered in both, good and bad cases during the business activities.
Creation of jobs and development of local businesses were given the high priority and considered as the most effective for running the business operations by NGOs, media, and multinational corporations during the survey. When the unique assets and competencies of a company are harnessed by some contributions of the business, they were considered as the most successful ones for the international development. (Mohd. Reza Vaghefi, 1991)
It was also found out during the study that the role of the local business was limited in the international development due to some trade policies of the developed countries. In addition, developing countries were also bearing and going through some of the obstacles, such as, weak infrastructure, system, and corruption in their businesses.
The role of every sector in the international development was provided with a fresh insight by the business people, journalists, media, and NGOs, who excluded their sector during these opinions. These people also gave suggestions for the better and effective role in the international development by these industry sectors.
During the survey, the respondents indicated that better listeners and more sharing were required for productive partnerships, which might be able to play a vital role in the international development. It was also indicated that excellent development results could be yield by these productive partnerships. (Mohd. Reza Vaghefi, 1991)
In this regard, core assets, relevant expertise, and management attention were given the high priority, in order to get these excellent results. In addition, addressing of broader policy issues and collaboration with market-bases solutions were also encouraged and appreciated by the selected respondents during the survey.
The entailing of the International Development was viewed diversely by all the respondents. Economic growth and development were related to the international development unambiguously and specifically by some of the respondents. However, the combination of social and environmental progressing indicators, and economic development was signified by a number of business people, especially NGOs representatives during the study.
Development and enhancement of living standards and empowerment of people were spoken by several executives regarding the term of international development. While building of local institutions and capacity were suggested by the other. In addition, some journalists regarded economic inclusion and growth with the definition of International Development.
According to a financial services company, economic viability, markets, and sustainability of the communities were related to the definition of the international development. The executives of this company also suggested that the importance of economic inclusion issues should be felt by the broadening and proper understanding of education.
When economic development and a sustainable livelihood are combined with reduction and alleviation of poverty, it is known as the international development, as defined by an NGO. In addition, stewardship of the environment was also included in this definition of the term.
When the organizations and their operations and activities are developed, and their capacity and capability is increased in other countries, as compared to their local countries, it is known as the international development. This type of definition came from the executives of a food and beverage company, who participated in the already-mentioned survey.
However, the term international development is not being used in the everyday operations and documents of the abovementioned companies and firms. The reason of this neglecting is that this term has been misinterpreted a number of times, as reported by many of the respondents during their interviews. Nevertheless, these executives agreed that the international development terms were being used by them on a regular basis.
Instead, the impact of corporate activities were tried to leave an impact on local communities by using other distinct terms, which could stress on the abovementioned impact. Some of these daily used terms are economic footprint, supply chain management, corporate citizenship, global business standards, etc. In addition, specific areas also play a vital role in the selection of these words and language. For instance, fair labor standards, poverty alleviation, economic inclusion, sustainability of the environment, etc.
In order to understand the abovementioned terms and subjects, the role of business in the international development was examined and investigated by a survey, which tried to fulfill the objectives of the abovementioned report. In this regard, five-hundred companies from the global fortune were selected, and twenty-five best executives from these selected companies were interviewed one-on-one, in order to perform the study in-depth and for the better and effective results that will help in further studies and developments around the world.
In this regard, nine broad industry sectors were considered during the selection of these five-hundred companies. Transportation and shipping was one of the industry sectors that were considered with telecommunications and electronics, financial services, food and beverage, etc. Manufacturing and equipment, pharmaceutical and health, and energy and utilities were also included in the abovementioned selected industry sectors during the study. (John F. Kennedy School of Government, 1995)
After the selection of companies, executives were selected from a variety of functions, in order to get different and distinct perceptions of the international development during the business operations and activities. Public affairs, government relations, corporate social responsibility, health and safety, global communications, trade regulation and legislation, and community relations were some of the variety of functions that were taken during the survey.
Ten other senior executives were also selected for the abovementioned survey, which were representatives of multinational NGOs. These NGOs were mainly concerned in the areas of human rights, environment, development issues, and social enterprise. On the other hand, six journalists were also interviewed during the survey.
Economics and international development topics were covered by these journalists. Lastly, major investment firms were also contacted, in order to have four sell-side analysts during the survey. Complete confidentiality, privacy, and anonymity were ensured to all these fifty-five respondents during the survey for the better understanding of international development.
While we are trying to understand the definition of the international development, it is necessary to know if this development is bad or good for these companies, developed and developing countries, their people, and their economic stability. In this regard, both implicit and explicit views were recorded during the interviews.
Executives, journalists, and other business people expressed their opinion regarding the image of international development in front of the developing countries and their poor people, which are the primary ones that have an impact from the international business of the multinational firms and corporations. In this regard, less optimistic views were given by several people, while, improving conditions were brought up by many of the respondents, when they were inquired about the image of international development.
International Development and UN Millennium Development Goals
In order to reduce poverty and improving lives, an ambitious agenda is the Millennium Development Goals, which is also known as MDGs. In September 2000, the United Nations Millennium Summit was attended by many world leaders, and this ambitious and motivated outline was agreed by them. In the international development community, an accepted framework for the abovementioned purpose is considered the MDGs. In this regard, the MDGs have set different goals and their targets. This agenda is being implemented in a number of developing countries by many multinational corporations around the world.
An executive and representatives of a telecommunications and electronics company were interviewed during the survey for the better understanding regarding the role of MDGs. From their point of view, their vision and responsibility were helped by the role and opportunities that are given by the international development.
Some other executives that were from the same company indicated that corporate citizenship and social responsibility objectives are fulfilled and organized by the international development. In addition, a bridge between the private and public sectors can be served and helped tremendously by the international development.
However, unawareness was seen in many of the respondents of private sector regarding the already mentioned Millennium Development Goals. These goals were considered as inspirational and general by many of the aware respondents. The practical challenges of implementation were focused by a number of corporate respondents during the survey.
An executive of the financial services company described the international development as helpful and relevant to their company. However, they indicated that these plans regarding the international development were lacking some sort of planning and backbone, which are necessary for the implementation of the goals for the development and advancement in the international development.
Perspectives on Business in International Development
Although the term, international development is being used by few of the companies who were interviewed during the survey, it was reported during the study that the local communities were actively supported by these multinational corporations, as agreed by most of the business leaders.
In this case, most of the local communities were the places, where their products and services had been market and their money had in the investment. The emerging markets, as well as, the traditional markets of the developing world have been observed these perceptions regarding the international development. According to an equipment and manufacturing company, local governments and organizations were required by multinational companies, if local resources and work force are going to be utilized by them during their international business.
The important impact on the development of companies was recognized by most of the respondents, who were related with different NGOs and media fields. Potential positive contributions of business were focused be several respondents. On the other hand, prevention of negative impacts that were bearing by many of the business operations and activities were strongly argued by rest of the business people.
Positive Contributions of the International Business
When the executives from various NGOs were interviewed, it was indicated by them that own supply chain should be focused by the private sector, in order to make an impact and take advantage of the biggest opportunity. In this regard, the products that they are going to buy should be examined in detail by the executives. Secondly, the resources and origin of the products, as well as, the social practices of that particular area should also be considered during the process of focus.
In addition, it was also described by these executives that environmental practices also play a vital role in this case. According to them, it would be amazing if own footprints and own supply chain would be focused by every company. According to media persons, international development is being contributed by the private sector in a series of ways. In this regard, they suggested that poorer and middle-income countries should get private investment, which would also attract foreign investment directly, and will contribute towards the international development.
According to the other NGO executives, a demand among the low-income customers needed a realization by the global corporations regarding the products and services that they manufactured and sold around the world. In addition, citizens’ organizations and grass-root development groups should be taken into partnership with the multinational companies.
In the result, poverty will be alleviated, and it will contribute to the international development of business in the world. In other words, it was indicated and described by the respondents that the people and organizations, which know the poor best, should be considered for the advancement of the international development.
Negative Impacts on International Business
During an interview with an NGO person, it was recognized that local governments are far poorer than the multinational companies are. In addition, huge operational presence and pressure are exerted by these companies on local environments. Local people, as well as, social capital also become the targets of these companies, which do their business and perform their operations in the developing countries. In this regard, actions should be done in a more responsible manner, and a major role should be played by these companies, for the proper prevention of negative impacts on international development of the business.
A set of business contributions to the international development was ranked by all the respondents during the survey. The below mentioned table has been made to describe their ranking by one for no role, and nine for the active role that is played by the business.
Concern was expressed by most of the journalists and business respondents regarding the challenges that are confronted by most of the multinational companies around the world. According to them, unrealistic expectations regarding the international development were placed by the current business activities, as private sector was unable to solve all the problems regarding the international development.
The local communities are strengthen and supported by the ability of multinational companies throughout the developing world. However, some factors are responsible for this ability of the multinational companies, which are found to be residing outside the direct control of the private sector. A variety of conditions was identified by many business leaders. If international development should be done effectively, and a major role should be played by the corporations, there are some critical concerns that should be met by these corporations.
These issues have been categorized into different slots for the better understanding and effective management of the international development. For instance, some issues have been categorized internally, while some as externally. The strengths, strategic and capacity interests of the company have been given under the internal issues. While the overall market environment and the local country’s actual conditions are dealt in the external issues. In addition, shareholder management issues are also considered during the assessment of the challenges for the international business.
The degree of influence by internal organizational factors was noted by the respondents during the survey. They are also indicated that specific development needs should be responded by the companies in the local environments. The industry sector determines the potential impact in a specific local community that is done by the multinational companies, as explained repeatedly by the business people. In addition, operation scales and penetration of the market in a local country are also responsible for the determination of impacts and challenges on business.
According to the executives from the telecommunications and Technology Company, the articulation of a business case is the biggest of all the internal challenges. In this regard, business objectives should be tied and linked with every other step and operation that is done by the company. It is the reality that the good and bad are not judged by these steps, but the challenge is supporting the condescending things that are related with the business.
Another challenge was described by the executives of some NGOs during their interviews. According to them, the implementation of human rights policies, codes of conduct, etc. was a big challenge for the head offices of multinational companies, as the planning and agreement that has been done in the developed country and the proceedings and happenings that is occurring in the developing countries, show a hug gap between each other. In this regard, NGOs are being contacted and requested for their support for better implementation of these policies during the international business activities of the companies.
A crucial and inhibiting role is played by multinational companies and developed countries in addition with the companies’ internal capacities and their strategic interests. The private sector’s impact on the international development is determined by the abovementioned role of these companies. In this regard, a number of concerns were identified by all of the respondents, which expressed that local communities were not being able to be supported by these companies due to the limiting of their ability by the identified concerns. (Vishnu H., 1990)
Some of these concerns are the local governments that are engaged in corruption and bribery all over their places, health diseases, and impact of AIDS, distribution of substandard education, lack of media freedom, and a variety of similar concerns were described by the respondents. In addition, violence, religious insurgents, terrorism, and uncertainty of the politics, and poor infrastructure of the industry sector in the local and developing countries are some of the external obstacles that multinational companies borne during their international business operations and activities. (Vishnu H., 1990)
In this regard, specific countries and regions are engaged and selected by the decisions of the multinational companies by the determination of key ingredients of stability and sustainability, as illustrated in the abovementioned list of the external obstacles. Stable and reliable political, local, and economic environments are looked for in local and developing counties during the corporate decisions of the business leaders. In the result, the investment risk and potential positive contribution can be predicted by the company during their determination of different challenges that are faced by various companies in the developing areas of the world.
Nowadays, corporate expansion, investment, and international business are discouraged due to the unstable and non-supportive market environments of the developing countries. Unpredictable political climates, censorship, illiteracy, etc. and their combined effects are responsible for this discouragement and dissuasion of the multinational companies around the world. Thus, the international development and the involvement of the potential for private sector are undermined and deteriorated by these obstacles and challenges in the international business. (Alan M. Rugman, 2002)
In order to reduce and prevent the abovementioned challenges and obstacles that are faced by the multinational companies and for the better contribution to the business, some responsibilities should be fulfilled by the local governments of the developing countries and during the business operations of the international corporations in these developing countries.
Some of these responsibilities include the promotion of judicial and political reform in the country. In addition, steps should be taken to reduce corruption, as well as, to increase transparency in the different and various business transactions and operations in these countries. Policies should be planned and implemented that should encourage foreign investment in the country. (Alan M. Rugman, 2002)
In this regard, education should be given a high priority and the local capacity in the infrastructure, technology, and wages should be enhanced by the local governments. In this way, a stable political, social, environment, and economical environment should be contributed, in order to attract private sector, foreign investment, and international business in the country. In other words, provision of stable and sustainable investment environments is the ultimate responsibility of the local governments of the developing countries.
Conclusively, we have tried to understand, discuss, and analyze the link of international development with the business operations of the multinational companies in different developing countries of the world, and opportunities, responsibilities, and expectations that are associated with the international business of these companies.
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