The Globalization of Business

The globalization of business is bound to affect you. Not only will you buy products manufactured overseas, but it’s highly likely that you’ll meet and work with individuals from various countries and cultures as customers, suppliers, colleagues, employees, or employers. The bottom line is that the globalization of world commerce has an impact on all of us. Therefore, it makes sense to learn more about how globalization works.

World commerce has become increasingly international, so understanding how global business works is key to a successful career.

Never before has business spanned the globe the way it does today. But why is international business important? Why do companies and nations engage in international trade? What strategies do they employ in the global marketplace? What challenges do companies face when they do business overseas? How do governments and international agencies promote and regulate international trade? Is the globalization of business a good thing? What career opportunities are there for you in global business? How should you prepare yourself to take advantage of them?

Benefits of Strategic Planning

The planning process is concerned with defining a company’s goals and determining the resources necessary to achieve those goals. Achieving a vision requires coordinated efforts that adhere to a broader organizational plan. This is enabled through consistent strategies that are supported by staff at all levels. To meet business goals, managers develop business plans not only to reach targets but also to strengthen and change public perception of the company’s brand.

Integrated business plan

Integrated business plan
Example of an integrated business plan.

Benefits of Planning

Since they have achieved defined goals through the planning process, managers and employees can focus and control their efforts and their resources, follow determined plans of action, coordinate activities between divisions, and use time management to meet specific goals. Planning helps to achieve these goals or targets by efficiently and effectively using available time and resources. In short, planning, if executed properly, should lead to the following benefits:

  • Focus: There are a wide variety of activities an organization (or the individuals within the organization) might viably pursue. While there is value in the pursuit of many activities, understanding which ones the organization should focus on to leverage organizational competencies and align with market research requires careful planning and delegation. This is how planning achieves focus.
  • Coordinated action: If department A is reliant on inputs from department B, department A cannot utilize department B’s work without coordination. If department B has too much work and department A too little, there is poor interdepartmental coordination. This is alleviated through detail-oriented planning processes.
  • Control: The control process is based on benchmarks, which is to say that controlling requires a standard of comparison when viewing the actual operational results. Control relies on the planning process to set viable objectives, which can then be worked towards through controlling operations.
  • Time management: Time management underlines the importance of maximizing the use of time to minimize the cost of production. If a full-time employee can accomplish their work within 32 hours, the planning process can find meaningful use for their remaining time. Costs can be lowered and productivity increased by ensuring that each element in the operational process functions according to ideal time constraints.
  • Benefits of the process: Perhaps the most important benefit of developing business and marketing plans is the planning process itself. This typically offers a unique opportunity, a forum, for information-rich and productively focused discussions between the various managers involved. The plan and the discussions that arise from it provide an agreed context for subsequent management activities, even those not described in the plan itself.
Example of a marketing plan

Example of a marketing plan

Source: Boundless. “Benefits of Strategic Planning: Focus, Action, Control, Coordination, and Time Management.” Boundless Management. Boundless, 08 Dec. 2014. Retrieved 07 Feb. 2015 from

When to Go Global

When to Go Global

Cost Leadership

A global strategy may be appropriate in industries where firms face strong pressures to reduce costs but weak pressures to respond locally; globalization therefore allows these firms to sell a standardized product worldwide. By expanding to a broader consumer base, these firms can take advantage of scale economies (cost advantages that an enterprise obtains due to expansion) and learning-curve effects because they are able to mass-produce a standard product that can be exported (providing that demand is greater than the costs involved).

Market Expansion

Globalization is not limited to cost leadership, however. Differentiation strategies also enable economies of scope, either fulfilling different needs in different markets with a similar series of products, or developing new products based upon the needs and consumption habits of a new market. Differentiation as part of a global strategy will often require localization, as organizations must adapt to consumer tastes better to compete in the new country. For example, Coca Cola tastes different depending on the country where it is bought because of differences in local preferences.


Other popular and primary strategic reasons for globalization include building supplier relationships, improving access to raw materials (unique to a given region), and cutting costs by using other regions’ specializations. Starbucks sources coffee beans from all over the world, as climate dramatically affects the type and quality of the bean. The globalization strategy of Starbucks—while it includes selling in many countries—is hugely depending on global sourcing, and strategic managers must carefully monitor this process for costs and benefits.

Global strategies require firms to coordinate tightly their product and pricing strategies across international markets and locations; therefore, firms that pursue a global strategy are typically highly centralized.

Corporate Strategy Implications

With global markets in mind, strategic managers must expand their perspective and use varied models to generate different strategies for different places. For example, companies must now conduct a PESTEL analysis for each region in which they operate and recognize expense and competition deviations between regions. For example, tariffs in country A may be much higher than country B, but country B has fewer individuals willing to pay a high price for the good the organization is selling. Managers must conduct a cost/benefit analysis to identify which country actually offers the best profit potential. These analyses are how strategists incorporate global concerns into strategic management.

Gross domestic product (GDP) worldwide

Gross domestic product (GDP) worldwide
The map identifies GDP (nominal) in different countries, highlighting which countries offer high consumer spending opportunities for multinational enterprises.

Source: Boundless. “Global Strategy.” Boundless Management. Boundless, 17 Nov. 2014. Retrieved 07 Feb. 2015 from