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Global management

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Living here in America, we hear a lot about the multinational activity of many American firms. What we hear much less about, though, is the multinational growth of companys that are buying American companies,

South African Breweries bought Miller Brewery
Sony bought Columbia Pictures
Diemler bought Chrysler
Ahold bought 6 large grocery chains, among them Stop n Shop and Giant Foods (about 1300 individual stores)

The list goes on and on.

Are American firms at a fundamental disadvantage in competing against foreign companys because of our background and experience? From childhood through college, we focus on us, on America. As children in Europe grow up, they regularly travel to many other countries on vacation, on field trips, etc. We go to Disney. Foreign students come to the US to study. We stay home and attend community college. I've spent about 10 years conducting international business and every international counterpart I've worked with can speak 3 or 4 languages. I speak one, like most Americans.

So again I ask "Are American firms at a fundamental disadvantage in competing against foreign companys because of our background and experience? " Are we intrinsically isolationist because of our culture, our geography, our overwhelming economic power?

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1. Our values are different: this makes American companies handicapped in targeting European markets and emergent markets.
2. Our heroes are different: the US president is not exactly a hero in the erstwhile Soviet Bloc countries, nor is he a hero in emergent countries. Once a company is identified as American it suffers a handicap in the international market. For instance, Coca Cola and McDonald often gets targeted for anger against American heroes.
3. Our myths, stories and taboos are ...

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