Share
Explore BrainMass

International Business: Cultural and Business Analysis

I need help with the questions at the end of the scenario below. Thank you.

Scenario:

You have achieved great success at Physical Movement Company (PM Co.) as their Sales Manager. PM Company is a three year old, US$25 million home healthcare company, headquartered in the northeastern part of the United States. The firm creates and sells wheelchairs, walkers or other types of "mobility products" that give a person some level of mobility when they can no longer completely ambulate on their own. Recently due to an influx of inquiries about your mobility products and some very large, direct sales to customers outside your home country, you have been promoted to the position of Vice-President of International Sales, responsible for all sales outside the United States. The job sounds simple enough - just sell your great mobility products around the world! Benefits of the job include traveling globally, eating great food and shopping for bargains in your free time. Life is good!

However, after a few days in your new position you begin to realize there is more to this job than what you were previously accustomed to as a Sales Manager who sold only in your own country. Your previous job responsibilities included finding a need for your mobility products, overcoming any objections and closing the sale. You were very comfortable in this role. As you begin to call on companies around the world by phone and e-mail, you realize that the global business environment is far more complex, involves many more details, and requires much more knowledge than you ever realized! Because of the time zone differences, you are finding yourself working all the time as business is conducted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week around the world, so there is always someone you need to contact or follow-up with. No one in the company has ever sold internationally before. There are a few employees in the company who were not born in this country. They can provide some language skills and can share their cultural knowledge, but they do not have international business experience. However, you are now the global business leader for your company.

Late one night between calls to Singapore and China, you realize you need to quickly learn as much as you can about global business issues and their implications and to communicate these issues and their solutions to senior management so that together you and the company can achieve your new worldwide revenue objectives.

The CEO has asked you to identify three target market countries and present your choices to senior management. Earlier (phase 1) you had done some preliminary investigation and chosen three countries; now you will work with other members of the sales team to research and confirm the three target countries to present to the CEO. Individual Portion: Take the three countries you chose as potential target markets for PM Company (phase 1). Use the Cybrary and the Internet to conduct research and locate background and cultural information on these countries. Using the Small Group Discussion Board, work with the other sales team members to share your research and come to consensus on three countries. Your contribution to the discussion should include these issues:

1. What specifics did you learn about doing business in each of the three targeted countries? How will this knowledge help PM Company do business there?
2. Using Hofstede's five cultural dimensions, what did you learn about the culture(s) in each country that will help you make better management decisions when planning to do business there as well as actually doing business there?
3. Finally, analyze how the cultures of these countries are similar and how they differ, and how this information will impact your management decisions.

THE THREE COUNTRIES I USED ARE U.K., JAPAN & ITALY.

Solution Summary

In reference to the scenario and the U.K., Japan and Italy, this solution addresses the questions on several dimensions e.g. knowledge about the three countries, application of knowledge to project management, Hofstede's cultural analysis of each country, and comparisons of the strengths and weakness of doing business in each country.

$2.19