Globalization & Operations Management
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Managing global operations across different markets and cultures has always been both an opportunity and challenge for big businesses. As international markets grow to be more competitive and entangled, companies try to harmonize and optimize global business structures and also leverage their global assets and talent pool (Heizer & Render 2001). A wide spectrum of debate of participants’ experiences with globalization resulted to some convincing insights, themes and best practices.
Globalization is the rise in the impact of human activities of forces that span national boundaries. Computer technology has played a key role in enhancing communication hence changing the way people manage initiate and oversee their business transactions. By use of technology, information has moved to every corner of the world hence revolutionizing business operations and employing better operational mechanisms. Many scholars argue that the relationship between humans and technology can be described as “synergetic.”
In the economic sense, globalization refers to the diminution of transaction of cross-border movements of goods and/or capital. Globalization process includes the opening of global trade and internationalization of fiscal markets, advancement of communication means, emergent significance of Multinational Corporations (MNC’s) and increased population migrations, which imply growing mobility of people, capital, ideas, goods, data as well as pollution, infections and disease. Through globalization, an economy is thus able to generate networks, which give it access to cross border trade and transactions, free global flow of capital, portfolio investments, foreign direct investments in addition to rapid diffusion of knowledge and technology.
Operations management is concerned with the production, distribution and project management activities carried out in an organization. Through globalization, new technologies, modern ways of production are adopted. Additionally, global management systems and international expertise finds its way to the country’s management operation systems.
Technological trends have been changing day by day in the recent past. What appears sophisticated in terms of technology today might become obsolete in the next day. New appliances and software enter the market after every short period. This trend has led to considerable changes in the field of technology leading to a change in cultural, social and economic environments. An excellent example is the new trend of acquiring, analyzing and presenting statistics. Data plays a crucial role in the operations of business firms and educational institutions.
Business institutions seek information from the internet by conducting surveys in regard to developing new products to suit their customers. They also use collected data to plan and measure the achievement of their business goals. The information is rich in facts and up to date and business firms need data for various reasons. First, they need to plan and implement marketing strategies to cater for the international consumers. Second, they need to forecast future expansion. This will be possible if they know the income and education levels of their prospective clients. This is because income will determine consumption among people. This will in turn determine the marketing strategies to use in different areas.
Management requires data in making key decisions of the firm. Data gotten from international markets help expand and globalize business entities. Given the new trends of technology in data collection and presentation, businesses will have to change their ways of doing business. This has most effects the marketing departments. Businesses and institutions can acquire information from online sources and analyze it to make profitable decisions. They can also represent their data using the modern tools of data presentation.
The aim of organizations is to succeed. They should set their priorities right and sustain the operations that lead to their realisation. According to Beatley & Wheeler (2004) sustainable operations mean the direction of developments; the orientation of the technology and institutional change should be in harmony and enhance both current and future potentials to satisfy the human needs. In order for organizations to realise sustainability in operations it should have them properly managed with international management standards being taken into consideration.
Certified international environmental plans will lead to a decrease in the adverse effects of the operational activities like manufacturing, transport and distribution in the natural environment. Extraction of natural resources from the natural environment which are manufactured and distributed should follow internationally accepted regulations of environmental conservations (Elcome, 1998).
There has been a growth in the consumer markets of all Continents. Service providing firms have also been competing for the growing consumer markets hence intensifying competition. On the other hand, expectations of customer service have risen across the continent as consumers have acquired extra cash, have acquired superior information and have increased travelling. Therefore, various companies have to improve their service so as to stand out from the competition and build customer loyalty. There is usually a difference between what service firms believe clients want and what consumers say about the services they receive from those firms.
Through the internet for example, social networking sites have also been widely utilized for recruitment purposes by human resource managers. Through such sites, employers are able to find relevant information of current and potential employees’ social activities, thus knowing the right people to employ from all over the world without restricting themselves to certain regions. However, overdependence of technology has led to addiction of extreme measures, thus affecting human development. For instance, Khosrowpour (2000) observes that in the United States, many employers have expressed concern over the high cases of employees spending close to 2 hours every week on social networking sites during hours of work. This has negatively affected productivity, occasioning a company loss of approximately $ 2.50 billion.
Through the internet, social networking sites have also been widely utilized for recruitment purposes by human resource managers. Through such sites, employers are able to find relevant information of current and potential employees’ social activities, thus knowing the right people to employ from all over the world without restricting themselves to certain regions. However, overdependence of technology has led to addiction of extreme measures, thus affecting human development. For instance, Khosrowpour (2000) observes that in the United States, many employers have expressed concern over the high cases of employees spending close to 2 hours every week on social networking sites during hours of work. This has negatively affected productivity, occasioning a company loss of approximately $ 2.50 billion.
Social media has been a place to conduct market research. It has also become a place for market researchers to network and share ideas. They also look for jobs and simply have fun using social media. They form new and dynamic groups of friends and followers because they are active users of social networks. In Facebook, market researchers make fiends and use their status to talk about research topics. They also join specialist research groups. The marketers use their research findings to design marketing strategies and change business operations. Professionals use social networks such as LinkedIn to form contacts, to engage in market research groups to get information about job issues.
A firm makes contact with customers, employees, neighbours, and the international community at large during its routine operations. For that reason, to maintain a superior correlation, the firm should have proper social management which will provide a suitable working environment and community involvement. This will avoid conflict between an organization and the society. Instead, it will improve its correspondence with the employees and the society at large. It ensures operations that involve the society succeed too (Lowson, 2002).
In conclusion, operations need proper management to benefit the firm. Environmental, social and economic management are the main pillars to achieve operation management. If a firm has an excellent plan, defined the activities involved and monitors them with a quality assurance it is with no doubts a successful firm. Organizations should invest in electronic media too. Making use of social networks will enable business firms gain attention from international consumers. By creating blogs and fan pages, social networkers shift their attention to the businesses. Business firms should not overspend on traditional advertising and sales methods. They should channel considerable funds to investing in social media.
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