Globalization and Organizational Behavior

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  • 0:07 Globalization and…
  • 1:21 Challenges Managers Face
  • 4:13 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rob Wengrzyn

Rob has an MBA in management, a BS in marketing, and is a doctoral candidate in organizational theory and design.

As the world around us gets smaller, globalization will be in more areas and impact organizations. Organizational behavior is impacted by globalization and in this lesson we will discuss that aspect.

Globalization and Organizational Behavior

The term globalization has been a buzzword now for many years. It's one of those words that is easier to describe than it is to define. However, the generally accepted meaning of globalization is the integration of world politics, economies and cultures from one country or countries with another country or countries. This integration also includes and is not limited to countries' educational, and perhaps religious views. In practical terms it can also refer to the relinquishing of any trade barriers or tariffs that results in uninhibited economic development across all countries. Globalization in this context often refers to the idea that instead of having many different markets, all the world is one gigantic market.

In plain English, what we are talking about is the impact of one culture and all its aspects (economy, religion, etc.) on another culture. Let me give you some examples:

  • We might see a child walking down the street in Dubai wearing a Michael Jordan jersey, which is an effect of globalization.
  • There are countries working with other countries to minimize carbon emissions thus reducing pollution, which is an effect of globalization.
  • Having two companies from different parts of the world come together to develop a product - that too is globalization.

I hope that you're seeing a pattern here. Globalization is not a one-dimensional term. Any time aspects of one country influence another (economically, culturally or politically), globalization is usually at play. Many people look at globalization from just a business perspective, but there are underlying issues in how globalization relates to organizational behavior.

Challenges Managers Face

As one could imagine, there are unique challenges that arise when a manager must deal with globalization. You see, due to the diversity that is inherent in globalization, managers now must deal with a more expansive list of issues and challenges, many of which are unique.

Organizations that have operations around the world pose a unique problem to the organizational behavior. Each location has its own view of observed holidays, communication, organizational change and gender and a manager must consider all these aspects. All of these aspects, and more, make up a country's economy, culture and politics. While it is true to some extent these issues are present in a local environment, this issue has more complexity to it when there are overseas operations involved.

For example, how does a manager deal with attendance of employees when there are different religious and historical holidays around the world, all on different days and for different lengths of time? Think of the unique challenge a manager would have in scheduling work to be done, when different offices overseas observe different holidays at different times. How does a manager bring together a team of individuals from around the world, when one country could be feuding with another?

Maybe individuals from the feuding sides have knowledge or resources the manager needs to complete a task, and he or she has to determine how to make that work. These are all real-world issues a global manager must work with, and as globalization spreads, the influence of countries upon countries will spread as well.

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