A lot of companies expand their business into international markets. In
most cases, the motive is a search for improved cost efficiency or looking
for the chance to expand and achieve growth. Today, companies are able
to respond rapidly to many foreign sales opportunities; this is made easier
by technological, governmental, and institutional developments. They can
shift production quickly among countries because of their experience in
foreign markets and because goods can be transported efficiently from
most places. Companies can also distribute component and/or product manufacturing
among countries to take advantage of cost differences.
Once a few companies respond to foreign market and production opportunities,
others may see that there are foreign opportunities for them as well.
All this is a part of the so called globalisation.
In operating globally, a company has to consider what the company will
seek to do and become over the long term (mission), its specific performance
targets to fulfil its mission (objectives), and the means to reach its
targets (strategy). There are many factors that may influence companies
to succeed in doing global business and remaining competitive in the global
Many companies are riding on the wave of globalisation; some of their
employees might get tangled up in the flow of the wave with more and more
personal involvement as the borders between the working day and the private
life become grey. They are challenged with a multi-lingual
working environment, exposure to different cultures, an increase of pace
and stress, they must adapt in order to succeed.
The job profiles and working conditions of an international company are
nowadays aligned to totally different factors as possibly to a decade
ago. The markets are not limited anymore to the exclusive region in which
the company is based, but to the whole world. Additionally, technological
developments have promoted a flood of communications on every level of
economy which helped to ease the way of globalisation.
7 Conclusion - Part 4
Is the daily work life affected by the process of globalisation, which
is influencing the attitudes of the company or the employers? Generally
yes, it is.
We have seen that this company and the whole economy changed their orientation
on the market and thus their attitudes and policies to their employees.
Tremendous revolutions took place in the plot of the working life of an
employee in contrast to decades before globalisation made
The examined company moves in a global environment. The requirements to
do so for this company no longer exclusively refer to their core competencies
and activities, e.g. within the production goods range from purely a technological
view. But include far more interdisciplinary entwinements (labour unions;
wage policies; etc.), which the company and the employee must go around.
Having observed items the employee depends on, tendencies in the answers
such as the sorrows and insecurities the employees have because of changed
work conditions, we can conclude there are several interactions between
the economy, the society, the enterprises and the single employee, but
there is only a little focus on the impacts on this little cog-wheel
the employee and his private life.
Even in literature there are only a few scientists who researched in this
environment. Scientists on the subject of globalisation like GOSHAL, BARTLETT
and YIP are mainly focused on the economy and the enterprises not
on the humans behind all this. So, there is a wide field for
investigation on how our society, and the individuals in it, are going
to change in the coming years with regard to ongoing globalisation.
The major difficulty during globalisation is, like in material existing
communism, the human being. It is not foreseeable how an employee is acting
in a company that is going global. Because of this each person may think
egoistically first, and also company heads provide first for their company
and their profit. And furthermore each state puts first its own interests
at expense of the other. A good example of this is the European Union,
in which only important resolutions come to tough negotiations.
No technical invention, no political development, and no social change
- automatically leads exclusively to change for the better or worse for
everyone. No well intended ideology or policy will bring eternal peace.
Wealth for all is not realisable, neither by economic systems, nor by
globalisation. Every employee in a global company is affected by globalisation
- even though everyone is not yet fully aware of how it currently functions.
So, he must try to understand what is happening and why and he must regard
globalisation as a personal challenge and take personal action. Finally
in such a work situation he will and has to pay attention more than ever
to his job and his personal life, in order to be able to exist in a global
In fact, the Impact of globalisation on daily working life
is there. The company passes on the pressure of globalisation to each
and everyone of the workforce it has to.
But first of all globalisation is neutral. It holds risks and even chances
for a nation state, a corporation and finally also for the single employee
even in his daily job situation.
Globalisation is furthermore not a natural phenomenon. It is sought and
made by people. That is why every single employee can also change, shape
and guide it in the right direction.
What counts is what the single employee makes out of the new possibilities.
As far as the company is globalised, or better spoken, as far as the company
is determined by the characteristics of globalisation, e.g. entering into
new cultures, as far are the employees forced to adapt to those habits,
just as being highly flexible also goes with it.
Deficits in qualifications and flexibility of the workforce could destabilise
the position of the company in a global arena. Consequently
the company cannot make use of the workforce in a way it would like to
do, to fulfil the requirements in global markets.
The needs of workers themselves have changed. There is more and more talk
about the need to balance work and family or personal responsibilities.
The labour force has become increasingly diversified, and this means that
ongoing training has become a necessity. Moreover, workers want a greater
say in workplace organisation.
Despite this movement toward globalisation, there remain significant environmental
differences between countries and regions. Managers in an international
business must be sensitive to these differences and also must adapt to
the appropriate policies and strategies for dealing with them (YIP, 1995).
Significant aspects of globalisation with regard to influences and altering
processes in the daily job are e.g. the trend to shift toward more highly
skilled jobs, as it is shown in Table 2 and the trend that production
and jobs have progressively shifted from the goods sector to the service
sector, so that knowledge-based industries have grown. That means more
and more occupations take place in the office and not as much in a workshop
But all the evidence is that these changes would be taking place - not
necessarily at the same pace - with or without globalisation. In fact,
globalisation is currently making this process easier and maybe less costly
to the economy as a whole by bringing the benefits of capital flows, technological
innovations, and lower import prices. Thus, all the challenges and changes
an employee has, could not have been avoided.
Economic growth, employment and living standards are all higher than they
would be in a closed economy, so the economy as a whole will of course
flourish from policies that embrace globalisation by generally promoting
an open economy , and coincidently by undertaking
of the industry and the government to focus on education and vocational
training, to make sure that workers and employees have the opportunity
to acquire the right skills in dynamic changing work environments.
The philosophy of world companies such as Sony, Coca Cola or McDonalds
to produce and sell theirs products on the whole world became
generally accepted more and more: Today liberty is defined as boundless
consumption. The problem of this variant from free-market economy is however:
If there is only the market, everything and everyone becomes the commodity.
Companies with ten thousand employees are sold back and forth several
times in one year. The individuals fate apparently of no interest, as
long as the dividend is good.
Are there any possibilities to defend oneself against this?
Numerous other socio-economic factors currently affect the workplace and
the people in it.
The rapid pace of technological change is transforming the workplace and
the job experience.
It is facilitating the growth of various non-standard forms of work, especially
home work, telework and part-time work.
It has been shown how the requirements in a globalised working environment
have changed over the years. Here are some recommendations to be implemented
or at the very least considered in order to fulfil these requirements
in the daily working life.
Upon closer consideration of all previous thoughts it has become clear
that, in general learning in and for the daily job is of most significance
for anticipating your future employability and an ongoing satisfaction
in the current job. This requires some education, and because learning
new skills takes time, it is additionally important to plan ahead and
identify the types of skills that will make the employee most employable
in the job market. It had been already said that what counts is what the
single employee makes of the new possibilities. Thus the employee has
to cope with his personal situation and should gain an overview of his
work environment and the associated possibilities. Derived from the situational
facts some more questions arise, which ought to be considered for further
action and planning:
Ø How do global shifts in the market
and workplace apply to the employee?
The hierarchical structures and the discrepancies between the divisions
that are global focused and those that are local focused in this very
company are an example of shifts in that very workplace. At the edge of
an internal merger of these divisions it has to be evaluated if an increase
e.g. in travel is really feasible for the employee; if working in a global
team is desired due to different cultures and habits; and if the employee
is able to communicate in an unfamiliar environment.
Ø What opportunities do those global
shifts create for the employee?
Those shifts could of course in general have positive or negative effects
upon the employee. If the employee is keen on getting to know new people
and able to communicate in a proper and adequate manner, he might see
this shift as a true opportunity, and thus it could contribute to his
If he is not enthusiastic toward that shift, it might cause some trouble
for him because he has to e.g. learn a foreign language or work together
with colleagues who have a totally different mentality. This could cause
dissatisfaction in the job, psychological problems may be, and could lead
to a certain lack of productivity for the company.
Ø How can the employee prepare himself
for the possibilities of the future?
It is critical to stay current with and be aware of what new skills are
needed to remain highly employable. The employee should tune in to formal
and informal information channels that relate to his work, especially
in the areas of technological developments, economic influences, globalisation,
legislation, and competition. He should discover where he can use his
strongest, most enjoyed skills to meet a need or to solve an important
When critical changes arise at the horizon and in a globalised
work environment which, is almost every day it is most important
to undertake learning projects to be prepared for dealing with those situations.
In fact, the ability to learn effectively is a very important skill to
have in a globalised world in which knowledge increases rapidly every
For companies and employees alike, being on the competitive edge in global
processes means, being on the learning edge. It is not enough to simply
perform as you did yesterday or last week. As someone working in a globalised
company you also should constantly build performance capability.
Increasingly, the degree or professionalism is determined largely by the
ability to quickly acquire new information and adjust to new situations.
In fact, a key measure of learning is how well the acquired knowledge
is applied and converted into improved performance.
Helpful for this is also reflecting upon and exchange of past experiences
and reaching conclusions about them for future application. This really
means deriving actions from those findings. Some individual benefits of
learning from day-to-day experiences is keeping ahead of and attuned to
change, finally attaining a greater sense of work satisfaction.
7.1.1 Further recommendations for the company
The Company should not only deliver technical knowledge or
just facts in the manner of language courses e.g. for preparing their
workforce, but they should offer the possibilities of getting to know
the real characteristics of a foreign colleague what makes a Chinese
a Chinese for example. This could e.g. be done by multicultural parties
in different locations sponsored and held by employees of several foreign
Or the company could offer a forum for exchange: If the company would
have a data base in which everyone who is interested in going into a foreign
country would be registered. The assumption of this topic is that someone
who is personally interested in doing so, has a deep desire and motivation
for this. Thus it makes it easier for the company to promote only the
right persons for working abroad.
If a company is going global it has to take care that it is possible for
everyone in that company to experience the process of globalisation and
its meaning on a local and individual level.
7.1.2 Further recommendations for the employee
It is generally important to deal with stress at work in the right manner;
therefore it is also of importance to make clear in which environment
one is working. If the company has several subsidiaries located in different
time zones, it will definitely arise one day that the employee would have
to come into the office early in the morning or late at night, if there
is a live video conference e.g. Thus he should be mentally prepared for
that to avoid stress in that specific situation. If the employee prefers
to have regular working times, he should rather join a local acting team
To stand against this pressure put on him by the characteristics of globalisation,
he should actively get up actively means not to wait until the
stress comes up or occurs, but to do something against it in advance.
This could be joining vocational trainings, knowing more about your rights
in the working place, maybe participating in a labour-union, or just conscious
of the challenges in a positive manner and break through without being
All this could be done or better still should be done to overcome personal
obstacles in a globalised work environment and to survive
all the implications and unpleasantness of globalisation,
and thereby enjoy more fully the positive aspects which would lead to
greater job satisfaction.
We live in the age of globalisation: A growing mobility, the dismantling
of borders and trade barriers and other blurred frontiers accompanied
with technological developments and radical changes enable the global
village to develop. There is already a 24-hour financial market and increasingly
there is the 24-hour working, shopping, and banking day. All this has
consequences upon patterns of working which in turn refract into our personal
lives and relationships.
We generally have to change our way of thinking concerning work in future.
And we have to change our habits if we are to work in a globalised company
or one that is affiliated to such. We should get rid of imaginations that
deal with going to an office early in the morning and returning late in
the afternoon. We should get rid of working in the same profession all
life long. The scientist CHARLES DARWIN once said: Its not
the strongest species that survive nor the most intelligent, but the most
responsive to change. This is, I believe, one of the most important
aspects of globalisation with regard to influences and altering processes
the daily job. Each employee should be aware of that, when planning his
personal job career or just joining a global company and especially when
confronted with these issues.
Moreover and concluding according to my opinion, is the development and
influence of information and communication technology the synonym for
the move towards a knowledgebased economy which is the real meta driving
force. This can be compared with the great leaps forward such as when
steam powered the industrial revolution and transformed agriculture and
electricity ignited consumerism. I suppose that a knowledge based revolution
will have an impact on all aspects of human endeavour and will cause us
to review and redefine economic, social, cultural, and political activity,
and thus my daily job. This impression is
gained by the experiences made in the company during the last years when
more and more activities focus and refer on an increasing number of data
bases, so called Knowledge Banks. The knowledge in the institutions
grew so rapidly during the last decades that it became necessary to handle
this knowledge on a global base in an appropriate way. This assumption
of a new age is confirmed by the KONDRATIEFF CYCLE, which
says that the general development happens in waves with an approximately
wave-length of 50 years.