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Text 7. International Management

International companies compete with each other for global executives to manage their operations around the world. International management is becoming increasingly important as the modern global business requires a new breed of managers and leaders equipped with flexible, transferable business skills and a global vision. The leaders and operations of today’s multinationals are dispersed across the globe so it is necessary for them to be able to do business across time-zones, cultures and languages.

Companies can obtain management development services from internal departments or externally from professional associations, business schools, educational institutions and independent consultants.

Companies doing international business need to be particularly concerned with training their staff to prepare them for overseas assignments. As companies integrate their operations globally, national approaches can send conflicting messages to success-oriented managers. If managers are unfamiliar with the culture and work habits of local people this can result in making critical mistakes. Thus, subsidiaries in different countries operate differently and reward different behaviours based on their unique cultural aspects. The challenge for today's global companies is to recognise local differences and to create globally integrated career paths for their future senior executives.

Today’s business world is characterised by intense global competition, crises, financial uncertainties, protectionism, alliances and joint ventures. Managers are increasingly called upon to make decisions in high risk and crises situations. Risk and return tend to be related, especially at the international level where operations generate higher returns and correspondingly higher levels of risk.

International managers must have a rational outlook, and view the organisation as the co-ordinated network of individuals who make appropriate decisions based on their professional competence and knowledge.

There is no doubt that the new global environment demands more, not fewer, globally competent managers. Global experience is rapidly becoming the only route to the top. A big question for the future is whether global organisations will remain able to attract sufficient numbers of young managers to work internationally. Modern companies need to make plans for growth and survival in the global world of business competition. Some will choose to conduct business from home taking on competitors in the safety of their domestic market. Other companies will decide to go international operating from both domestic and foreign markets.

Answer the questions:

1. Why do international companies compete with each other?

2. What specialists are becoming increasingly important?

3. How can companies obtain management development services?

4. Why do multinationals have to train their staff for overseas assignments?

5. What may happen if managers do not know local culture?

6. What is the main challenge of today's multinationals?

7. How is today’s business world characterised?

8 What qualities must international managers possess?

9. What experience is the only route to the top?

10. What plans for growth and survival can companies work out?

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