Term Paper: Globalization the Impact of the Internet

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Globalization

The Impact of the Internet on Globalization

The impact of the Internet on globalization is visible from the pervasiveness and visibility of brands globally to changes in the everyday lives of members of different cultures around the world. Globalization, while discussed as a business strategy, actually affects individuals far more often and with greater consequences than corporations. It could also be said that the collective experiences of individuals are what a corporation experiences from the context of globalization at a more macro socioeconomic level. It is the intent of this paper to analyze the implications of the Internet on the individual lives of people globally and the resulting impact on corporations. The Internet is serving as the catalyst for these many changes that both individuals and companies experience. The axiom that the Internet is shrinking distances is just part of the story; the fact that the Internet is forcing cultural distances to shrink as well, creating cultural conflict in the process is an area of globalization that impacts each individual differently. In that cultural conflict is the challenge of globalization, and the Internet simply intensifies this aspect of global relationships. The Internet is literally shoving people and cultures together that may or may not have a common ground; those common attributes need to be created faster than ever to keep communication open between individuals and cultures.

Globalization of Business Forces an Entirely New Relationship Dynamic The fact that businesses of all sizes and from all industries are striving to be more global than ever is acting as a catalyst, pushing individuals and cultures together in the pursuit of business strategies and initiatives. To claim however that the globalization of business is forcing a westernization of the world's less prosperous nations is erroneous; in fact, the opposite is occurring. Workers in these third world nations want the same level of personalized, tailored products and services as they see in the world's wealthiest nations, only tailored to their religious and cultural beliefs, which are quite different from westernized nations. A case in point is how Indian call center workers are discovering the purchasing power of their new incomes and the personalized products and services they can buy. The ability to create a consumer identity for many Indian call center agents is worth the sixty to eighty hour work weeks and the hundreds or even thousands of calls they take in a day. Some would call this getting the worst of the western world through globalization, yet for many Indians working in call centers the only other alternative is living in the village of their birth, often without individual television service or telephone service, surviving with little if any healthcare, and worse, no hope of things getting appreciably better in the long-term. Globalization has transformed many Indians from these villages and delivered them into an entirely different set of challenges, problems, and opportunities.

Globalization is most prevalent in developing nations who have large labor pools who can be taught skills, have infrastructures that support telephone, utilities including electricity, and in larger cities, broadband Internet connections. These large labor pools are what attract companies to seek out lower labor costs, often able to accomplish up to 35% to 40% reduction in labor costs.The earning power in the majority of nations is well below $10,000 per capita, with only 12% of the people working in the world earning over that amount. Nations whose per capita income is over $10,000 appear more westernized due to a wide variety of factors, not the least of which is the beginnings of as services-oriented economy. Any discussion of globalization and its effect on culture needs to consider the economics of income distribution and its effects on the ability of cultures interpret and understand one another.

The paradox of globalization is that the remaining 88% of the world's population that does not earn over $10,000 a year represents the highest growth markets for westernized corporations, whose cultures are fundamentally different that each other. This paradox is what creates tension both for the westernized nations' companies looking to expand globally on the one hand, and the frustration of consumers in these non-westernized nations with the often confusing messages from western nations trying to sell to them.

Globalization in Indian Call Centers: Training to Talk Like a Westerner

In analyzing and drawing conclusions from the impact of globalization on cultures it's critical to see how this dynamic impacts individuals first. An excellent example of this is the incentives and training in diction, dialect and linguistics offered to members of Indian call centers, as is discussed in Thomas Friedman's book The World is Flat (2005). Many call center representatives are graduates of Indian universities, and as a result have been studying English for at least ten years. Despite this training however, call center representatives experience strong bias and ethnocentrism based on their accent alone. Given the fact that outsourcing is a politically charged issue in the United States, it's clear to see where cultural bias comes into play. Call centers throughout India regularly teach westernized diction, pronunciation, and urge the shortening of names to make them more pronounceable by callers from westernized nations including the United States. The point of these Indian call center exercises in dialect, diction, and linguistics is to make the exchange with clients half a world away more enjoyable for both and less confrontational based on cultural differences alone. Many call centers reward how many successful calls are "closed" or responded to completely on the first dial-in, and the Indian students of diction, dialect and linguistics successfully side-step the cultural and often ethnocentric bias of in-bound callers.

One could argue this is an example of globalization displacing the Indians' culture. The fact that these call center representatives see the long-term potential of having excellent dialect, diction, and control of linguistics as a competitive advantage in earning greater salaries and having greater freedom economically is a powerful motivator. Many members of the call center industry in India were part of the 88% of worldwide workers who earn less than $10,000 a year.

Schindler's Swiss Precision Meets Indian Chaos: Exploring Cultural Bias

When cultural values clash, especially regarding the perception of time, resources and their use, comparing individuals' specific circumstances show how difficult international expansion can be for westernized nations. The mistaken perception that westernization is running roughshod over their counterparts is to ignore the flipside of the coin when it comes to the many challenges of globalization as well.

One case in point is Silvio Napoli, an ambitious and highly intelligent executive with Schindler Elevator Company in Switzerland. Mr. Napoli is an MBA graduate of the Harvard Business School and a strategist for Schindler when the CEO decides to expand into India. Mr. Napoli's many challenges to move into India and set up a subsidiary are defined in the Harvard Business Review case study, Silvio Napoli at Schindler India (A) (2003). Mr. Napoli experiences culture shock, as does his family, and also faces the challenges of creating a supply chain, implementing a complex manufacturing process to sell and create build-to-order elevators, all while overcoming his strong ethnocentric view of the world as needing to run like a precisely-tuned Swiss watch. Numerous analyses of this case have been completed including one from LWC Research, whose Case Study Analysis (2005) uses concepts from Dr. Michael Porter's Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990) to analyze what went wrong with the Swiss manufacturer's move into India.

At the center of Silvio Napoli's many challenges in just getting the fundamental strategies implemented is the need for this manager to cross the chasm of his own biases of surrounding the precision of time, the constancy and predictability of infrastructure. On top of all these challenges is his own leadership style being incongruent with and inability to quickly adapt and accomplish business strategies in India. Mr. Napoli comes from highly developed nations including Italy, the United States, and Switzerland where infrastructure including electricity, electronic communication, and water service are "always on" and assumed to be constantly available with no interruptions, yet are sporadically and unpredictably available in India.

In addition to these frustrations is Mr. Napoli's perception of time as being a finite resource, where commitments get completed ahead of time or at the very least, on schedule, and there are no excuses for missing deadlines. What Silvio Napoli finds is that his tightly defined perception of time, prized in westernized nations, is not shared in India and third world nations in general. This cultural disconnect on the perception of time alone causes Silvio Napoli further ethnocentric responses to culture shock, culminating in his leadership style becoming more dominating and dictatorial. Distancing his Indian employees yet meeting reporting deadlines and in general accomplishing tactical goals, his strategic goals remain elusive because the Indian culture keeps sending him clues when he isn't listening. In a matter of speaking, Mr. Napoli wins a few cultural "battles" but loses the cultural war. While he can control the Schindler offices in… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Globalization the Impact of the Internet.  (2006, November 22).  Retrieved June 18, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/globalization-impact-internet/793778

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"Globalization the Impact of the Internet."  Essaytown.com.  November 22, 2006.  Accessed June 18, 2019.
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