Term Paper: International Marketing Comparison of Spain

Pages: 20 (7810 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Economics  ·  Buy This Paper

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[. . .] At the same time, there is now the threat of the country becoming economically stagnant, and according to Financial Times of London, the rate of growth is expected to fall below 3%. Earlier, the same economic programs had led to rapid growth of the economy. Some of the reasons are the high growth of temporary and part-time employment. (A Cracked Foundation for Spain's Economy)

In Spain there is a distinct tendency of the people in Catalan area to refer to the rest of Spain as Spain. They do not say that they are going to Madrid, but say that they are going to Spain, as if it was a different country. This attitude is also reflected in the elections to the local government where the nationalist parties are only now beginning to gain control over the provinces of Catalonia and the Basque regions. Yet these nationalists have a sense of loyalty to the European unity and would like to hand over the control of the region to Brussels. Thus they are quite wiling to accept the authority of the super state at Brussels instead of the state at Madrid. The other part of Spaniards in Andalusia, Valencia, Asturia and the rest, are also emotionally integrated to the control by the European authorities. It is thus an important question as to whether the country will remain together as one political unit. The decision will probably be made by the youth of today. The enthusiasm for a united Europe and regional sovereignty are probably the after effects of the rule for 40 years by Gen. France.

During the period of his rule, he followed a principle of sticking to the brand of obscurantist Catholicism that Spain has been following for 500 years, and thus Spain was not remaining connected to the rest of the modern world. At the same time, the people of Spain saw the development of the regions north of the Pyrenees, and wanted to join them. Franco had also banned the Basque and Catalan languages during his rule, and this made these regions more conscious of their differences with the rest of Spain. There is now a process of change in Spain and in ten or fifteen years, the rule of the country will pass to the new generation born after the passing away of France. These people will not have memories of the stern rule of Franco, or the feeling of inferiority as compared to the other countries of Europe like Britain, Germany or France. The oppression of the regional languages have also stopped, and now the languages are developing with regional newspapers, TV stations, old street names, and the languages are also being used in conversation.

There is another reason for the expectation that a healthy balance will be obtained and that is the practicality of the Spanish people. The talks of the Spaniards do not match their real nature and in general they are conformist with orthodox eating habits and dressing styles. They also try to be politically correct. The waves of different feelings sweep through the country, like being anti-war, or even anti-Spain. This causes differences between the government and the people as was the situation during the Iraq war, when the government was in favor of the war, but the people were protesting in the streets against the war. This also led to the feeling that the war would probably affect the fortunes of the center-right government of Jose Maria Azner, yet the results of the elections did not show that. This only showed that the Spaniards are practical people. (An ethical nation, full of bluster: Spaniards love Europe because they hate each other. So will the country fall apart?)

In spite of being a part of continental Europe from time immemorial, other countries from all over the world like Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have come and given Spain competition in the markets of France and Germany. The strength of these countries has been that they are able to compete not only in their own markets, but in all parts of the world. These countries, along with France and Germany have proved that they can prepare the goods according to the requirements of even consumers according to the desires of the consumers. The attempt of Spain is also to achieve the same, and to achieve it, they are now ready to form a team with their partners abroad. There is often a feeling that the average Spaniard is lazy as a worker, but it is just that their daily schedule is different from the schedule of the Americans and they work till late in the evenings.

When there is collaboration between Americans and Spaniards, certain issues are insignificant to Americans, but very important to Spaniards, and these are issues like getting the personal pagers, company paid cellular phones, facilities like company cars, the allotment of offices, the allotment of special furniture and so on. This sort of differences between the treatment of Spaniards and Americans often cause difficulties between the two groups. These differences may seem to be insignificant, but they have to be solved if a company has to be run in Spain and if the company is collaboration between Americans and Spaniards, but in Spain, then these problems have to be sorted to the satisfaction of the Spaniards. In Spain one has to realize that the country and the society have been autocratic for a number of years, and the concerned attitudes will not change rapidly. (Creating a New Business Culture for Success in a Foreign Marketplace)

In the case of the Czech Republic, the government has been going through a period of two years after the revolution when they had a distinct aim and during which they passed a large number of new laws. Most of these laws are useful and very modern and they also demonstrate a sincere desire on the part of the Czech government to conform to the legislation that is prevalent in the Western countries. Since the process of passing these laws were quite fast, there are some inconsistencies and oversights in these laws. One such law is a law called the Waste Act (No. 238/1991), and this law ends up only restricting certain business activities like the import and export of waste. The government is even now in a process where there is a sincere attempt to harmonize all existing legislation so that they are in line with similar to legislation in the European Union. Most of the work in this regard has already been done. The only difficulty in the adoption of such laws is the feeling of some Czech officials who feel that the Czech economy may not be able to comply fully with the legislation. (Czech Republic: Workshop Summary)

Political/legal environment

The largest share of workers in Spain is of temporary workers under contract and these workers are mainly women and young people. They do not get the benefits of the permanent workers. The regular workers are entitled to severance pay when they are terminated, and that is at the rate of 33 days for year of completed work, but the temporary workers are not entitled to these benefits. These workers provide a flexible source of workers for employees, and they can hire or fire according to their requirements. They serve as the loopholes through which the organizations can remain competitive and this is through the shifting of the cost of layoffs onto the workers. This has been noted by the European Industrial Relations Observatory and the Spanish employers are known to practice chain fixed term contracts and rotation of temporary contracts though these practices are illegal under the Spanish law.

These methods are essentially the creation of a labor force of permanent temporary workers. These workers are permanent in the sense of their not requiring retraining when they come for working, but are still on a temporary contract, so they do not get the benefits of permanent workers. The United States also has similar workers in Silicon Valley, and these workers there are called perma-temps. This is now being countered by the government through the lowering of the costs of discharging permanent workers during the reforms of 1997 and March 2001. This has only resulted in giving employers more powers over the permanent employees, but not reduced the practice of temporary contracts. There had been an initial increase in the growth and job creation due to these reforms as these provided an increase in flexibility and reduced the costs of labor.

At that stage the unions were just satisfied to have jobs, but the attitudes have changed now due to the effect of inflation, and the unions cannot agree to low cost jobs. This is causing a lot of strikes due to the demand for higher wages as was seen in the airports at Balearic Islands. This also affected the tourists in coming to the country. Yet the economy… [END OF PREVIEW]

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