WTO AND SAARC
UNDERSTANDING THE GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
Several significant forces are reshaping the
global environment that managers face. Two important features
of the global environment are regional trading alliances and the World
A. Regional Trading Alliances.
Regional trading alliances are reshaping global competition. It’s no
longer country versus country,
but region against region.
1. The European Union (EU) is a union of 15
state members are according to December, 2004)
European nations created to eliminate national
barriers to travel employment, investment, and
a. The primary motivation for the creation of the EU (in February 1992)
was to allow these nations to
reassert their position against the industrial strength of the United
States and Japan.
b. The EU took an enormous step towards full unification in 1999 when 11
of the 15 countries
became part of the EMU—the economic and monetary union, the formal name
for the system
where participating countries share the same currency, the euro.
c. Six other countries (Turkey, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Latvia,
Lithuania, and Malta) are
considering starting membership negotiations.
2. The North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
is an agreement among the Mexican,
Canadian, and U.S. governments in which all barriers to free trade will
eventually be eliminated.
a. NAFTA went into effect on January 1, 1994.
b. The signing of NAFTA had both critics and champions.
c. Eliminating the barriers to free trade (tariffs, import licensing
requirements, customs user fees) has
resulted in a strengthening of the economic power of all three
d. Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela signed an economic pact eliminating
import duties and tariffs in
e. An additional 36 countries in the Caribbean region, South America,
and Central America are
negotiating a Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) trade agreement.
f. Also in existence is another free-trade block known as the Southern
Cone Common Market—
3. The Association
of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a
trading alliance of 10 Asian nations.
a. In the future, the Asian region promises to be one of the
fastest-growing economic regions of the
b. Another significant historical and economic event in this region was
the return of Hong Kong from
British rule to Chinese rule on July 1, 1997.
4. The South Asian Alliance for
Regional Cooperation body i.e. SAARC
B World Trade Organization (WTO) is an
international body of which more than 100 countries are
members. Several trade treaties have been agreed and worked out so far
for regulation of world
trade. It is a body which helps in promoting global, regional and trade
with most favored nation
Test your answers!
1. How does a global economy create both opportunities and challenges
The global economy creates opportunities
because, with the entire world as a marketplace and
national borders becoming irrelevant, the potential for organizations to
grow and expand increases
dramatically. It can create challenges in that new competitors can
suddenly appear anytime,
anywhere, and managers who don’t respond quickly to changes are likely
to find their
organizations’ survival in doubt.
2. Describe the four major regional trading alliances including what
it is, why it was formed,
and what challenges it is facing.
The European Union (EU) united Belgium,
Denmark, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,
the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria,
Finland, and Sweden in
a single market with no national
barriers to travel, employment, investment, and trade. The EU was
formed to allow its 15 member nations to reassert their position against
the industrial strength of
the United States and Japan. Its ultimate goal, to have common customs
duties and unified
industrial and commercial policies, as well as a single currency and
regional central bank, faces
problems particularly over the establishment of a single currency.
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) united Mexico, Canada,
and the United
States in dropping all barriers to free trade such as tariffs, import
licensing requirements, and
customs user fees. It was formed to provide such long-term benefits as
job creation, market
development, and an increased standard of living for all three
countries. Studies have reported both
positive and negative effects on employment to date. It faces continued
opposition from labor
advocates and environmentalists and competition from other regional
trade alliances and trading
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, and Laos in
a trading entity. Another
significant development in Asia was the return of Hong Kong from British
Rule to Chinese rule in July
South Asian Alliance for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a body
comprising of Pakistan, India,
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. It is a trading as well as
collaborative entity for dialogue on
concerns of mutual interest.
3. What are the legal-political and economic factors that managers
need to be aware of in
The legal-political environment consists of
legal-political systems and legal-political procedures.
Managers must understand the legal-political environment in a foreign
country in order to understand
the constraints under which they operate and the opportunities that
The primary economic factors that managers must be aware of in global
fluctuating currency exchange rates, inflation rates, and diverse tax
4. Compare and contrast national culture and organizational culture.
Like organizational culture, national culture
is shared by all or most inhabitants of a country and
shapes their behavior and the way they see the world. Organizational and
national cultures differ in
that national culture has a greater effect on employees than does
5. Describe Hofstede’s four characteristics of national culture.
Geert Hofstede found that national cultures
differed on four dimensions:
(a) individualism vs.
collectivism, which describes who it’s believed is responsible for
caring for people—the individual
or the group;
(b) power distance, or the extent to which a society
accepts the fact that power is
(c) uncertainty avoidance, or the degree to which
people are tolerant of
behavior and opinions that differ from their own; and
(d) quantity of
life (assertiveness and the
acquisition of money and material goods) vs. quality of life (importance
of relationships and
concern for the welfare of others).
6. How can an understanding of Hofstede’s four dimensions help
managers be more effective
in managing in a global marketplace?
Understanding these four dimensions helps
managers be more effective in managing in the global
marketplace by identifying those countries that are most like and least
like the United States, where
U.S. managers would be likely to fit best, and where they would have the
Let us now learn the first management function in POLCA i.e. Planning.
Planning; Why and what ?
Planning is one of the four functions of
WHY DO MANAGERS PLAN?
Purposes of Planning.
Planning is important and serves many significant purposes.
1. Planning gives direction to the organization.
2. Planning reduces the impact of change.
3. Planning establishes a coordinated effort.
4. Planning reduces uncertainty.
5. Planning reduces overlapping and wasteful activities.
6. Planning establishes objectives or standards that are used in
WHAT IS PLANNING?
Planning involves defining the organization’s goals,
establishing an overall strategy for achieving
these goals, and developing a comprehensive set of plans to integrate
and coordinate organizational
Planning is in fact the advance decision making by managers. Keeping in
mind that decision making
and decision taking, may it be for present or for future is always
required and is very much a
managerial job. Let us first study the nature process of decision making
and its various models and