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The world is increasingly getting globalized as technology keeps advancing in various fronts. According to Doucet (2011, p. 83), globalization is “The process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.” This scholar says that globalization has taken place rapidly over the last century due to the infrastructural development that has taken place in the world.
The world has been reduced into a small village. Thanks to the advanced technological inventions. It is now possible for a British firm to source of raw materials in Africa, process them in China where there is cheap labor and sell the finished product in the United States and European market.
It is also possible for a chief executive of a firm to monitor the production process of a company in Rome and Italy while seated at his office in London. The United States president can easily have a conference with his army commanders, who may be in operation in Afghanistan, and monitor their activities while in this foreign country.
Similarly, the prime minister of the United Kingdom can be in a position to gather intelligence about what the Chinese military is planning (Tanke 2010, p. 46). These are some of the few examples that demonstrate that the geographical barrier that existed before has completely been eliminated.
It is not possible to operate in total seclusion in this society as countries have become interdependence. It is important for countries to embrace globalization and get to share ideas, culture and products in order to ensure that they get developed. This globalization has also enhanced living standards of people across the globe. It is clear that it has changed the world. This research seeks to investigate the argument that globalization has meant that the local is no longer important.
Globalization Has Meant That the Local Is No Longer Important
According to Hitt (2011, p. 67), globalization has brought the entire world society into a single community where things are easily shared without any difficulty. With advanced transport system, it is now possible for an individual to move from the United Kingdom to China in less than a day. This was not possible before. This means that it is possible for a businessperson to operate a plant in China while living in the United Kingdom.
This elimination of geographical barrier means that business units must appreciate the fact that the local market is no longer a preserve for the local firms. In the same way a British firm would find it easy to enter the United States’ market in the same way a Brazilian firm will enter the British market (Wall 2010, p. 34). This means that a British firm must think beyond the local forces.
Such a firm must think globally because the market has been globalized due to ease with which firms can invade the local market. Communication is another factor that has massively contributed to globalization. It is easy to pass a message due to the modern communication tools. The mobile phones make it possible for people to communicate in real time irrespective of their location on the globe.
This means that it is possible for a manager to monitor movement of goods while on transit to determine their safety and the possible time they will reach the intended market (Hommel 2012, p. 28). A manager can also issue an instruction to the junior officers easily using the phone, making the management process much easier. The invention of teleconferencing technology has also changed the face of communication.
It is now possible for departmental heads to hold a conference while in different parts of the world. This means that such officers can be assigned to work in different geographical locations in the world, and they can hold regular conferences with other heads without the need to travel. This not only makes this process cheaper but also more it efficient.
The social media has also played a major role in the business society. Firms have realized the importance of social media marketing in the current competitive market. This has seen a number of firms embrace marketing using such media as Facebook, Tweeter, and YouTube among others. With these massive changes, firms are forced to look beyond the local environment. They have to think globally because the challenges they will face in the market is also global.
Globalization has also had a massive impact on the social lifestyle of people around the world that forces them to think beyond the local forces (Hemsath 2007, p. 57). With improved transport system, people must look at the social life beyond the local environment. A British national who wishes to take a holiday can easily think beyond the destinations beyond United Kingdom.
They can travel to Africa, China, the United States or any other parts of the world. They must think globally. The social media and other communication systems have changed the social way of life of people around the world. Initially, many people felt it was difficult to travel abroad for business, leisure or academic purposes because of the family ties.
They felt that they would not be able to hear from their relatives once abroad. However, this has changed. The mobile phone makes it easy for an individual to communicate with loved ones and get to know of how they are fairing on with life. Facebook and YouTube have even made this communication better. One can chat with the loved ones using Facebook while miles away.
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YouTube makes it possible to share pictures and videos, making it possible for such families to share their way of life despite the distance (Witcher 2010, p. 117). For this reason, people should think beyond the borders of this country. Technology has eliminated this boundary, and the local ceases to be very important. It is now necessary that one looks at the world as a small global village where there are no geographical restrictions.
As other nationals find their way into the local society, they bring with them the culture of their respective places. They meet and find a common ground where there is a compromise of all cultures. They develop a global culture where everyone can fit. This way, they find it easy to penetrate the world. Sticking to the local may hinder the possibility of an individual to integrate to the international society easily.
The world no longer recognizes one culture as the ideal one that everyone must follow. The global society has created its own culture that has embraced all cultures around the world and created a society for all. It is in this light that an individual must realize that the local is no longer important. Inasmuch as one could have been brought up in a particular society and therefore, may cherish the local, clinging to it at the expense of learning new ways may hinder a possible social development that one could experience when one embraces globalization.
Politically, globalization has been of massive effect to many governments around the world. According to Grantham (2007, p. 72), with the current globalized society, no country can afford to exist in isolation. Governments are interdependent on one another, and the foreign policies that each of the country develops must reflect the fact that the world is a global village.
The decision that a particular government makes may be subject to scrutiny by other governments, especially when the other governments feel that the decision may affect them in one way or the other. President Sadam Hussein of Iraq was one of the dictators who managed to rule their countries using fear and suppression. The local forces were unable to unseat him from his throne although they felt that his rule was oppressive.
The world society responded to this distress call by the Iraqi nationals. It gave a warning to the government of this country that the world was watching. However, the government of Sadam Hussein failed to think globally, preferring to cling to the local thinking that the world society could not come to Iraq. This was a fatal mistake that saw this government kicked out of power by the international community.
This was a clear indication that the local may no longer be as important as it was initially considered in the past. Political leadership must appreciate this. The Libyan strongman, Muammar al-Gaddafi was taken out of power by the local rebels, but with direct help from the international community. Daft (2009, p. 89) says that were it not for the support that the French and the United States governments gave to the rebels, Gaddafi would still be in power today.
However, the local is no longer applicable in the current world. Actions of political leaders in their respective countries are subject to scrutiny by the international community. Just like Sadam Hussein, Gaddafi failed to think beyond the local borders of Libya when the rebellion started. Communication- a core component of globalization- is a very important weapon in the political arena.
Political leaders use this communication channels to pass their message to the followers. However, Coulter (2009, p. 79) says that a political leader must be able to look beyond the immediate environment. President Barrack Obama had a massive support from various countries around the world other than the United States. However, he had to be elected by the United States nationals, not foreigners who loved him.
On the other hand, the Americans had to consider the view of other members of the global society. Being the only superpower in the world, they had to retain a positive image with other societies around the world. The other members of the society had spoken loudly using the social and mass media that Barrack Obama was their preferred choice.
This saw the Americans choose the first ever black president to head this country. This is a strong indication that the local may not be as important as it were in the past. The Americans realized that they needed the world, and this could only be achieved by listening to the global voices. This is because although they have the freedom to make their own choices, these choices have consequences attached.
There are a number of theories that have tried to explain and justify globalization and the need to think and act beyond the local. One such theory is called World-system theory. This theory came before the term ‘globalization’ was used to describe the integration of the societies in the world. This theory explains the need to have a society that embraces integration among members of different ethnic group because integration is unavoidable (D’Aveni 2008, p. 68).
This theory also holds that sticking to local thinking narrows ability of an individual or an institution to prosper beyond the local borders. This theory is supported by theories of global capitalism. These theories holds that capitalism encourages the need to have a globalized society where one’s limit to acquire wealth may only be inhibited by his or her own strength, and not geographical boundary.
Globalization does not Necessarily Make the Local Less Important
It is true from the above discussion that globalization has made it very important to think beyond local factors. However, Cobb (2011, p. 56) says that it is not reasonable to dismiss the local as being less important just because the world has become globalized. It is the local that makes the international community. Nothing can be created in a vacuum.
The new values and beliefs, the practices considered as global have their origin in what other group considers local. Although the local society has been infiltrated by the global values, it is important to always remember that the local will always work best in a local setting (Andrzej & Buchaman 2007, p. 47). For a local practice to have been cherished in the best there might be an indication that it worked well within that society.
Arguing that local is less important may be irrational thinking. Globalization does not have the same meaning as standardization. Globalization opens an avenue where different societies can share ideas, values and practices. This may not necessarily mean that the local is less important (Sadler & Craig 2003, p. 27).
The local remains important and it is for this reason that other societies will need to share it. For this reason, it is important to note that although it is important to embrace globalization and think beyond the physical boundaries, actions should be based on the local factors.
Clement and Henry (2010, p. 119) say that what worked in Canada may not necessarily work in the United Kingdom. Trying to reason and act in the same manner but in different societies may result in serious negative consequences. The local should not be ignored simply because the world has become a globalized place.
Globalization has changed the way various activities are carried out in the current society. It is important therefore, for organizations to ensure that they always act while conscious of the global forces that may affect their operations. As demonstrated in the above discussion, it is important to think globally knowing that the local society will always be affected by the global forces.
However, when action is to be implemented, it would require the relevant forces to take the local factors into consideration. This means that inasmuch as the local is not as important as it was in the past centuries, this does not mean that they are no longer important.
List of References
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