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International Business and Personal Development Portfolio Case Study


Prior Knowledge and Experience with the Module’s Key Concepts and Themes

The module that is discussed in this paper is devoted to the international business phenomenon. While I would not say that I had been unaware of it, I had never specifically studied it and hardly had ever contemplated it before I took up the module. International business (and business in general) is typically not regarded as a topic that is necessary for a healthcare worker, but I tend to think that knowledge in this sphere can be most helpful for a healthcare administration worker, which is my goal in the future. As a result of the lack of prior knowledge, my personal perspectives on the topics and concepts of the module are conditioned by the module materials as well as those that I discovered when working on PDPs, which is why I will be referring to several scholarly works to explain and support my opinion.

Personal Perspectives and Assumptions around Key Module Topics

Central to the topics of the module is the concept of globalization, and it is of direct consequence for me since without this level of cooperation and communication between the countries of the world, I might have been deprived of the possibility move to the Middle East. What is notable (and interesting) about globalization is its relationships with multinational companies that can be classified as the mutual influence which, on the one hand, enables the companies to exist, expand, and receive competitive advantages and, on the other hand, solidifies globalization processes (Rugman & Collinson, 2012).

Also, globalization is a very complex phenomenon that has both positive and negative consequences, and this module showed me that despite this ambiguity, globalization is not a positive or negative occurrence, but rather a fact of the modern world.

Another important topic of the module is the concept of competitive advantage, which is of significance for any business. In my opinion, the competition to win customers’ loyalty is capable of improving our services and quality of life. For example, it spurs the development and implementation of technologies that work towards the enhancements of quality and speed of service (Meijers 2014).

A phenomenon that also proves the beneficial nature of competition and that was also discussed during this module is the corporate social responsibility (Rugman & Collinson 2012). To be honest, business ethics has been a relatively controversial topic throughout the existence of this term (Windsor 2015), but nowadays definite improvements are visible in the field. For example, it is common for large multinational companies to get involved in projects that are aimed at resolving global issues, and an example is the IBM company with its efforts to combat HIV (2014 IBM Corporate Responsibility Report 2014).

In fact, nowadays, business ethics is a full-fledged discipline that searches for precedents, guides, and tools that could aid managers in resolving ethical dilemmas (Small 2011; Zydziunaite, Lepaite & Suominen 2013). I think that its discoveries will be of use for me when I hold a managerial position.

Finally, the module also proceeds to discuss leadership, leadership roles, and the challenges of leadership in the context of multinational companies. This topic is in line with my Goal Three that is related to becoming a capable administrator. For me, leadership will always be a very significant topic, in particular, because it is of great value for my practice. I tend to think that to become a successful leader, it is necessary to keep learning throughout one’s life, and the examples of business leadership in international business are likely to provide some lessons, especially since, as I had mentioned, there are similarities in leadership roles between business and healthcare administration.

My Practice and the Key Module Topics

The topics that were mentioned in this module and above are applicable to my sphere of practice. I am currently working as an expatriate healthcare worker, and I think that I can apply some of the mentioned concepts to my everyday activities. For instance, competitive advantages are also of consequence for hospitals’ development. Naturally, we strive to improve the safety and quality of healthcare and service mostly for the sake of the maintenance of the health of the population.

In a way, I think, it is possible to state that we ‘compete’ with ourselves to continuously exceed our own previous results. However, hospitals and other healthcare institutions also need to compete with other providers (Sheng et al. 2013): if they are public, they compete for funding, and if they are private, they try to win the customers’ loyalty. In my opinion, the typical outcome of the competition, which I mentioned above, is especially beneficial in the sphere of healthcare: the service is getting better, the customer safety and satisfaction grow, and we also grow and develop as we learn to provide better care, achieve better outcomes, and improve the life of our society. Similarly, it is the competition that fuels our movement towards technological developments that are capable of increasing the speed and quality of our work (Meijers 2014), which is especially significant since modern healthcare becomes increasingly dependent on technology (Adenuga, Kekwaletswe & Coleman 2015; Virgona 2015).

An example of this development is the concept of eHealth, which covers all the applications of information technologies in healthcare from electronic health records to e-commerce, which is also an option for healthcare as it is for any other business (Adenuga, Kekwaletswe & Coleman 2015).

Another topic of the module, leadership is also being discussed very closely in healthcare since the responsibilities of healthcare workers and their leaders require exceptional leadership skills (Zydziunaite, Lepaite & Suominen 2013). We are championing the ideas of transformational and shared leadership (Gabel 2013; Somboonpakorn & Kantabutra 2014), but we also recognize the difficulties of leadership as well as the fact that there is hardly any universal recipe for it, which is why additional information on the topic is most important to me as a future healthcare administrator.

Strategies to Achieve my Plans

My plans for the future are connected to business and international business in a certain way: I am setting up a new hospital in the Middle East, and, given my background, that of the country, and my plans for the future, this practice is likely to be correlated with this module’s concepts. The module is only loosely connected to my First Professional Development Goal, which is rather narrow and mostly focused on healthcare competencies, but the Third one deals with the administrator role, which means that business topics are very useful for it in the majority of cases.

Here, the module can be classified as the exploratory and educational part of the professional development strategy that involves reviewing relevant literature, taking notes, and learning new information on management and business. In this respect, my PDPs are also very helpful: they allow me to synthesize this new knowledge, which otherwise would be overwhelming and hardly manageable, and even apply it to real-life examples like the IBM company or the case of e-commerce, which I regarded closely in the context of business. Now I am planning to connect this concept to the sphere of healthcare, which I began to with the help of the article by Adenuga, Kekwaletswe, and Coleman (2015).

The module is naturally connected to activities that develop my core skills, and even though I will not claim that I have greatly improved during the course of one module, the cumulative effect of writing, communicating, and researching is noticeable. In this respect, my education is a part of my plan for personal development. Apart from that, I intend to proceed to work with my weaknesses, and in this respect, my communicative skills (primarily, temperance in communication) are being developed.

Also, when searching for information on business ethics, I discovered the work of Small (2011) who is applying the terms of ancient philosophers to the challenge of ethical conduct in the sphere of business and management. In particular, the author dwelled on concepts like wisdom and temperance. I plan to work through this paper and, possibly, search for more literature that discusses this approach. In my opinion, the fusion of ethics and philosophy has a great potential, which can be expanded by researching other philosophers, including more modern ones, to provide an international and intertemporal picture of philosophy and ethics. Also, my personal interest in temperance might be contributing to this intent.

Finally, I tend to think that there is no such thing as excessive knowledge. This module provided me with the opportunity of gaining a deeper insight into the workings of the world that surrounds me, and I plan to apply it to my practice whenever needed, especially with respect to competitive advantage, technological advancement promotion, and leadership. Also, I do not know what opportunities will present themselves to me, and I do not rule out the possibility of changing my plans after some time of being a health care manager. As a result, I am not certain that I will not be directly involved in the international business at a point of time in the future.

Potential Areas for Personal Development and Growth

From the point of view of personal development, I mostly adhere to my previous strategies of core skills improvement and knowledge expansion. In particular, the international business module contains a number of topics that are of universal importance and interest, and I believe that I might benefit from personal development in these areas of knowledge. Naturally, my personal development is linked to the professional one: in particular, my interests are connected to healthcare, which directs my usual research and defines the background knowledge that I use to assimilate the new one.

Also, I tend to think that a knowledgeable manager who is politically, socially, economically, and educationally aware with respect to global events is likely to be more valued as an employee and more successful as a leader. As a result, I see the potential areas of development in proceeding to discover more information on topics of interest (for example, leadership) with the help of the module and considering its application to healthcare administration. These exercises can also assist me in practicing research, synthesis, and analysis. Therefore, the module and its topics offer me an opportunity of educational growth, which, as I have mentioned, I plan to use.

Reference List

2014. Web.

Adenuga, O, Kekwaletswe, R & Coleman, A 2015, ‘eHealth integration and interoperability issues: towards a solution through enterprise architecture’, Health Information Science and Systems, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 1-8, via EBSCOhost database.

Gabel, S 2013, ‘Transformational Leadership and Healthcare’, Medical Science Educator, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 55-60.

Meijers, H 2014, ‘Does the internet generate economic growth, international trade, or both?’, International Economics & Economic Policy, 11, 1/2, pp. 137-163.

Rugman, A. & Collinson, S 2012, International business, New York: Pearson.

Sheng, M, Chang, S, Teo, T & Lin, Y 2013, ‘Knowledge barriers, knowledge transfer, and innovation competitive advantage in healthcare settings’, Management Decision, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 461-478.

Small, M 2011, ‘Developing wisdom and moral duty in management’, Journal of Management Development, vol. 30, no. 9, pp. 836-846.

Somboonpakorn, A & Kantabutra, S 2014, ‘Shared leadership and shared vision as predictors for team learning process, synergy and effectiveness in healthcare industry’, International Journal of Innovation and Learning, vol. 16, no. 4, p. 384.

Virgona, T 2015, ‘Towards an epistemological understanding of healthcare informatics; academic backgrounds of the faculty’, Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, vol. 10, no. 1-2, pp. 1-5.

Windsor, D 2015, ‘Economic Rationality and a Moral Science of Business Ethics’, Philosophy of Management, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 135-149.

Zydziunaite, V, Lepaite, D & Suominen, T 2013, ‘Leadership styles in ethical dilemmas when head nurses make decisions’, International Nursing Review, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 228-235.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'International Business and Personal Development Portfolio'. 5 April.

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