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Outsourcing stands as the major factor in determining business success in the modern world. In its meaning, outsourcing simply refers to the utilization of resources that lie from without an organization hence found within other countries or companies.
The traditional notion of industrialization was centered on the use of many workers to join forces in the production process. In that system, each unique part of the final product was as result of different workers in different areas.
In the end, one complete product to the customer without any details of specialization would emerge. More over the idea of business alliance between organizations formed the basis for manufacturing companies.
In other areas, there has been an increased use and need for the third participator in the general business functions due to complexity in modern information exchange and globalization.
This paper will look at the process of globalization in the “flattening world”. Core in this paper is to discern, understand and explain to what extent the world has become flat.
In his book, Friedman, (2007) equates the process of outsourcing as the key pillar to globalization. He observes that this is a system that pushes the modern engines of the world forward and therefore lack of understanding its impact and advantages means lagging behind.
By using the analogy of Columbus, his story becomes clear and interests the reader who other wise would have dismissed it as the normal rhetoric about globalization.
This essay supports Friedman’s theory (2007) that the world is somewhat flat. By looking at the various efforts pulled by governments and organizations in outsourcing one can understand Friedman (2007) in a better way.
The advancement of globalization is based solely in the great leaps made in technology. As opposed to Columbus period, and as revealed by Columbus, the IT technology combined by the worldwide net forms the bulk of outsourcing.
The exchange of information from one place to another or put in another way, the transfer of that information, requires a computer, some software, internet, and human skill.
Friedman (2007), observes that the fall off the Berlin wall, the invention of worldwide internet and work flow software are the necessary foundations.
Mann, (2002) in her study clearly brings out the issue that the IT sector is the major root cause of globalization since it presents the organization with new ways in terms of information on how to continually change the products or even services offered.
She observes that investment in IT has transformed big business firms that have been stuck in the old tradition way of doing business. The rate of affordability of the IT hardware and software on the other hand pushed the need for its adoption of the process and hence the realization of the economic gains that had become elusive.
In return such companies gained improved productivity output growth as well as reduced cost of labor while on the other end leading to employment.
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As a fact detailed by Mann (2001) of the US economy, has challenges to continuous development in the information technology in form of disjointed and mismatched skills and services.
As the world learns and exchanges more from each other the tastes and preferences of the customer change to suit modernity. In addition, due to the ease to replicate the production of processes through information technology in almost all parts of the world, a country like US and any other must toe the line in outsourcing in order to gain competitive advantage.
The factor of globalization changes the trade picture since issues like skills, education and policies become the limelight of the new economic forum. At most this has demanded the creativity side of the economy in order to beat the mad rush.
The advance in technology, policy changes as well as changes in business and customer attitudes have seen the need for new perspective in reducing transportation costs and functional integration.
In this sense, every country is faced with the need to outsource through globalization. Further, the creation of technological linkages hand in hand with telecommunications networks and computers has reduced the need for hardcopies hence making digitization the epitome of the new economy.
This in turn has led to new business and professional services hence leading to codification of information. This process on the other hand allows the ordering of information which in turn leads to less need for specific skills since systems can be followed to do such task without much expertise.
This has allowed the world to become very competitive and complicated for those who do not recognize that complex financial reports and even presentations can be done by non expert by analysis software.
Somewhere one may think it is unprofessional but this anti globalization in Friedman’s (2007) view stands to suffer since the world is not stopping at any point to concentrate on such arguments.
All said about the factors advancing globalization, arises an important fact that businesses have areas where they are able to outsource. Such areas do not form core parts of the business and at the same time others become core areas of the business that can not be left to any outsider.
At the same time, the potential for development of new products occurs in the process hence becoming advantageous. This process therefore, has the meaning that other organizations must read from the same script if they have to compete favorably in the market scene.
Outsourcing benefits and disadvantages
The advantages of outsourcing are numerous if the processes are managed wisely. They may have a positive or even a negative impact depending on the management.
It is unfortunate many decision and policy makers in organizations take the idea of outsourcing in terms of placement of computers and technology as the infrastructure for outsourcing.
As noted above, it is an effort developed by the management to determine areas that require outsourcing, reinforcing the idea of effective management and wise analytical and decision making skills.
It is important to note that effects of outsourcing vary in terms of the sector or industry of concern as well as the purpose of the undertaking.
Outsourcing has observable effects on the quality of products and services in terms of quality. In addition, an increase and decrease in turnaround time is possible which may mean improved or declined service to customer.
The following are some advantages of outsourcing, better revenue realization and enhanced returns on investment, lower labor cost and increased realization of economics of scale, tapping in to a knowledge base for better innovation, frees management time, enabling companies to focus on core competencies while not being concerned about outsourced routine activities, increases speed and the quality of delivery of outsourced activities and reduces cash outflow as well as optimizing resource utilization (Alberto & Burbules, 2001 ).
On the other hand the following are the disadvantages of outsourcing, possible loss of control over a company’s business processes, problems related to quality and turnaround time, sluggish response times coupled with slow issue resolutions, and lower than expected realization of benefits and results.
It follows that then outsourcing may have more advantages than demerits and thus this is a clear support on Friedman theory that the world is flat (2007).
Ethics in Outsourcing
Considerable attention to universal requirements of outsourcing is worth space in this paper. Despite off shoring becoming a major turn around instrument in business functions, issues concerned with security as ethics in outsourcing must be taken into considerations.
The privacy of information which is crucial should be guaranteed by the vendor just as issues concerning the environment. A vendor is required to conduct business in an environment that is recommended by international standards and one that does not damage the whole process.
In this case audits on the vendor locations are important to ensure that stringent standards are followed to maintain the right work environment which in turn has effect on the quality of the service. It is therefore very important that ethics are addressed in order to provide quality service.
The Jobs threat Issue
As the world gravitates to more and more outsourcing, issues on loss of jobs to the citizens of a country become rife. Outsourcing taps on a knowledge base and skills that are not probably situated in the local country.
These must come at affordable rates and the extent of finding such a base nationally may be lacking. This translates to overseas search for such hence there are issues and policies that allow governments as well as organizations engage in outsourcing.
Mann, (2002) observes that key developing countries beat the major developed countries in providing skills in a global scale through policies that enhance globalization better. In this sense, therefore citizens may feel left out and demoralized.
However, Friedman (2007), offers a remedy on this case observing that Americans just like other nations needs to improve the system in terms of education and acquisition of skills.
If the number of skills and knowledge fall behind then the environment and the system fails in providing leadership into the future. Friedman, (2007) notes that the contest for the future lies in higher learning skills that are in right step to build the brain-skills on knowledge that is duplicated by a computer.
At this level, he observes that the future generation must be ready to compete favorably at the global level where everybody scrambles for a share in the means to survival (Friedman, 2007).
Education, Culture, Environment and Global warming policies
As a necessary structure, the call for political support and reinforcement of systems and structures that support globalization should be done by politicians.
This is a favor to their nations and should include the process of upgrading, training employees which in turn translates to increased productivity. In modern practices, this has translated to a number of observable features in education and political responsibilities.
Globalization has allowed the development of international education forums full of international students and education program exchanges.
There are massive studies conducted in different countries by different universities of the world in the process of understanding the world.
The education process and forums have been made easy through globalization which in turn becomes useful for outsourcing purposes in the different countries.
Globalization has also led to the need to tailor education to international standards to the system to become self sufficient through perpetuating those ideal that support its survival.
On other levels, the free exchange of information between nations and people has led to increased promotion of tourism and thus exportation of culture.
The existence of wonderful features of the world has been brought onto the world stage through information sharing on a global platform. This has increased the chances of the exchange of culture as well as learning of the need to appreciate the diversity of each part of the world.
The world is different starting from languages spoken to other general and specific features and therefore globalization can connect these different issues on one platform that the average difference is brought to a minimum low.
Due to globalization, advancement in photography brings the rest of the world in virtual reality hence presenting a chance to sort and help the areas that need help like the sub Sahara Africa.
Strength in globalization lies therefore in a nation’s enhancement of its productive force through right education systems that engage the right skills. In addition, the political will in a nation to encourage and identify with the ‘flat world’ bears fruits that see the raised standards of living in developing nations.
Globalization is also a key player in the issues regarding global warming. The sharing of information from different parts of the world in form of data and tabulations is very pertinent to help in understanding the required measures needed to curb global warming.
The need for ‘green economies’ as a new slogan identifies that the world nations have a chance to right what has gone wrong in the past millennia.
Due to increased rate of information exchange developed nations and developing regions have partnered with other regions through trade links and foreign direct investment. This has resulted to set up of manufacturing as well other public and private services that have an apparent effect to the environment.
This is contrast to the ethics of outsourcing and should be stopped by the world together as a whole since it concerns human kind. The amount of waste materials produced and even the type of such materials become an international concern.
It is thus a proof that the world is flat since efforts to coordinate all strategies against global warming require a flat world to succeed. In the new modern business strategy, the need for ‘going green’ has been advanced as the best business model that allows the world a chance to deal effectively with global warming.
The issues revolve around using clean energy rather than traditional sources like oil and coal. The use of hybrid cars and the need to change the living lifestyles in a ‘flattened world’ should help in ‘going green’ as means to the end.
This should be extended even to the way the world consumes food since there are measures that can be taken to help global warming be kept at bay.
There exists a strong and positive relationship to global warming and globalization based on the fact that improved technology may help to create new and efficient ways of using clean energy.
These measures should be focused on by developed nations to act as examples to the rest of the world. This is only possible through globalization which is still the culprit in the same process.
By recognizing and only working with organizations that toe the line on the required carbon footprints then the message to the world is clear and objective for humanity to be saved (Friedman, 2007).
The opposite face of the coin
However, the ‘flattening of the world’ is not complete based on the fact that still there are nations and regions left behind in the process.
Friedman (2007) observes that these nations are riddled with diseases, HIV/AIDS as well as non performing governments that are headed by non visionary leaders. In this part the paper justifies the claim that the world is somewhat flat since people still die, suffer and lose property due to lack of information.
These nations are poor in terms of infrastructure, technology and communication a situation aggravated by poor policy implementation and absence of political will.
It is at these nations that corruption of the deepest sense occurs and the subjects live in abject poverty from fear instilled by rogue leaders or through dictatorship.
The demographics are skewed in such nations and efforts to globalize fizzle right in front of their eyes due to the lack of capacity in almost all levels. For these, regions like parts of Africa, poor agricultural practices are the order of the day and the system is characterized by continuous cycles of inadequacies.
These nations form the main problem in standardization of global measures that form the platform for ‘going green’ and other strategies like millennium goals in education as well as human rights.
It is the responsibility of governments and the people in such nations to take control of their future and seek guidance from the ‘flat world’ in order to survive (Soliman, 1999).
The situation in these nations is different and laughable when compared to developed markets where the government supports failed private sectors. For the purposes of national alignment in the economy a government has the right to offer a bailout to any sector in its economy.
If such sectors fail in the name of being private chances of loss of credibility may spiral to lack of trust even in the public markets forum of such governments.
Further, due to globalization, public and private markets are interconnected in multi networked systems that include the ‘flat world’ as a whole. It becomes therefore necessary for the government to intervene in order to achieve benefits from the whole interconnection.
In conclusion therefore this paper recognizes that the world is somewhat flat. At one side of the coin barriers to standardizations, communication and transport have been transformed to improved international services, cultural exchange and a united world that tackle issues like global warming collectively.
On the other the world the case poverty and a myriad of complex economy slowing issues steal the benefits of globalization leading to unnecessary suffering and death.
Alberto, C., & Burbules. N. (2000). Globalization and education: critical perspectives. New York: Routledge.
Friedman, L., T., (2007). The World is Flat: a Brief History of the Twenty-First Century. New York: Picador/Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Mann, C., L., (2001). International Internet Governance: Oh What a tangled web we could weave! Georgetown Joournal International Affairs.
Mann, C., L., (2002). Balance Overlap in the Global Electronic Marketplace: The UCTIA Example. Washington University Journal of Law & Policy (Summer).
Solimano, A., (1999). Globalization and national development at the end of the 20th century: tensions and challenges. New York:World Bank Publications.