The last few decades of globalisation and innovation have resulted in the most rapid progress that the world has ever known. Poverty has been reduced. Life expectancy has increased. Wealth has been created at a scale that our ancestors could not have imagined. But the news is not all good. In fact, the achievements brought about by globalisation are now under threat.
The world has simultaneously benefited from globalisation and failed to manage the inherent complications resulting from the increased integration of our societies, our economies, and the infrastructure of modern life. As a result, we have become dangerously exposed to systemic risks that transcend borders.
These threats spill across national boundaries and cross the traditional divides between industries and organizations. An integrated financial system propagates economic crises. International air travel spreads pandemics. Interconnected computers provide rich hunting grounds for cybercriminals. Middle Eastern jihadis use the Internet to recruit young Europeans. Living standards rise – and greenhouse-gas emissions follow, accelerating climate change.
As a byproduct of globalisation, crises that once burned locally and then quickly flamed out now risk sparking international conflagrations. A pandemic, flood, or cyber attack in the City of London or Wall Street could send the entire world into a financial tailspin.
If the progress that globalisation has delivered is to be sustained, countries must accept shared responsibility for managing the risks that it has engendered. National governments – whether powerful, like the United States and China, or weak, like Iraq and Liberia – are unable to address these cascading and complex challenges on their own.
Only a small fraction of the risks arising from globalisation require a truly global response. But, by definition, these risks transcend the nation-state; thus, coordinated action is required to address them effectively. The nature of the response needs to be tailored to the threat.
In the case of pandemics, the key is to support countries where outbreaks occur and help those most at risk of infection. Widespread dangers, such as climate change or a new financial crisis, can require the cooperation of dozens of countries and a broad range of institutions. In nearly every case, an international effort is needed.
An important characteristic of the risks of a globalised world is that they often become more serious over time. As a result, the speed at which they are identified, along with the effectiveness of the response, can determine whether an isolated event becomes a global threat. One need only look at the rise of the Islamic State, the outbreak of Ebola, the fight against climate change, or the financial contagion of 2008 to see what happens when a danger remains unidentified for too long or a coordinated response is missing or mismanaged.
And yet, just as the need for robust regional and international institutions is at its greatest, support for them is waning. A growing number of citizens in Europe, North America, and the Middle East blame globalisation for unemployment, rising inequality, pandemics, and terrorism. Because of these risks, they regard increased integration, openness, and innovation as more of a threat than an opportunity.
This creates a vicious circle. The concerns of the electorate are reflected in rapidly growing support for political parties that advocate increased protectionism, reductions in immigration, and greater national control over the marketplace. As a result, governments across Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania are becoming more parochial in their concerns, starving international agencies and regional organizations of the funding, credibility, and leadership capabilities needed to mount a proper response to the challenges of globalisation.
In the short term, countries may be able to duck their global responsibilities, but the threat posed by events beyond their borders cannot be kept at bay forever. Unaddressed, the endemic dangers of a globalised world will continue to grow. In confronting dangers such as the Islamic State, Ebola, financial crisis, climate change, or rising inequality, short-term political expediency must be overcome – or the entire world will come to regret it.
Published in collaboration with Project Syndicate
Author: Ian Goldin is Director of the Oxford Martin School, Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford, and Vice-Chair of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations.
Image: A man looks a screen outside a United Overseas Bank (UOB) branch in Singapore’s financial district. REUTERS/Vivek Prakash
Ian Goldin, Professor of Globalization and Development and Director of Oxford Martin Programme on Technological and Economic Change, Oxford Martin School, University of Oxford
The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
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Global Communication's Problems And Solutions
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- Rating: Excellent
Global Communications (GC) organization has recently been through numerous troubles detrimental to its primary functions. Global Communication is a telecommunication company. Due to current economic conditions, telecommunications organizations are struggling to keep up with other industries. Their stock prices have fallen 50 % over a three-year period. The company has fixed costs that cannot be met, due to its lack of operating capital. Cost cuts made by the company include cutting healthcare and education benefits. Employee retention is another governing factor at the organization. The organizations should obtain and maintain a comprehensive understanding of cultural diversity within the workforce. Global Communications had to establish an appropriate benchmark of performance; therefore, the company will know when goals are not met. A significant increase in the efforts to develop the proposed globalization campaign perspective will provide alternative solutions to current organizational predicaments.
A successful marketing campaign will increase company visibility and make more establishments aware of the services that (GC) provides. Introducing new marketing strategies will focus and promote the additional services offered by Global Communications. The new marketing strategy must focus on the targeted market of a revised company strategy, such as discounts for consumers using multiple services and business consumer's discounts for multiple lines and services. Establishing performance indicators can help the company monitor the ongoing progress of the outsourced labor. Employers must invest energy in resources to produce a variety of discrete strategies. When interlaced together, these various aspects create a comprehensive model for building and maintaining a coveted and stable workforce.
Numerous problems plague the Global Communications (GC) organization, which can ultimately be detrimental to its primary functions.
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The major problems experienced by (GC) are a result of too much competition. Consumers cannot tell the difference between phone companies, which results in poor customer retention. Increased competition from cable companies taking advantage of high bandwidth capacity is the company's primary competition. Internet based companies, joined the telecommunications industry, which was commercialized with little regulatory observation. Global Communication is a telecommunication company. The telecommunication industry is struggling economically. Global Communication's stock has fallen over the last 3 years from $28 a share to $11 a share. The local unionized employee receives a wage that not congruent with the financial resources of the business. This causes major financial pressures for the Global Communications organization.
The company has fixed costs that cannot be met, because they are not producing enough capital. Cost cuts made by the company include cutting healthcare and education benefits. Global Communications needs to consider the method of disposal pertaining to their call center real estate. They must consider whether to sell the property, lease it out, or consolidate offices. A lack of communication within the company permeates through the organization and it's Union. This lack of communication will eventually impact the productivity of its employees, which may impair company objectives. Employee retention is another governing factor at the organization. To survive, the proposed changes must be beneficial to Global Communications. The union is threatening legal action and involvement of the federal government.
Alternatives / Solutions
Global communications organization must create a new set of values, which reflects the realities of today's employees and daily business procedures. Obtaining a comprehensive understanding of cultural diversity within the workforce and business partnerships is vital. Identifying a list of appropriate cost cutting measures will ad to the companies viability, but this may also require altering the mission and or vision statement, so that it verifies the current operational goal and the global initiative. Global communications should research and consider current and potential opportunities; they will then realize possibility of organizational growth through the introduction of new services. Establish an appropriate benchmark of performance; consequently, alerts the company when goals are not met. "To a great extent it depends on how you embrace the inevitable and how well you communicate in terms that can be grasped and comprehended by an international audience"(Ford, J. 2005).
A significant increase in the efforts to develop the proposed globalization campaign perspective will provide alternative solutions to current organizational predicaments. There must be an aggressive global marketing campaign on an International perspective with the goal of becoming a truly global resource. A successful marketing campaign will increase company visibility and make more establishments aware of the services that (GC) provides. A successful marketing strategy allows organizations to target specific areas that need or rely on the service they bestow. Introducing new marketing strategies will focus and promote the additional services offered by (GC). To provide additional services it is essential that (GC) align with a satellite provider to offer video services.
A prerequisite should be set where Global Communications decides on the topic that it desires to keep as a main objective. The new marketing strategy must focus on the targeted market of a revised company strategy, such as discounts for consumers using multiple services and business consumer's discounts for multiple lines and services. Showing consumers the advantage of choosing Global communication over the competition, and offering discounts to business consumers and employees, will help capture an additional market share. Creating global alliances with local companies; consequently diversifying it's product potential and increasing their customer base. Global communications should aim for retail markets and chains to help increase their sales and their market. Additional markets can also be explored through selling services through a third vendor, such as a large retail store.
This move could ultimately improve the bottom line of the organization without having to outsource, however, outsourcing to other countries further reduces the expenditures of (GC). "The fundamental reason for outsourcing is to achieve high-quality service at a lower price and thereby corporations can focus on the development of their core business."(Yao, V. 2007). Establishing performance indicators can help the company monitor the ongoing progress of the outsourced labor.
Cutting the pay of the local workers retained by the organization will ease the burden of fulfilling the salary of former unionized workers and offering a four day rotating work week as a retention incentive will enhance employee morale. A built-in incentive bonus can in many ways promote remarkable success, as it can motivate the service provider to outperform the agreed benchmark. Communication amongst management regarding its intent to raise salaries over the next three years helps designate company intent. Employing career counselors for those affected by the projected transition, allows for easier transition and acceptance by involved parties. Cross training employees has the ability to increase company awareness and improve company procedures. Employers must invest energy in resources to produce a variety of discrete strategies. (GC) could ratify the existing union contract, therefore, avoiding possible legal action. When interlaced together, these various aspects create a comprehensive model for building and maintaining a coveted and stable workforce.
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