As we live in an increasingly globalized world, knowing how to manage companies that also operate outside of their home country is becoming vital. This makes the aspects of Business Administration more complex.
For example, how do you finance a company that has several branches across the world? It will, obviously, face different financial markets, banking systems, currencies, and, most of all, cultures. Will you know what parts to keep, change or discard? Let’s find out.
First things first, what is International Business Administration?
Well, for the exclusive few who can spell using acronyms, International Business Administration is also known as IBA.The term "international business" refers to all cross-borders business activities, such as transactions of goods, services, and resources between two or more countries.
International Business Administration focuses on the major differences in laws, political systems, economy, labour, local and corporate culture. It can also target specific social problems, like living conditions, climate and education.
For future reference, here are some of the best places to study an IBA:
You would think this is a redundant study, that Business Administration translates all over the world, but with the cases presented here, you will see that it isn’t that easy.
1. How international managers break down cultural barriers
Imagine a company that sells products in Europe and Arabic countries using billboards to promote their merchandise. In Europe, everything on the poster is fine and dandy: a crying child feels happier, prettier and healthier after being given a glass of milk.
So why did sales drop after exporting this successful poster ad to an Arabic country?
If the marketing team would have done their reading they would have known that, in Arabic, people read from right to left.
Yes: your perfect poster with a healthy baby just proved now that your product has the same effect as the Boogie Man over children.
In exclusive circles, this is called a gaffe, but not as big as the next one.
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2. How international managers jump over language barriers
The Colgate toothpaste is one of the most famous dental care products on the market, with people in the Philippines using the name of the brand to refer to any toothpaste.
A few years ago, advertising in Spanish-speaking countries got awkward, seeing how Colgate translates to “Hang yourself.”
You can imagine the shock some people had when they were going to work one morning and the first sign they saw was a smiling girl, with perfect teeth, saying “Hang yourself”.
Needless to say, it must have been a weird commute.
Go hang yourself, Barbie!
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3. How international managers learn to form trust with foreign countries
Tesco, the British retail company, wanted to expand in a market they had no cultural or lingual connections with, meaning Korea.
Knowing when to throw in the towel, Tesco opted to collaborate with none other than Samsung, learning to embrace the Korean lifestyle and understanding the psychology behind local businesses and community centres.
The most important step of them all was to hire only Koreans. Out of the 23.000 employees, only 4 were British.
To show their support behind this decision, 25% of Seoul’s citizens signed up for loyalty cards.
4. How international managers know when to cut their loses
Triumph Motorcycles Ltd. is a British based company that started production in 1902. After sales failed to justify its production, the managers took a closer look at their exports and, compared to the 7.000 bikes sold in the UK, Triumph was selling 50.000 worldwide.
Triumph closed shop in Warwickshire in the ‘80s but kept its Indian factory open and now the company struggles to meet the demand.Triumph is considered the Harley-Davidson of India, the country knowing how to appreciate and embrace it, even giving pieces as dowry at weddings.
The importance of travelling for an international MBA
Seeing the previous examples, you can tell where the good and bad decisions started: at the lack of exposure to other mentalities and peoples.
Studying in a multicultural environment will help you greatly, exposing you and making you understand and learn foreign things almost by osmosis.
After finishing your studies, you can go and work in a multinational company, where it will almost feel like home.
Some very good international MBA Master’s degrees are:
- Executive Master of Business Administration, at NEOMA Business School, France;
- Global Executive Master in Digital Business, at ISDI, Spain;
- European and International Business Management, at Deusto Business School, Spain.
Careers that await you after an international MBA
Once you get that paper, it’s all smooth sailing from there. In the field of international MBAs, you can become:
- an international marketing specialist;
- a market research analyst;
- a financial manager;
- a commercial banker;
- a sales manager.
Also, the domains you will be active in can be vast, as well:
- Finance and Accounting;
- Marketing and Communications;
- Human Resources;
- Policy Advising.
Seeing how our world and our businesses are in a constant path towards change and broadening exponentially, there’s no surprise that careers in International Business Administration are very popular.
Who knows? Maybe if you study hard enough, you too can be the next person who will tell a whole speaking-language population to go hang itself.
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