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BA405 Multinational Management

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BA405 Multinational Management
Module
Assignments
1
Discussion Forum: Selecting an Organizational Structure
Writing Assignment: MNC Influences
2
Discussion Forum: The Importance of Human Resources in Strategic Planning
Writing Assignment: Forbes International Top Ten
3
Discussion Forum: Adapters
Writing Assignment: Management Principles
4
Discussion Forum: Cross-cultural themes
Midterm
5
Discussion Forum: Offshoring Jobs
Writing Assignment: MNC Now and Then
6
Discussion Forum: Negotiations
Writing Assignment: Selection of Global Leadership
7
Discussion Forum: Motivating Assignees
Writing Assignment: MNC Environment
8
Discussion Forum: Review & Reflection
Final Exam
Module 1
Discussion Forum: Selecting an Organizational Structure
Discuss the roles of geographic dispersion and multiculturalism in a United States-based
hypothetical corporation that has made its first international acquisition in China.
The roles of geographic dispersion and multiculturalism are the extent to which a firm
operates across borders, and for the latter, the extent to which the workers, customers, suppliers,
etc. from diverse cultural backgrounds coordinate effective activities. In terms of a U.S.-based
corporation’s international acquisition in China, the company would have to incorporate its
operations (R&D, production, sales, administrative) across borders into a seamless structure. The

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BA405 Multinational Management
company would also have to strike a balance between a variety of cultural backgrounds, in order
to synchronize its processes.
Written Assignment MNC Influences
Organizational structure affects organizational actions by providing an MNC’s
foundation of standard operating procedures, and determines which individuals participate in
decision-making processes, thus to what extent their views shape the organization’s actions.
Most MNC’s operate in the most basic structure: headquartered in its country of origin and at
least one (often several) foreign subsidiaries. The corporations’ relationships with the
subsidiaries are organized in one of three methods: geography, business units, or a matrix.
Maintaining its structure is challenging, and altering an organization's structure (restructuring) is
an intimidating managerial task; the enormity of such a project is at least partly responsible for
why organizational structures change infrequently. However, restructuring is sometimes essential
to the corporation’s survival – whether voluntary or involuntary. Examples are the recent history
of the automobile industry with the likes of Ford and General Motors (GM). Ford’s bold actions
in restructuring enabled it to avoid bankruptcy without taking bail-out money from the U.S.
government, survive the economic collapse and come out in a more competitive position for the
future. GM on the other hand, decided to deny the then forthcoming inevitable by borrowing
twice from the U.S. Government to keep production plants open, holding onto outdated monikers
such as Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn, and sticking with outdated gas-guzzlers.
An organization can be structured in many different ways, depending on their objectives.
The structure of an organization will determine the model in which it operates and performs its
operations, does it create its structure out of geography, a requirement to organize from business

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BA405 Multinational Management
units diversified with multiple lines of business, operating as a more flexible and responsive
unit, or a matrix a complex blend of both.
There are a number of functions foreign subsidiaries perform: sales, administrative hubs,
research and development sites, call centers, distribution centers, and et.al. However, when
coordinating its actions between foreign subsidiaries, there are two main factors that influence an
MNC’s organizational structure are geographic dispersion – the extent to which a firm operates
across borders, and multiculturalism the extent to which the workers, customers, suppliers, etc.
from diverse cultural backgrounds coordinate effective activities.
Managing both geographic dispersion and multiculturalism simultaneously, MNC’s must
accomplish a balance between the need to be centralized tightly controlled by headquarters or
and the desire to be decentralized operating differently across diverse locations. Finding the
sweet-spot of that balance can be complicated, but originates from the Global Functional
Structure designed on the basis of the company’s functions, production, marketing, finance,
and Human Resource Management (HRM). In this structure, foreign operations are integrated
into the activities and responsibilities of each department to gain functional specialization and
economies of scale. Born from the global functional structure, are the global geographic (area)
structure and the global product (divisional) structure.
In the most common form of organizing foreign operations global geographic (area)
structure, divisions are created to cover geographic regions. Each regional manager is then
responsible for the operations and performance of the countries within a given region. An
example of this structure would be large companies like automaker GM, where some of the
company’s products are branded and sold in the same country they’re made.

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