Dr. John Karaffa
May 22, 2015
KEY TERM and WHY YOU ARE INTERESTED IN IT The key term selected for this assignment was: Global Business Manager. Senior enlisted military service members are often thrust into positions that require them to manage personnel, assets, and resources across the globe. As the senior enlisted training and operations adviser for an organization of more than 350 personnel, this author frequently manages the staffing needs meet specific overseas operational needs along with the logistical management required to move personnel world-wide while ensuring they have the equipment and supplies necessary for those personnel to accomplish those tasks. The arena of global business operations is an area that this author plans to enter upon leaving active military service. This term was selected to help better prepare the author to enter the private sector when he transitions from military service in November 2015.
EXPLANATION OF THE KEY TERM Global business managers are the strategists, architects, and coordinators responsible for the “[furthering] the company’s scale of efficiency and competitiveness” (Barlett & Ghoshal, 2003, para. 8) in the global market. Unlike local business managers, the global business manager must have a solid understanding and working knowledge of the international operating market. Knowledge of cultures, policies, practices, and laws for operating in host countries is vital for the global manager to be successful and to avoid becoming a liability to the company. Often the global business manager will be responsible for engaging in multiple managerial roles such as operations, marketing, procurement, and staffing (Satterlee, 2014, p. 22). The global “business manager’s overall goal is to capture the full benefit of integrated worldwide operations” (Barlett & Ghoshal, 2003, para. 8).
MAJOR ARTICLE SUMMARY In Harvard Business Review Article What is a Global Manager?, authors Christopher Bartlett and Sumantra Ghoshal (2003) discuss the role of global managers in the growing and continuously evolving global business arena. The article discusses the complexities of the global business environment and contends the concept of a “universal global manager” (Bartlett, & Ghosal, 2003, para. 5). According to the authors, there are in actuality “three groups of [global] specialists: business managers, country managers, and functional manager” (Ibid, para. 5). The global business manager is the individual whose purpose is to govern the operational function of the company in order to meet company objectives and profit goals while maximizing opportunity to increase the efficiency of the operations of the company through international asset and resource management. A truly effective business manager is a strategist who effectively understands and plans for further growth, an architect capable of developing solid asset and resource management systems, and coordinator capable of facilitating cross border operations (Barlett, & Ghoshal, 2003, para 9). The authors offer the example of Leif Johansson, former president of Electrolux, to illustrate the traits required of an effective global business manager. During the 1980’s Electrolux had grown through a series of more 100 international acquisitions of Europe based appliance companies. The result was a barely tethered and loosely assembled company. Johansson’s vision and strategy allowed him to understand the international market in which his company had spread itself and developed an effective strategy to coordinate and integrate a dispersed operational plan (Ibid, para. 13). Through effective market research, and evaluation of the needs within the various local markets that Electrolux touched, he developed a strategic marketing plan that reduced the segmentation of the myriad of products sold by Electrolux while maintaining marketing and product