Find information and resources for the research and study of international business. Also known as globalization, international business is commerce that takes place across national borders, whether it’s a single proprietor exporting to another country or an enormous company with locations all over the world. Licensing, franchising, and outsourcing can all be conducted overseas.
The volume of international business has skyrocketed over the past 50 years: the easing of trade restrictions, nonstop advances in travel, the rise of the internet and social media, and the proliferation of global brands like Apple, McDonald's, and Starbucks are just a few of the reasons that commerce travels far beyond national borders in the twenty-first century. International business is vital to the economy and the world at large because it promotes innovation, reduces the cost of products and services, and introduces both employees and customers to diverse cultures. Globalization may also provide opportunities for economic development in nations experiencing growth and rising living standards.
Companies looking to conduct business internationally must understand that the economic, political, and cultural climate varies from one nation to the next. For example, conducting business with a country whose economy is still developing is not the same as dealing with one of the world’s richer nations. A global business might also see companies working with different types of political systems: democracies, monarchies, one-party states, and military dictatorships. In some cases, there is a degree of political risk when conducting business in a foreign country: social unrest or unexpected changes in the government could have dire financial consequences for a company.
Understanding the cultural environment of a nation is perhaps the most vital component to international business. Companies must be familiar with the language, history, and religion of a nation before they open a shop. There is a long list of firms that have committed embarrassing gaffes, in the form of awkward translations and insensitive product names because they didn’t fully understand the culture of a foreign business environment. Developing a sensitivity to the social customs and business practices of a nation is not just polite, it's an effective corporate strategy for any brand.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges to globalization; however, many industry leaders believe that strong partnerships and robust trade between nations will allow companies to overcome supply chain disruptions and help the world emerge from the crisis. Growth in e-commerce has also risen with COVID-19. More companies are increasing their investment in digital platforms to meet this demand and reach more consumers. Companies may find themselves adopting a new global strategy as China and India continue to increase their presence in the global marketplace.
People interested in the academic study of international business at undergraduate or graduate levels may wish to pursue an internship or embark on a career in finance, human resource management, marketing, or a similar opportunity. Learning about globalization not only benefits international business students. Professionals seeking to do business in other countries can enhance their skills by obtaining an international business certificate or enrolling in an international business degree program. Those seeking employment with multinational corporations will benefit from the study of company reports as they engage in cross-cultural business in new financial markets.