Business Strategies Found in Asia Pacific and Its Future
Upon completion of this paper many avenues pertaining to business in Asia Pacific will be discussed. The nature of doing business in the region involves an understanding of many elements. These elements include the characteristics of the industrial and institutional environments of business there. There are many different business systems used in the region and knowledge of how these firms operate is important. How these firms operate with in a business system carries over and predicts a firm's ability to compete. Its success and growth are directly related. It is also important for one to have an awareness of the differences in culture and how culture plays a huge role in doing business within the region. It is significant to assess the potential of this area as a collection of key markets and players within the global market. It is due to the advent of telecommunication and computer technologies that the global marketplace is rapidly shrinking. Globalization has sharpened competition. More than ever, it is imperative a corporation build an international presence to remain competitive. The Asia Pacific market has been at the tail end of benefiting from this new business tool. Therefore, the countries and areas of commerce are relatively untapped and a new world to take advantage of for future gain. Challenges exist such as: how to take advantage of new resources and how governments design and implement supportive policies and strategies. Also "Powerful factors are driving globalization: falling trade barriers; fast paced technological advances; declining communications and transport costs; international migration; and highly mobile investment" (Wignaraja, 2004). As a result, this is an extremely crucial character and will flourish as a new business mecca in the near future. It seems despite differences in business practices and cultures, the people in this region have embraced the new technologies in such a way to facilitate massive growth in a short timeframe. This is why focus on this region is so immensely significant.
This paper asks three questions pertaining to the Asia Pacific business climate and marketplace. First one was asked to choose two countries out of the nine Asia Pacific countries identified by Lasserre and Schutte and indicate how cultural differences between the two countries and Australia would mean adopting different methods of conducting business. This may mean changing the frame of reference but really it implies that an organization's management must think outside the box and encourage innovative ideas. Creativity and embracing the notion of possibility are a must. Flexibility to change and openness to new experiences is needed in order to maintain a passionate level of understanding amongst co-workers from different cultures. The ability to communicate on multiple levels is what makes or breaks a company especially on the international scene.
Second, this paper presents a hypothetical situation. Your company has a joint venture that manufactures consumer consumable goods like soaps, detergents and other hygiene products out of the Philippines for marketing in China and Indonesia. There are many strategies and management techniques to consider for this situation. Keeping in mind, the explosion of telecommunications in the region and those two specific countries, it is extremely important to focus on an e-strategy that includes use of e-marketing and e-commerce as tools for using the Internet for advertising and promotions.
Third, this paper asks one to consider what the Asia Pacific market will look like by the year 2010 or five years from now. Which countries in the region will be the best markets for each of the following: (1) raw materials, (2) consumer consumables, (3) fast-moving consumer goods, (4) consumer durables and (5) luxury goods. These items are defined as discussed below. Raw materials include any natural resources the country may have that add value to its gross domestic product or GDP. Consumer consumables as mentioned earlier are products that a consumer uses and to be replaced. Fast-moving consumer good are popular and in high demand. These could be considered high tech like computers or cell phones. Consumer durable goods are products that last many years and do not need to be replaced instantly. Examples are the automobile, clothing and furniture. Luxury good are items of high value and cost. These items are usually purchased with disposable income. This products range from yachts, racecars, and cutting edge entertainment systems like plasma screen televisions or first class travel packages at Club Med. Analysts can forecast and predict how a market will flourish and what products will remain trendy over time and to which nationality of people. These forecasts can examine where these good and services will take place and what areas of a region stand to benefit from production for such goods. Analysts do this by looking at the current market and projecting how long a trend will remain or the likely hood of a trend permanently becoming enmeshed in the market. From the standpoint of management, focus on one product is futile and corporate suicide. Diversification is key for survival and maintaining a competitive edge especially in such a large market.
This paper will explore and examine these three questions as well as offer analysis. In many ways the concepts of culture, strategy and market forecast interact and rely on each other to facilitate the act of doing business. It is safe to assume they carry equal impact and each has an intricate function.
The Influence of Cultural Differences
As a leader in an international organization doing business in the Asia Pacific region knowledge of cultural differences and its influences is crucial for the sake of harmony, productivity and morale. A leader must be able to establish themselves within the structure of the existing culture and this requires understanding the differences in point-of-view and the essential needs of the employee and the customer. The leader must also establish clear communication of the organization's objective and goals. Before entering a market like Asia Pacific, one must consider a well-defined strategy and be flexible to adopting new methods of doing business to meet environmental needs. Because of existing differences, a new framework is born. An organization needs strong, effective leadership to keep communication open while remaining respectful. For the purposes of this paper, China and Japan were chosen as two countries within the Asia Pacific to analyze in relation to how Australia interacts with them. This requires an understanding of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as well as knowing the differences between high and low cultures. A look at what defines the cultures of Australia, China and Japan is also needed in order to see how existing cultural differences influence business practices.
According to E.T. Hall, all communication both verbal and nonverbal is contextually bound. What we pay attention to or do not attend to is largely a matter of cultural context. Cultures act as "selective screens" and can be divided into categories, low- and high-context. In low-context cultures, the majority of the information is explicitly communicated in the verbal message. In high-context cultures the information is embedded in the context of the relationship. High- and low-context cultures also differ in their definition of social and power hierarchies, relationships, work ethics, business practices, and also in time management. Examples of low-context cultures include: Scandinavian, German, Swiss and North American. In contrast, Mediterranean, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Latin American cultures appear on the high end of the continuum. High- and low-context cultures differ in ways, which may create conflict when people from different cultures interact.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is simple in nature. David Hampton writes, "The central idea is that human needs are physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization are arranged in hierarchy of prepotency. People are in state of want all the time. One is motivated mainly by the next level of unsatisfied need" (Hampton, 1987). This is because people have different needs and wants at different times, what motivates then changes. In general from a work perspective, the need to survive is fundamental, almost unspoken as a level of safety must be achieves before other needs can be met. This in itself acts a motivator because loss needs to be avoided. This idea of safety reinforces for the organization it first must practice establishing an environment familiar to the locals. In order for this, one must first know the specific needs of the culture as different areas value needs on the hierarchy in their own way. For instance, Hampton points out "for Japan love and safety needs seem to occupy a higher level than self-actualization" (Hampton, 1987). The opposite is found of China where a sense of belonging comes first in their culture. The theory illustrates its simple points but does not allow for multiple variations and the hierarchy demonstrates limitations because of this.
From need grows perception. Not only can one be perceived through words and actions but also body language. One's preconceived notions can distort the simple act of communication. Hampton explains, "even the simplest perception is organized by the perceiver, the perceived characteristics…