Research Paper on Business Environment

Research Paper on Business Environment

As the business environment becomes more global, existing and emerging businesses have to face numerous challenges created by new markets. The first challenge is management of the virtual teams conducting its work though electronic technology. Virtual teams have become the integral part of every organization due to the increase in corporate restructuring and global competition. The second challenge modern businesses experience is the management of the culturally diverse workforce. The third challenge is related to e-commerce activities and its legal aspects.

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Virtual Teams
The management of virtual teams is one of the new challenges of modern business environment; however, it is very important for the success of every organization operating on the global market. Virtual team members are dispersed both geographically and organizationally and they rarely meet face to face while communicating. This is the challenge because communication is often seen as the vital factor in team work coordination. With the lack of opportunity to see each other, the process of developing the shared understanding is more complicated (Brock 2004). When meeting in person, employees can depend on the voice levels and other non-verbal clues, while virtual communication makes it impossible to determine whether everything is understood. Another issue is that accessing and leveraging the knowledge of each member to successfully achieve the team’s objectives while communicating virtually is not possible to the same extent as in the face to face communication.

To overcome the challenges of managing virtual teams, managers need to ensure that individuals who are the part of virtual communication are sensitized to the importance of these barriers and are paying close attention to their interactions in order to support the positive interpersonal relations and mutual understanding. In addition, the system of sharing information should be developed so that nothing relevant in sold and everybody has the opportunity to share ideas and express opinions. There may be several reasons why virtual team managers will not express their ideas as openly as they would do in face to face communication: cultural differences, conflict management style or the uncertainty about the reaction of others. Nevertheless, this challenge can be handled if managers pay close attention to it.

Cultural diversity
The second challenge is developing the effective methods of managing culturally diverse workforce. This challenge is especially important to be addressed taking into account that companies need to become more diverse if they want to operate globally and meet demands of global customers. This is the challenge because many managers are not willing to or do not understand that the managerial style preferred by Americans, may be ineffective with Japanese employees, for example. If the manager fails to take into account the cultural differences of individual employees, the overall effectiveness of the company may decrease. Consideration of cultural background and preferences motivates culturally diverse workforce to contribute more to the company, to share ideas openly and cooperate willingly.

Thus, managers need to recognize the need to develop the managerial system which is satisfactory for all employees in the first way. One of the ways to do this is to conduct the survey and ask employees how they want to be managed. Alternatively, the manager should spend some time researching information about the cultural peculiarities of his workers and take them into account while preparing and implementing the inner company policies. One of the mistakes commonly done by managers is formation of teams consisting of individuals from one culture – Japanese team, American team, or Italian team. Even though the overall workforce remains diverse, the benefits of diversity are lost when the representatives of different cultures do not interact. Therefore, culturally diverse workforce should be provides with the means to share information and communicate ideas.

E-commerce
E-commerce, similar to management of virtual teams, is the technology-based challenge of modern businesses. Every small, medium and big business units see the importance in developing their own website informing the customers about the products and services as well as selling their good online. Even though some aspects of internet shopping are under control of governmental institutions, most of the internet activities are beyond government’s control. The internet operations pose special challenge for traditional businesses in mature markets who need to find effective ways to use e-commerce to supplement their existing sales volume (Epstein 2004).

Therefore, every business entering e-market should be committed to resources – infrastructure costs and business risks associated with internet are substantial. In addition, the managers need to think about their e-commerce strategy. For example, it can be decided to enter e-market while being still a start-up company, or wait until the consumers develop brand loyalty and feel confident enough to buy the product online. In addition, e-commerce impacts all aspects of the company, not only marketing and sales. In particular, distribution of resources, HR management, and even strategic planning are influenced by the company’s e-commerce operations. In most cases, this challenge cannot be handled effectively without the professional outside help.

In conclusion, businesses operating on the global markets need to be ready to respond to the changing environment, needs of consumers and new technologies which offer opportunities for convenient product development, marketing and distribution. The effective management of virtual teams will help the manager to ensure that the company’s objectives are met and all ideas shared. The recognition of cultural difference of diverse workforce and implementation of proper managing techniques increases the employees’ satisfaction who are willing to contribute more to the company’s success. Finally, assuming the risk of online operations and usage of professional expertise might help the tradition businesses as well as start-ups to increase the sales volume and save on advertising.

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