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Global Business Challenges

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, I want to talk to you about international trade and how it influences businesses worldwide. Specifically, I will address two of the three topics this speech assignment requires using the global sportswear giant Nike as my case study. In this speech, I will look into the challenges that multinational corporations encounter while conducting business globally and discuss strategies for addressing the cultural consequences of international trade and investment. Many challenges must be overcome when a firm wishes to grow its operations globally. To successfully engage in international trade, businesses must have a firm grasp of the economic, cultural, legal, and political elements. When doing business on a global scale, a company must contend with a different regulatory environment than it would confront at home. Businesses operating internationally must adhere to each nation’s laws and regulations. For instance, Nike was once the target of criticism and protests from human rights groups over allegations that the company exploited child labor to produce several products. As a result, businesses must follow the rules of the nations in which they operate and those of the United Nations and the International Labor Organization.

The possibility of fluctuating currency rates is another challenge for businesses engaging in international trade. A corporation must deal with fluctuating currency exchange rate risks when doing business in multiple countries. Because the exchange rate can raise manufacturing costs or lower sales revenue, it can significantly affect the company’s bottom line. As an example, Nike buys its raw materials from a variety of nations and distributes its wares to consumers all over the world. Hence, they should consider how currency fluctuations affect their business and implement contingency plans if necessary. Let’s discuss the implications of culture on international projects. A business must consider cultural differences between countries while expanding operations globally. Language barriers, as well as disparities in social conventions and ideas, are examples of cultural differences. We are all aware that the global market is becoming more intricate and varied all the time. Successfully competing in today’s global marketplace presents unique challenges for businesses due to the wide range of cultural norms and expectations present around the world. Using Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Model, Nike has discovered a technique to control cultural consequences effectively.

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions Model is a theoretical framework for exploring the effects of cultural differences on attitudes, norms, and practices. Power distance, individualism vs. Collectivism, masculinity vs. Femininity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term focus vs. short-term focus, and indulgence vs. restraint are the six dimensions of this model. For Nike, these factors have served as a framework for responding to cultural shifts in international markets.

A power distance exists when subordinates in an organization have come to tolerate and even expect a hierarchical structure. Nike’s management approach has been altered to account for the fact that power distance differs from one culture to the next. Nike teaches its workers to respect those in positions of power, to defer to them, and to work together effectively in such settings. When interacting with people in positions of authority, Nike always uses their proper titles. Conversely, in societies with a small power distance, Nike chooses a more decentralized organization that places a more significant premium on employee initiative. For example, Nike managers tend to be more authoritarian in countries with a high power gap, such as Japan, and more collaborative in nations with a low power distance, such as the United States.

Individualism versus Collectivism refers to how individuals are integrated into groups. Depending on the society, Nike recognizes that individualism vs. Collectivism is valued more highly. To successfully advertise in other countries, Nike must adapt their advertising campaigns, product designs, and marketing methods to reflect local customs. Nike’s marketing campaigns target consumers in different countries by highlighting distinct cultural values, such as the significance of family and community in collectivist nations or the pursuit of personal success in more individualistic nations. Certain countries, like the United States, emphasize individualism while others, like Japan, value collectivism, and Nike is aware of this. Nike, for instance, has put a premium on fostering a sense of community among its Japanese suppliers and retailers.

Masculinity vs. Femininity refers to the extent to which a culture values traditionally masculine or feminine traits. A culture’s masculinity or femininity level can be understood by the degree to which it prioritizes aggressive and competitive male traits or nurturing female traits, such as compassion and empathy. Nike does well by considering these cultural distinctions when creating and promoting new products. For example, in cultures that value masculinity highly, Nike advertises its products as more aggressive. Nonetheless, societies that value Femininity is more likely to stress safety and nurturing. In the United States, Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign runs on the premise that if you put your mind to something and work hard at it, you will eventually achieve your goals.

Uncertainty avoidance refers to the cultural openness to ambiguity and uncertainty. Nike is aware that some cultures are more comfortable with certainty while others are more comfortable with less defined boundaries. Nike will set high standards for its products and services in these communities. For example, in some European countries, Nike provides detailed instructions on how to use their products and what to expect from them, which helps to alleviate any uncertainty or confusion.

Long-term and short-term dimensions refer to the degree to which a culture prioritizes immediate gratification instead of investing in the long term. Nike is aware that some societies place a higher priority on the preservation of history, customs, and norms. Nike will highlight their products’ cultural significance and roots in these regions. Nike, for instance, offers a series of products in Japan under the brand name Nike Japan, these shoes and other apparel feature a variety of traditional Japanese themes and details.

Indulgence versus restraint is a factor that indicates how much freedom people in a culture have to give in to their emotions and gratify their wants. More restrained cultures tend to be more disciplined and self-controlled, while more indulgent ones encourage their members to live life to the fullest by giving in to their every desire. In indulgent cultures, Nike markets to consumers by appealing to their baser instincts. In the United States, Nike’s marketing campaigns frequently use phrases like do it and Unleash your inner athlete to appeal to people’s yearning for individuality and independence. Nike’s marketing campaigns in conservative societies emphasize the importance of discipline and self-control. Slogans like discipline are vital, and The harder you work, the better you become; frequently used in Japanese Nike ads to appeal to consumers’ desire for self-improvement and strict self-control.

In conclusion, conducting business on an international scale can present enterprises with several challenges, but it also offers a great deal of opportunity for development and expansion. For companies to succeed in other nations, they need to have a solid comprehension of the cultural norms and regulatory frameworks unique to each nation in which they intend to do business. Businesses are responsible for ensuring that they comply with the rules and regulations of the countries where they conduct business and take measures to mitigate risks such as fluctuations in exchange rates. Finally, companies must understand the cultural norms that prevail in the nations where they conduct business and modify their practices accordingly to be compatible with the local culture. As potential future leaders in the business world, we need to have a solid understanding of the opportunities and challenges posed by international business to make well-informed choices that will contribute to the growth and prosperity of our respective organizations.

Thank you for being here today. Your attention and engagement mean a lot to me, and I hope you have gained something valuable from my speech.


Bartley, T. and Child, C., 2014. Shaming the corporation: The social production of targets and the anti-sweatshop movement. American sociological review79(4), pp.653-679.

Coombs, W.T. and Laufer, D., 2018. Global crisis management–current research and future directions. Journal of International Management24(3), pp.199-203.

Daniels, J.D., Radebaugh, L.H., Sullivan, D.P. and Click, R.W., 2014. International business. Prentice Hall.

Ghauri, P. and Cateora, P., 2014. EBOOK: International Marketing. McGraw Hill.

Khlif, H., 2016. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions in accounting research: a review. Meditari Accountancy Research.


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