Type: Management
Pages: 9 | Words: 2441
Reading Time: 11 Minutes

Managing across borders for many companies is not usually a very easy task since the company has to move its operations across borders to other countries that have diverse cultural differences. The main reason as to why firms decide to operate in the international market is that the competitive advantage of the firm that often depends on the economies of scale which are usually gained across markets. This paper will focus on Sony Corporation that deals with consumer electronic goods. Sony Corporation designs, manufactures, and sells electronic goods and equipment, such as computers and other related devices, video cassette recorders, cordless and cellular telephones, television systems, and compact disks among many other goods.

Sony Corporation is a multinational conglomerate whose headquarters are based in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. This corporation is the parent company of a series of companies known as Sony Group. This company was founded in the wake of the Second World War by two young men, Masaru Ibuka and Akiko Morita. They registered it as Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo and got lot fame from their success in building the first tape recorder which they referred to as Type-G. The company has grown over the years and changes its name to Sony which was derived from “sonus” the Latin translation for sound. Sony played a key role in the invention of the popular compact disc used to store digital information.

Purpose of the Report

The main aim and purpose of this report is to determine how environmental factors, such as overpopulation in the United States of America and other countries of the world, have affected international trade patterns and marketing in Sony Corporation so as to be able to determine how the company can manage all its activities across borders and how it can also address all the cultural issues, which are related to the team building, business communication, and the standardization of the products offered by the company across the different countries. The paper also addresses the issue of diversity in team building and communication which is one of the major factors that affect marketing strategy especially in multination organizations. We ask ourselves how a team comprising of experts from different countries like Japan, Belgium, United States, France and United Kingdom could work together and successfully transform the marketing strategies applied in the United States of America.

There are several issues that come to play in this kind of a case, for instance, cultural differences, linguistic differences, legal disparities and economic issues just but to mention a few. A team with such diverse backgrounds will need a properly outline procedure to counteract the challenge. This paper reviews a number of theories that could be applied in the formation and management of such tasked teams. Leadership is always the key issue in the attainment of the team’s objectives.

Background to the Case Organization

The success in any organization like the Sony Corporation that usually operates mainly for marketing and the acquisition of high profits is dependent on the management and the establishment of all the products and services that are being offered by the company. For the Sony a company to be able to compete and survive in the international market competition, it has to have respectable and effective market segmentation and marketing mix. The success of this company or organization can only be defined by the constant innovations and developments in the company’s product lines at the international market level and the increasing numbers of the clientele globally.

Sony differs greatly from other companies because of its great flexibility; though, it is still termed as an old-style Japanese company. It has good services, like the lifetime employment of its employees, which are considered to have strong norms and values, which in most cases cause the creation of new strategies through actions that can aid in the making the company a great success. There are key success factors that can enable Sony firm to achieve all of its marketing objectives; these include: the accessibility to essential resources, which are unique, the ability of the business to achieve the economies of scale, technological progress in the business, and the accessibility to good distribution channels in the international market.

The international marketing of Sony Corporation is highly based on population size. Densely populated regions create high demand for its goods and services offered by the company. Therefore, population is one of the key factors that affect international marketing of Sony Corporation, and it also determines how the company is be able to manage its operations across borders and cultures since its operations are mainly based on different countries with different cultures.

Team Building Across Cultures

The team involved in solving the Sony marketing issue will include individuals from different parts of the world, who will be brought together by the Sony organization in order to achieve it tasks. Because of the different skill sets needed within the team, the organizations will require an assessment of team members and team leaders. Most organizations normally require team members to possess these skills at the start of building teams. Many teams use technology to some degree, but they will increase significantly as the degree of reliance increases on electronic communication.

For the company like Sony Corporation to be able to have an effective team building across cultures, it’s team need to understand its team roles so as to be able to improve its performance because when the team is performing at its best, each team member usually has responsibilities, which he / she has to undertake as a team member since every role in the team members is very indispensable in the achievement of the goals of the team.

The Sony corporation team building process need include several processes that allow all members of the virtual team to discuss and document the appropriate behaviour with the regard to communication channel selection, and agreed-upon response time, where documentation will be stored, the frequency of team meetings, any conflict resolution, and all aspects of the decision-making processes. Nemiro, Beyerlein, Bradley, and Beyerlein (2008) Furthermore, simple team discussions need to occur earlier in the team formation process in order to determine communication infrastructure, protocols, and process flow”. The Sony Corporation also needs to ensure that during team formation they have a clear team leader. It is important to allow global virtual team members to know who the person is that he or she needs to contact when a problem arises.

The members of this team need to improve their relationship through holding each other accountable. This is essential since the company derives its member from different parts of the world. Through holding each other accountable, they demonstrate that they really respect each other and that they have very high expectations on each other’s performance. Team pressure is usually the most efficient and effective way of maintaining extraordinary standards of performance on the team. And need to be nurtured in the Sony corporation team.

Good communication in the team need to be enhanced, this is because in company, is usually the best way of getting to know each other. Furthermore, many businesses, team relationships are very unique. These relationships are usually very indispensable most of these team members are total strangers to each other as most of them have never met in real life, since they come from different cultures and also from different countries throughout the world. Through communication, the team members in the Sony team will get to know each other and also be familiar with one another.

For the Sony team to coordinate all its activities and actions in its groups, it will need to apply mechanism such as proper planning and making schedules. This will actually involves constant communication and consultation among the members. Communication in this kind of set up is normally referred to as coordination by feedback. This is because the Sony corporation team members will have to utilize communication in most of its activities.

Because of the organizational culture difference that exists between the Sony corporation team, reaching a common ground during decision might be an uphill task. Therefore, team members need to commit themselves. This will actually involves making clear and timely decision and moving forward with complete buy in from all the team members, even with those that might vote against the decision. This kind of a team needs to understand the risk of seeking the consensus of all team members. The team members need to find various ways of achieving buy-in decision since having a complete agreement in this kind of a team is usually impossible.

It is usually very sad to have team fail to achieve its mandate due to anticipatable challenges that could have been easily avoided. When multinational corporations put together such teams involving members from different backgrounds, they expect them to pool resources together and benefit from the synergy effect in solving the problem at hand. Some of the challenges and difference that affect these teams have been described in the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory. According to the Geert Hofstede, the society and the cultural set up of an individual normally affect their values and behaviors. He uses factor analysis in the theory to determine cross cultural relations and communications in multinational corporations like IBM and Sony. In his original model, Hofstede outlined four dimensions of analyzing cross-cultural issues.

One of the dimensions used by Hofstede was the power distance index, which measure the extent to which people of the lower power accepts the power distribution. Some cultures endorse low power distances which makes their members expect democratic and consultative relations. According to hofstede, this actually makes such people be able to relate equally with others irrespective of how low in position they are.

Individualism versus collectivism is the other dimension which measures individual’s ability to integrate and blend into groups. People from individualist societies put more emphasis on personal achievements and rights as opposed to collective rights and achievements. This makes them difficult to work with especially in teams. And this calls for buy-in decision in the Sony team since they may be difficult to agree with the rest of the team.

Masculinity versus femininity dimension plays a key role in the distribution of roles. Masculine team members prefer competitive and challenging roles. However, feminine members value good relationship in the working environment and a quality life. This is another dimension that needs to be explored by the Sony team building process. Lastly, the uncertainty avoidance index determines an individual’s tolerance for ambiguity and uncertainty. Cultures that could be characterized by the high levels of uncertainty avoidance tend to have members who are more emotional. For teams to be successful, members must fully understand and treat each other appropriately according to their organizational background in order to work together in harmony.

In the team building, the most important aspects of team communication are learning from each other potential, and the sharing of information among am members to all global virtual team members. Team members in this team must cultivate confidence to one another. Enough trust to make a team member seek help and to make appropriate demands from each other. This ensures that a highly efficient virtual team work is developed. Part of this can be done by matching tools, reading the same forums and talking to the same people to achieve goals more effectively. By doing this, work will become more effective.

According to the McNurlin et al. (2009), in order to bridge the cultural gap that might arise in this global virtual team member, The Sony virtual team need to be subjected to an extensive cultural training in order to bridge this gap , which can act as a major drawback. McNurlin et al. The state that advice the clients on the offshore marketplace has now realized that both parties need cultural training to overcome management and communication gaps.

The Belbin model can be used in the creation of a balanced team by the team practitioners and the team leaders. This is because the team can become unbalanced if the team members have the same team roles and same behavioral styles. The Belbin’s team roles are usually based on the interpersonal styles and the behavior, which is observed.

The Bruce Tuck man theory that is composed of four stages of the model: forming, storming, norming, and performing. The model tries to explain how a team is able to develop and to reach its maturity, to establish relationships among the team members, and to adapt to a new leadership by the leader of the team. Through this process, the team is usually able to produce a new leader who will be a successor, and the previous leader can create and develop a new team.

In order for this team to succeed with its mandate, it needs to build trust among the members. This is important because the team member makes conflict possible since members to do not hesitate to engage in emotional and passionate debate, because they are actually aware that they can’t be punished for saying something that can be interpreted as destructive or critical. Through building of trust between team members are capable of distinguishing productive ideological conflict from the destructive fighting and interpersonal politics.

In the forming stage of the model, there is a very high dependence on the team leader’s direction and guidance as the leader is usually responsible for answering all the questions, which arise on the purpose of the team and its relationships. In the storming stage, the team members are able to vie for positions within the group in their attempt to be able to establish themselves within it, and in this case, they normally receive many challenges from the other team members. In the norming stage, consensus and agreement are formed largely in the group where the team members’ responsibilities and roles are very clear with the major decisions being made by the general agreement of the group. In the performing stage, the vision of the team is shared since the team is usually aimed towards the set goals with the leader overseeing and delegating the team.

Arise on the purpose of the team and its relationships. In the storming stage, the team members are able to vie for positions within the group in their attempt to be able to establish themselves within it, and in this case, they normally receive many challenges from the other team members. In the norming stage, consensus and agreement are formed largely in the group where the team members’ responsibilities and roles are very clear with the major decisions being made by the general agreement of the group. In the performing stage, the vision of the team is shared since the team is usually aimed towards the set goals with the leader overseeing and delegating the team.

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