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Management: What to Focus On When Expanding Into Foreign Countries

Updated: Sep 14, 2019

When you are a manager, you may try to expand your company into foreign countries. While this may seem like an easy task, there are numerous things that you should abide by in order to be successful. As a manager, it is a necessity to follow these rules when expanding into foreign nations.

First, it is essential to follow the five functions of management. To recap, the five functions are planning, decision-making and strategizing, staffing, directing and controlling. In order to be fully successful with your expansion plan, you need to familiarize yourself with each of the five functions.

To begin, planning involves mapping out what you are going to do, when you are going to do it, and how you are going to do it. As a manager, it is your responsibility for setting the actions that will accomplish your goals. If you do not plan when expanding, you will fail as you cannot simply “wing it” when performing a task. A good motto to keep in your mind is “failing to plan is planning to fail”. Moreover, though decision-making and strategizing go along with planning, they are more in depth. Decision-making and strategizing specifies that managers must be able to identify the activities to be completed, assign duties, create and authorize responsibility, and coordinate the different levels of operation. Without this, there would be a lack of coordination in the workplace and it would be hard to get anything done.

Moreover, following staffing is essential when expanding. As a manager, you need to recruit employees that know the culture of the country you are expanding to. For example, let us say a chocolate company expanded into China; however, their employees were cited as being disrespectful to the Chinese culture. As a result, their whole plan was a failure due to disrespectfulness. From this example, you can see how critical staffing is to your success when expanding. Furthermore, it is critical to pay attention to the directing and controlling functions. The directing function states that managers must supervise, lead, and motivate their employees, while the controlling function states that managers must follow up with their employees and give feedback. Without these two functions, there would be no method of communication between you and your branch in the foreign country. As you would lack communication, there would be no way to figure out what you need to improve upon, and your company could be looked down upon by the people in the country. To recap, in order to successfully expand into new countries, you need to make sure you follow the five functions of management and respect the culture of the country.

By: Taylan Mansur

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