- In your own words, summarize the article (minimum of 300 words).
The central idea in the text is that companies must focus on the standardization of goods or services they offer to the customers to reflect a global needs which meet consumer needs rather than the main focus on the issues that the prospective clients may want (Levitt, 1983). As such, the paper posit that a consumer in the USA might like a particular item which might not be popular in Africa, thus the company would be losing the African market to new products. As such, the paper advances that it is imperative for the companies to have standardized goods which would be popular even away from the mother country of the original goods and or service offered by a company. For example, the Coca-Cola Company makes soft drinks which are popular both in the mother country the USA and other parts of the world. In fact, the coke brand is a significant corporate image that is even advertised in World Cup soccer tournament and consumers resonate with the message advert since it is also their local brand. The gist of the paper is also that most companies with good management turn away from customizing the goods and services to standardized products which are actually affordable, advanced and functional. According to Levitt, 1983, technology is the powerhouse that drives the entire world to the commonality. Most companies make the difference from the technology they imply which would later make the prices of goods and services cheap according to Levitt. Per se, the author of the article, conjecture that companies which are not able to incorporate technology to offer competitive service would be out of business by those that embrace technological changes. In the article, he postulates that consumers would be in love with the latest technological trends and would buy the latest model as opposed to the previous model of a year ago or so. The author also theorized that technology would force a commonality in the international markets where goods and services would be similar irrespective of the manufactures. Such assertions are indeed true even from a look of the phone industries where the applications and phone features are the same.
- Levitt’s paper is considered one of the most significant articles in International Business. Why do you think it is the case? Elaborate
Levitt`s paper is indeed one of the most important papers regarding international business since it theorized issues beyond its time. It was like an eye-opener to most internationalized businesses and the business world would print the document for analysis and internal audit. However, it is vital to mention that the paper was a significant piece since major predictions by the writer have come to pass. In the current global market, most people are driven by technological advancement, originality, and value for money. Companies that have not been able to embrace the technological changes have fallen out of business. For instance, Nokia Phone Company was the leading phone manufacturer in the telecommunication industry and commanded the largest market share. However, when it was approached by Android for a merger or an acquisition, Nokia decline the offer ostensible to maintain their originality (Ciesielska, 2018). Currently, Nokia is struggling to recover from the shock of the consumer who left her commodities for android phones which could access the internet and other applications.
- The article is about 35 years old, do you think the author’s recommendation for standardization is still valid today? Or, has advancement, in technology altered the sphere of the international trade. Defend your answer with suitable examples
The recommendation by the author-Levitt about the standardization of commodities is invalid to a certain extent currently. Most organizations have come out to be consumer conscious since the consumer has what they want and dictate the market trends. Due to enhanced communication, using the integrated communication systems, organizations are able to interact with their consumers, get their wants and create for them content relevant to the available technology (Solomon, 2014). For instance, the coke company was able to create Coke Zero for their consumers who are not interested in taking sugary drinks like their normal drinks are. The drink thus takes care of people with diabetes or those who wish to eat healthily. Conversely, in the car manufacturing industry, most consumers have been environmentalists and the various governments have been supportive of such ideas. The car manufacturers have been forced to advance their technologies and offer electric cars which are not using fuels like diesel which are environmental hazards. The companies are thus customizing their production. Such assertions are supported by the fact that the most popular places where the sales of electric cars are available are the same regions with the highest rates of environmental concerns.
Ciesielska, M. (2018). Nokia on the slope: The failure of a hybrid open/closed source model. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 19(3), 218-225.
Levitt, T. (1983) ‘Globalisation of markets’, Harvard Business Review, May–June, 92–102.
Solomon, M. R., Dahl, D. W., White, K., Zaichkowsky, J. L., & Polegato, R. (2014). Consumer behavior: Buying, having and being (Vol. 10). London: Pearson.