Effects of globalisation

INTRODUCTION

Thanks to globalisation, our generation is much luckier than the older one and becomes more familiar with other cultures. In addition to that, globalisation allows us to try other ways of thinking, other traditions and other cultures for which I find that trying new trends is fascinating. However, there are people who say that globalisation is anything else but the westernisation of the world. Some are afraid to lose their values or that their language disappears and they feel threatened by the influence exerted by other cultures in their country. Even though some people consider that this phenomenon may be dangerous for their culture, some others perceived globalisation as an amazing opportunity rather than a threat.

Although we are not attentive to it, globalisation which is a very fascinating event, had affected everyone's existence. From the Chinese sewing needle to the Brazilian coffee, we are encircled by merchandise from all over the world. Thus it is definitely an issue which concerned everyone. For that, it must have an effect:

  • on the way people think,
  • on their values,
  • And accordingly on their Culture which I am going to look at.

Taking into account such a fascinating event, I would be interested to find out if this phenomenon had an impact on national culture and whether this fundamental value must be protected from globalisation effects.

For my project I propose to investigate the effects of globalisation on developing countries and whether this influence is harmless or damaging national culture.

I will propose to investigate and demonstrate that developing countries' population is not very frightened by globalisation. In addition to that, my project will focus on why some Multinational Corporations find it difficult to invest in Arabic countries' markets especially Islamic ones.

Multinational Corporations which want to invest in foreign countries must learn a lot from Schein (1992) who emphasises the importance to carry out a cultural analysis in order to implement a successful and effective management which can transcend the national and ethnic borders. He also argues that this analysis represents a key factor of success for the leaders.

LITERATURE REVIEW

The effect of globalisation on National Cultural is a concrete subject that implicated everybody all over the world. For that reason there is an abundance of literature that focuses on effect of globalisation on national culture.

As regards to this subject, a lot of books and pieces of writing have been written. So my focus is to find interesting literatures related to my topic and ensure that are correlated with the expected development of my dissertation.

Such important was this issue that has frightened some thinkers and inspired others. According to Guiddens, (2006), globalisation is currently a controversial subject, and is conceptualised differently by different thinkers. In spite of having more than one meaning, everybody must agree that globalisation has seriously affected the world at all levels.

Held, (1999), has established a survey in which he claims that globalisation could be clearly stated through 3 different schools of thought; each one has its own idea to the exact meaning of globalisation:

  • The sceptics;
  • The hyperglobalisers;
  • The transformationalists.

Starting from this literature review, I will consider some key definitions important to the subject, an overview of globalisation, its history, some information about the Algerian point of view on globalisation and cultural identity, and then with multinational corporations which locate and employ labour from other countries, I will discuss the positive effect that has globalisation on local economy.

The example of E-Funds International, a division of the check printing firm Deluxe, highlights this fact. By locating its operations in New Delhi, E-Funds reduced the number of processing errors by almost 90%.this is beneficial for both the company and the host country. (Jackson & Schuler, 2003)

Along the same lines as Held, Moore, S. et al. (2002) states that the globalisation of culture is seen through 3 different ways, positive globalisers, pessimistic globalisers and transformationalists and came to the conclusion that national culture is to be seriously taken into consideration. Cohen and Kennedy observe: ''on occasions, some inhabitants of Lagos or Kuala Lumpur may drink Coke, wear Levi 501 Jeans and listen to Madonna records. But that does not mean they are about to abandon their customs, family and religious obligation or national identities wholesale even if they afford to do so, which must cannot.''

Why culture is something to be taken into consideration?

"Culture is more often a source of conflict than of synergy. Cultural differences are a nuisance at best and often a disaster". (Hofstede, G)

Fons Trompenaars who is one of the European specialists in the cultural issues, states that, ''culture is beneath awareness in the sense that no one bothers to verbalize it, yet it forms the roots of action'' (1997, p: 24). Therefore, the study of the culture is important to understand differences that allow members of different groups to think, feel and act differently.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES AND QUESTIONS:

One of the objectives of this study is to investigate why national culture has always been considered as a barrier of globalisation. However, it is relevant to wonder whether the culture will be able to resist to the pressure of globalisation and for how long.

If today it seems to be holding up with the increasingly continuous pressure, it remains to be seen how will be the future for the culture within globalisation?

Even if globalisation may be seen as a unique opportunity for developing countries to progress, people would like to prevent cultural dissolution and protect cultural diversity.

As argued by hyperglobalisers, are cultural characteristics condemned to disappear?

Thus, what are the means of their protection?

One of the well-known hyperglobalisers, the Japanese Kenichi Ohmae, states that globalisation is leading to a 'borderless world'- a world in which market forces are more commanding than national government (Ohmae 1995).

Based on the initial literature review and background for this study, there are a lot of controversies surrounding globalisation and its effect on national culture.

Another widely recognized analysis is that, since some schools of thought are totally opposed to each other, whose view is most nearly correct?

RESEARCH DESIGN AND LIMITATIONS

For this research the most suitable way to collect data for my project is by reading some text books and by some qualitative data collection as well as secondary data.

In my approach, which will be inductive, I will try to find common definitions of both globalisation and culture and the link between them in order to enable me to design hypotheses, which I can then look at and develop some general conclusions by interpreting them.

My research will be essentially qualitative since I will try to progress in the reflexion of whether the national culture must be protected against the globalisation. Furthermore, I will include some quantitative researches of analysing data.

In order to give a better perception to my research and to improve the exactness of my judgement, two methods of collecting data will be used, firstly through secondary data collection by selecting documents obtainable online and in textbooks and other publicly obtainable material and secondly through primary data collection via a questionnaire which enable me to create personal information.

Why a Questionnaire?
  • A questionnaire would give me an idea about the degree of consciousness to globalisation and Cultural, and how persons perceived these two observable facts.
  • A questionnaire is cheaper and easier than the other possibilities (Survey, Interviewing specialists, Focus group, etc...).
  • Through a questionnaire answers to my questions are sure.
  • It is also easier to ask questions and evaluate answers from a questionnaire than from other possibilities of creating information.
  • The more people I ask the more close to the reality I will be.
Limitations

Even though the questionnaire gives the impression to be the best option to create personal information, some limits come out in its application. Firstly, I have no previous experience of this type of research; Secondly, as I want to do this questionnaire using people from my country (Algeria), the risk of bias is present when information will be collected; thirdly, the risk of preconceived ideas, which is not easy to ovoid, can occur, and finally are people, which I intend to interview, representative of the whole Algerian population?

DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Due to differences between national cultures as well as different perceptions of globalisation and its effect on culture among schools of thought, the sample for this study will be difficult to find.

For the primary data collection, I intend to collect it through a questionnaire with both closed and opened questions, while I have planned to collect the secondary data from some of the abundance online resources as well as printed documents. Since my research is essentially more qualitative, the specific hypothesis about effects of globalisation on national culture that I have in mind can change as the research progress because qualitative research brings in depth analysis to an argument based on individual case studies. Particular concentration will be given to the design of the questionnaire because the research is complex and one must be flexible when assessing the data.

CONCLUSION and how this piece of work will contribute to academic knowledge.

I expect that there have been some changes in mentalities, since some hyperglobalisers viewed that ''globalisation is fundamentally undermining the role of national governments and producing a world order in which they are less central''. Guiddens, (2006)

Estimated results, as suggested in the literature review, are expected to prove the positive effects of globalisation on overall economic growth in developing countries as well as the extent to which national cultures are not affected. However, it will be interesting for me to find out why some Multinational Corporations such as McDonalds find it difficult to penetrate some developing countries' markets such as Algeria.

TIME SCALE

I aim to complete a preliminary draft version of my dissertation by the 18th.June.2010.

So working on the project will start straight away following the received feedback of the project proposal. However, as I mentioned it in the limitations, I have no previous experience of this type of work and I would prefer waiting for the allocation of my project supervisor to plan my work and draw a time scale in agreement with him.

REFERENCES

  • Guiddens, A. (2006). Sociology .5th Ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Held, D. et al. (1999). Global transformation: Politics, Economics and Culture. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture's Consequences. London: Sage.
  • Hofstede, G. Cultural Dimensions. [on-line]. www.geert-hofstede.com Accessed on 06/01/2010
  • Jackson, E. & Schuler, S. (2003). Managing Human Resources through Strategic partnerships. London: Thomson Learning.
  • Moore, S. et al, (2002). Sociology. London: HarperCollins.
  • Ohmae, K. (1995). The end of the nation state: The rise of national economies. London: Free Press.
  • Schein, E.H. (1992). Organisational Culture and Leadership San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C. (1997) Riding the Waves of Culture: Understanding Cultural Diversity in Business. 2nd Ed. London: Nicholas

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