If you pursue a career in global business leadership, you are likely to be part of a diverse workforce, enjoy excellent compensation and benefits, travel the world and interact with people from various backgrounds. To put yourself in this position, you will need business school for the skills necessary to succeed in a global environment.
The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in International Business program from Avila University teaches graduates the necessary skills to navigate and thrive in international leadership environments.
Globalization Changes the Leadership Needs of Businesses
The term “globalization” describes the increasing interconnectedness of economies, cultures and populations worldwide, resulting from the exchange of goods and services, technology, investment, people and information across national borders. It continues to be an accelerating trend. For example, the World Trade Organization estimates that global merchandise trade expanded by nearly 11% in 2021 (though growth slowed significantly considering supply chain issues and the Russia-Ukraine war in 2022) with the proliferation of trade agreements.
Globalization creates opportunities for businesses, individuals and economies to thrive through access to global markets. Large multinational corporations are not the only players; it is equally beneficial for small-to-midsize businesses, which account for 98% of the 300,000 companies that export, and one-third of all merchandise exports. Globalization is just as valuable to American consumers looking to stretch their budgets. Imports expand the purchasing power of American households by about $18,000 per year.
According to the World Bank, some of the most dynamic economies in the globalized business environment include New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong SAR, China, Denmark, Korea, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden and the United States. In addition, several Middle Eastern, Asian and African economies are rising quickly, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, India and Nigeria.
Global Operations Affect the Shape of Business Strategies
Global operations impact business strategies in many ways, including the following:
- Marketing and sales: Leaders in this field must have the knowledge and skills to cultivate relationships with local distributors and commercial agents in the markets where they export products and services. While these contacts help overcome language and cultural barriers, US executives must also quickly learn about their new markets and how to communicate and engage effectively with consumers with different backgrounds and needs than American consumers.
- Laws and regulations: The legal landscape in foreign countries can vastly differ from that in the U.S., with varying rules and requirements for businesses to navigate. Failure to comply with foreign regulations can result in significant financial and reputational consequences, including fines, legal action and damage to the company’s brand. Therefore, leaders must understand foreign laws and regulations to ensure compliance and mitigate risks. Fortunately, the World Bank notes that economies worldwide have implemented key regulatory reforms, making it easier for international business leaders to work with them.
- Economics and finance: International business leaders need to be knowledgeable about currency exchange rates and foreign exchange risk, which is the potential loss that could arise from variabilities in exchange rates. This practice is crucial for businesses that import or export goods or services across borders, where exchange rate fluctuations can significantly impact profits. Therefore, leaders must know how to assess and manage foreign exchange risk effectively, using strategies such as currency hedging to protect their businesses against adverse currency movements.
- Ethics: Doing business in foreign countries presents various ethical challenges, including cultural differences, corruption and differing business practices. Leaders must be able to navigate these challenges while upholding their organization’s values and adhering to local laws and regulations. A robust ethical framework is essential for building trust and maintaining positive relationships with stakeholders, including customers, suppliers and employees.
Develop the Skills Required for Leadership in International Business
The affordable, IACBE-accredited online MBA with a concentration in International Business program from Avila University can boost your career potential across geographical and multicultural boundaries. Some of the most important courses in the program for developing the skill sets you will use in your career include the following:
- Global Strategic Management: Provides a framework for a strategic, competitive advantage in a global environment through industry analysis, a resource-based view of the firm, business strategy, innovation, diversification and multinational strategies.
- International Marketing: An introduction to the special managerial considerations associated with marketing in international environments, such as legal/ethical, cultural, geographical and technological opportunities and challenges.
- International Economics: An introduction to the theory, structure and policies of international trade and financial institutions.
- International Finance: An introduction of major issues in global financial management, including exchange rate determination, spot and forward markets for foreign exchange and financial and risk management of multinational corporations.
As a student in this program, you will learn the complexities of doing business in different countries and cultures and develop and implement global business strategies that drive individual and organizational success. This program also offers networking opportunities with other international business professionals and exposure to real-world business scenarios through case studies and internships. Upon graduation, you will have the tools and experience needed to lead successful global ventures and positively impact the international business arena.
Learn more about Avila University’s online MBA in International Business program.