Building a companies without borders Becht (2010) narrated the story of the company Reckitt Benckiser. According to Becht (2010), Reckitt Benckiser has been outperforming her corporate rivals Procter &Gamble, Unilever and Colgate in corporate growth even in the current downturn…
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According to Becht (2010, p. 2), this means that most of the top managers of Reckitt Benckiser “haven’t held jobs in their company of origin for years and view themselves as global citizens rather than as citizens of any given nation.” The company operates in 60 countries and its 400 managers are from 53 nationalities (Becht 2010). According to Becht (2010, p. 1), the company adopted the strategy of being a “company without borders” because “it’s one of the best ways to generate new ideas and create entrepreneurs.” Becht (2010) claimed that Reckitt Benckiser’s strategy of “global cross-fertilization” led to good results because the strategy accounts for 35 to 40% of net revenue. Becht (2010) implied that “global cross-fertilization” promoted the invention of innovative products in Reckitt Benckiser. In turn, innovative products enabled the company to enjoy “steady, profitable growth, even during the downturn” (Becht 2010, p. 1). Thus, according to Becht (2010), Reckitt Benckiser has outrun all her competitors since 2005. In the Becht (2010, p. 2) narrative, Reckitt Benckiser deliberately deploy managers in unfamiliar territories and not in their country of origin but they are expected “to find their footing very quickly.” Most managers, however, “grow tremendously” when they are taken out of their “familiar zone” (Becht, 2010, p. 2). Despite the multiplicity of nationalities in Reckitt Benckiser, the company insists on a common language in all meetings (Becht 2010). All are expected to say their piece no matter how blunt one’s piece is expressed. Thus, Reckitt Benckiser’s meetings are “chaotic” because “what takes over” is “an intensity and a feeling that we have to fight for better ideas” (Becht, 2010, p. 3). At Reckitt Benckiser, consensus is not highly valued but “conflict that simply slows down decision-making or is for political or personal gain is not tolerated” (Becht, 2010, p. 3). Nevertheless, “almost every key decision is made in meetings where it’s first discussed” and all must agree 100% to implement the decisions and “move quickly” (Becht, 2010, p. 3). However, minority views are not crushed (Becht, 2010). Those who do subscribe to the majority position are allowed to experiment with their ideas (Brecht, 2010, p. 3). Some of the questions that can be raised are as follows? How to the diversity of cultures impact on business? Do international connections play a role in business profitability? Are “companies without borders” a global trend? How do companies without borders organize themselves as a business? On the impact of diversity of cultures in managing businesses, John et al. (2011, p. 7) argued that “cultures that vary in value orientations should also vary in the level of control and participation.” John et al. (2011, p. 7) pointed out that “in a truly global marketplace, managers working in cross-cultural interactions need a better understanding of the impact of cultural orientation on an individual’s expectation at the service encounter.” This means, for example, consumers in diverse cultures vary with regard to how fast services should be, how faithful advertising should be on claims with regard to product quality, how assertive consumers can be with
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