Globalization – Business buzzword or .. ?

Globalization is an economical fact that concerns all companies – small and big alike. You have to acceppt that you are acting in an international environment, even if you are offering local products and services.

Globalization is a buzzword that meets us everywhere and news and media outlets dicuss the “Age of Globalization” which we are in right now. There is quite often a relation to the criticism of capitalism when talking about globalization and it is generally seen as an expression of neo – liberalism, in short: the term has a negative connotation. But what is globalization actually and more important, how does it influence our daily lives?

Globalization is not a new phenomenon and can be observed in earlier eras of history already. Many authors go as far back as to the beginning of the colonial era at around 1500 for the beginning of globalization. But no matter what era we look at, one point becomes always clear: globalization means linking up. In earler days it were the trade networks the likes of the Hanse or East-India Company and today it means more and more our personnal networks and connections the span across the whole globe. Globalization in that sense means to be part of the global community, with personal relations as well as business connections scattered around the world.

 

With all the importance that international markets have today even for small and medium sized companies, it is our personal experience that makes globalization comprehensible to us.

But globalization is still mostly seen as a mere economical phenomenon and the personal component is often dismissed. With all the importance that international markets have today even for small and medium sized companies, it is our personal experience that makes globalization comprehensible to us. Cheap long distance travel possibilites let us visit the most remote areas of the world and make new acquaintances there. And modern communication tools like e-mail, Facebook and Skype allow us to stay in contact no matter how far the distances are. But also in our families we see the changes that come with globalization. Our children go for a student exchange to the US or study for one semester in France. And sometimes relations are formed and new families are started which makes it that today having in-laws, nephews and nieces that speak another mother-tongue is not at all uncommon.

Globalization is also a personal experience that we, our colleagues, our customers and suppliers have mafe. Globalization means to be at home around the world – or to have no place to feel at home. We live in a global village, but instead of being able to relate it seems that mostly strange and alien things have come too close to us. We react with fear to unknown and with caution to unfamiliar things. As such globalization becomes a threat instead of being a chance. Something only the rich and powerful can profit from.

And still I think, there is no reason for fear, as the chances far outweigh the risks. Today we have the opportunity to participate in the world as a whole in a way no generations before us could. Like our relations – private and business alike – are scattered around the world, we can explore new ideas, innovations and technologies from all around the globe. To be open and pre-occupied for these new opportunities is one side, not to fall for each new trend another. It is in our own responsibility to take good chances and to make sure that globalization is not a mere buzzword but something that enriches our private and business relations alike.