As the world has become more globalized, more Americans work for multinational organizations. Working for a global company provides some advantages to you relative to working for a domestic business, but it may also lead to some challenges. While each global company is different, it helps to weigh the pros and cons of a global culture before accepting a job with a multinational enterprise.
Working for a larger company offers more job opportunities. But a multinational company provides access to jobs around the world, in many cases. A marketing professional may have the opportunity to transfer to positions in Europe, Asia or other locations where the company has offices. Certain jobs are also available in an MNE that don't exist in domestic companies. Translators, international sales representatives and foreign division management positions are examples.
Naturally, the level of appreciation you have for diversity impacts whether you view a diverse workforce as a plus or minus. But multinational environments typically give you a broader experience working with people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, especially if you travel or work with colleagues in different parts of the world. You get a chance to learn different cultures and different perspectives as you experience diversity over time.
Organizational Culture Obstacles
Organizational culture includes the shared norms and values in a company that impact the overall morale of the workforce. While global companies can certainly have a positive culture, building shared values becomes much more challenging with a workforce spread across multiple countries. People's backgrounds often influence their values. The U.S. tends to have a strong time orientation, but Latin cultures often promote relationships and flexibility over time orientation. Such differences can create conflicts among workers and make it difficult for human resources to implement effective culture-building systems.
Conflicts and Job Challenges
Many employees in a global company have professional peers and even departmental colleagues based in different countries. Marketing professionals might collaborate with peers in each country, for instance. This setup can increase the propensity for interpersonal and team conflicts. Conversations and collaboration often take place through technology, which can slow the pace of interaction and lead to contextual misunderstandings in communication. You might have to wait to get response or feedback on a global marketing campaign.
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.