Evolution Of Technology Evolution Of Technology Primitive men cleaved their universe into friends and enemies and responded with quick, deep emotion to even the mildest threats emanating from outside the arbitrary boundary. With the rise of chiefdoms and states, this tendency became institutionalized, war was adopted as an instrument of policy of some of the new societies, and those that employed it best became – tragically – the most successful. The evolution of warfare was an autocatalytic reaction that could not be halted by any people, because to attempt to reverse the process unilaterally was to fall victim. -E.O. Wilson, On Human Nature As every day passes we are become more and more a globalized society.
With this ongoing cycle we come across a vast multitude of impasses. One of the main ideas leading toward this “global paradox” is the concept of global mindset. In this paper we will discuss all of the aspects of the global mindset: what it is, how it helps people live productively and successfully in the globalizing society, and how to develop an effective global mindset. Having a global mindset is a crucial competence of most businesses futures. What crucial competence means is the most sought after characteristic.
Any level of manger that does not act with a global strategy will be left in the dust in today’s globalizing markets. So what is a global mindset? Before we discuss what a global mindset is we must look at the reasons why we need a global mindset, so we can get a clearer picture of what we actually need. The world is becoming more interconnected and there have been recent changes in the world political systems. Incidents such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union; as well as revolutionary advances in communication technology. The implications for higher education in this changing world scene are significant as the new global workplace, driven by the up and coming information technology (IT) area, has made communication in daily life increasingly multinational and multicultural (Kim 617).
Informal education is also a way to start. By this we mean that you don’t have to go to formal classes to learn. Just by paying attention to people from other cultures in every day life we can enlarge our global mindset. In a class offered at the University of Rhode Island, BUS/COM 354, International Business Communication Exchange, students work in teams and individuals with students overseas. In an article written by Professor Chai Kim, who teaches this class, it is stated, “More than ever, students must be trained to work with partners across cultural and natural borders. To adequately prepare each student for the next century, educators must develop strategies to assure not only the mastery of abilities in functional areas of business and technology but also the command of intercultural communication skills.
Accomplishment of this goal is one of the biggest challenges facing institutions of higher education today. (Kim 617). This quote exemplifies the need for the global mindset and gives a concise outline of what it is. This semester in Professor Kim’s BUS/COM 354 class, students engaged in an e-mail debate with students from Braunschweig University in Germany and also engaged in an e-mail discussion with students from Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. We found a lot of information on global mindset, however, we did not find a concrete definition. But we did find a definition of mindset. “Mindset is the perception filter through which we see the world” (Chen and Starosta).
So what we did was pool all of our individual information and try to come up with a definition in our own terms. What we came up with is, “global mindset is the ideology that one must take with him/her into today’s society. Not necessarily business, but life in general. It incorporates intercultural sensitivity, intercultural awareness, and cultural diversity knowledge. It reduces ethnocentrism and eliminates parochialism, moreover, using a broad range of vision so you can view yourself not as a part of a singular nation among many nations, but a member of one global nation.
So now we have a definition we can go back to the reasons that we need a global mindset. The global mindset is possibly most widely seen in an institution like the World Trade Organization. The WTO in short is responsible for reducing taxes and tariffs, which in turn opens up global business markets. Here’s a brief look at some statistical information that shows how the world is financially diverse and how money distribution is very unequal. The gap between the rich and the poor is ever-widening.
In 1960, 20 per cent of the world’s population living in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20 per cent. By 1997, the richest were 74 times richer (Balls and Peel 1). The World Trade Organization attempts to shorten this gap by opening up trade barriers. However, there are many people out there with closed mindsets who do not want these trade barriers opened. Surprisingly many of these people are in the United States.
It is probably true that as the World Trade Organization’s goals become more attainable there will be some U.S. jobs and money lost. One must realize though, that the amount of world wide jobs and income earned by the lifting of these barriers will exceed the amount of U.S. loss ten fold. There were demonstraters at the WTO conference last week in Seattle, WA. People dressed up as sea turtles in revolt to the fact that if things go as planned for the WTO one of the trade results would be the U.S opening seafood trade with Malaysia.
Malaysian shrimp fisherman have nets that kill sea turtles. The important question is: In the grand scheme of things what is more important, the life of a sea turtle or the Malaysian fisherman being able to put food on his families table. These demonstraters, although their cause is very noble, they are not looking at this issue through globalized eyes. The example just written about shows us a possible future look at a globalized society, but there are many more intricacies needed to give us a global mindset. A lack of communism must occur for a real step to be taken. China is one of the few communist nations left on earth, however its population is tremendous.
There are well over one billion people in China. As of now, or shall we say three weeks ago, the U.S. did not trade with China, and vice versa. The Chinese market is one with such tremendous potential and capability, it just needs to be tapped. The U.S. and China talked trade and came to an agreement. One that hadn’t been able to be reached in thirteen years of on and off negations (Eckholm). So what does this have to do with global mindset? One might say what the heck does Malaysian shrimp fishing have to due with global mindset.
These examples are of real life events taking place now that show very clearly the path and direction our society is traveling in. You need concrete examples to show you some sort of idea how to get on this path. This leads us into the next part about what it takes from you, me, or a top-level, corporate manager to have a global mindset. The first and definitely the most important thing to have when trying to begin or expand your global mindset is “open-mindedness.” It seems too simple to be the most important detail in such a complex topic, however, you can’t get anywhere without being open-minded. Once you’ve become open-minded you must put all of your ethnocentric beliefs aside and totally eliminate parochialism.
By this we mean that everyone has ethnocentric beliefs. For example, if you have a valid driver’s license in the United States, you drive on the right side of the road. However, in the United Kingdom you drive on the left side of the road. You may think that your way is the best way, but in order to function in the United Kingdom, you must drive on the left side of the road. This is a mild example of ethnocentrism, the belief that my way is the best way. Unfortunately, parochialism exists.
This is the belief that, my way is the only way. The person who used this attitude would refuse to drive a car in the United Kingdom. Secondly, we need experience. This is key to developing a global mindset. You don’t develop a global mindset by sitting on your couch in Nowheresville, USA. Get out there and interact with other people.
A good example of this experience is through education, like we discussed earlier pertaining to the cross-cultural communication experienced in the BUS/COM 354 at URI. Another very important aspect of defining your global mindset is job experience. Almost all of …