This edition of the Neumann Business Review contains five contributions which collectively focus on various aspects of two important topics. Three of the papers examine the international economy. The authors examine a range of issues from the appropriate behavior in and the impact of trade on other cultures, to the examination of immigration in this country and American reaction to it.
The remaining two papers constitute follow-ups to and expansions of ideas initially examined in the last edition of the Neumann Business Review. The ethics of some major American corporations, particularly as they relate to children, are questionable and contradict the images that the corporations craft for themselves. The marketing tactics used to craft these images are also examined by our authors. The papers featured in this edition come from three current students, a recent Neumann College graduate, and a current student at Gwynedd Mercy College.
The first paper presented is The Effect of Culture on Business Relationships, written by Ashley Bowie. Ms. Bowie details some of the most important differences in what is acceptable behavior in various cultures. By looking at cultural norms in some of the countries with which United States trades, she addresses an issue of importance to any company that sees international business as a major component of their operations. From behaviors as simple as arrival times for social gatherings, to the appropriate means of negotiation, different cultures produce different expectations about the right way to act. It is important for the individual traveling in other countries to be sensitive to what is deemed proper, if that individual wants to be successful in conducting business.
In another international trade related paper, The Impact of International Trade on Country, Company and Individual, author Mark J. Auger discusses how companies and governments attempt to work together to encourage international trade. Very often, however, that interaction has less than optimal impact on individuals or certain groups of people in a country. At times the interaction may even have a negative effect on the business that the government is trying to encourage. Unexpected effects of trade, trade agreements and international trade organizations are explored in this, the second paper dealing with the international economy.
In her paper, McDonald’s: A Good Image with Bad Ethics, Aimee Gibison uses the example of the McDonald’s corporation to examine the gap that can emerge between a corporation’s image and the effect of that corporation’s actions. Ms. Gibison explores the potential negative impact of these actions on customers, the culture of the country in which the restaurants are located and the environment itself. In this, the first of two papers that provide a follow-up to a paper presented in the last edition of the Neumann Business Review, the author expands on the problems created by this and other fast food giants.
The next paper is Media Advertising: Affecting Our Youth’s Health, authored by Jillian Hibbs. Expanding on ideas raised in an earlier edition, Ms. Hibbs focuses on advertising to children. Children are targeted by marketers to become current and future consumers. Unfortunately, much of what is marketed to them is unhealthy. The techniques used to reach those children are numerous and all encompassing, from commercials featuring their favorite characters to web sites promoted as game sites which exist primarily to sell products.
In the final paper in this edition, Christopher Martinez explores a different component of the international economy. In his paper, Mexican Immigration, Mr. Martinez sheds light on many of the myths related to immigration, particularly immigration by Mexicans. Often, these immigrants are holding jobs that Americans are not willing to take and are not receiving benefits commensurate with the tax dollars that they pay. Most work hard for the low wages they receive. Mr. Martinez reminds us that most of us are the descendents of immigrants who came to these shores for the same reason as do current immigrants- to make a better life for ourselves and our families.
The papers included in this edition discuss topics that are of concern to all of us. While we may not always agree with the authors’ conclusions, the information provided adds to our understanding and encourages thought and discussion about the issues raised. As always, we would like to encourage other current and former undergraduate students to submit their own work for future editions.
Ellen S. Sloss, Ph.D. Editor-in-Chief