Globalization Pendulum Swings over Pyeongchang

by: James Connaughton, Know Nothing Digest staff writer

Procter & Gamble, a firm founded by a British American and an Irish American in 1837, produces and distributes hygienic and personal care and products as well as popular cleaning agents.  Tide laundry detergent is one of the best-known cleaning agents on the market and of Procter & Gamble’s products.  Always menstrual hygiene products, Bounty paper towels, Crest toothpaste, and Dawn dish soap are just a sample of the household names that are currently offered by P&G on the global market.  Procter & Gamble’s product names do vary in different countries, as Tide is known as Ace in Puerto Rico, Alo in Turkey and Vizir in Poland.


The International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) has awarded Procter & Gamble the “Global Excellence in Outsourcing Award” for best practices in outsourcing.  P&G products net sales have exceeded 50 Billion USD in the past 5 years, with on-the-ground-services spread over 80 countries.  Procter & Gamble’s products are sold in at least 180 of the 195 countries on the planet.


As if offering their products all over the planet were not enough, Procter & Gamble has even gone to outer-space in an effort to improve the particle dispersion of their products.  P&G has utilized the International Space Station (ISS) as a science laboratory for an investigation into advanced colloid experimentation with Microscopy technology.  Researchers study how to use colloidal particles as stabilizers in P&G products to improve shelf-life stability.  The colloidal particles are used to keep large and active particles from settling to the bottom in a self-descriptive process known as sedimenting (NASA.)


Colloids are used in gels that make-up everyday products like medicine, shampoos, liquid detergent and other various cleaners. When such products sit on the shelf for an extended period of time the gels start to coarsen and separate.  This texture alteration occurs when smaller particles that are suspended in liquid join together to become larger particles.  The Procter & Gamble research and development department hope to learn from the microgravity space experiments and improve 4.8 billion people’s favorite cleaning products here on earth.

Procter & Gamble began its global expansion in the 1990s and soon after, set up a Shared Services organization to reduce redundant personnel and build strategic alliance management.  During the first stage of Procter & Gamble’s best-in-class service management organization development, there were three service centers set-up in Manila, Newcastle and Costa Rica.  Procter & Gamble then explored the value derived from outsourcing relationships with IBM for employee services, Hewlett Packard for IT infrastructure and Jones Lang LaSalle for facilities management.


Through developing outsourcing relationships and practicing related industry diversification, Procter & Gamble developed a Global Business Services (GBS) organization.  The GBS organization services are provided through a set of alliance partnerships and range from people management, travel services, meeting services, facilities, financial services, supply network solutions, and as discussed in the space about Space above: product innovation.


The Procter & Gamble Global Business Services organization creates value for the firm and improves the consumer experience by improving efficiency within the firm and the firm’s interactions with outsourced firms. Successfully managing the end-to-end relationships reduces risks associated with third party service organizations.


In 2016 Procter & Gamble’s volume shrunk by 1% by mid-year, while competitors Unilever and Kimberly-Clark were up 2.2% and 4% respectively.  Innovation was seen as lacking that year in comparison to competitor Johnson & Johnson, who got ¼ of its 2016 sales from products that Johnson & Johnson introduced over the past five years.  The shrinkage in Procter & Gamble’s sales is problematic despite the success of Pamper’s diapers innovation, Gillette (which was actually sold off), and Tide pods.  Innovation at P&G is indeed in trouble considering the firm sold off one of its 2016 innovation lines (Gillette) and its other market share winning line is now considered a teenage delicacy (Tide pods.)


A further fiscal death rattle could be heard from the Procter & Gamble R&D department as Johnson & Johnson pushed 9 Billion USD in research and development as Procter & Gamble continued with preceding years’ 2 Billion USD research and development budget (Kalogeropoulos.)


Although P&G was still on track to lose market share to rivals in 2017, it was felt that Procter & Gamble was in better shape after passing Kimberly-Clark in sales and almost equaling Unilever’s.  A 10 Billion USD cost-cutting program pushed P&G’s gross profit margin up nearly a full percentage point making Procter & Gamble one of the most profitable in its peer firm group.  Procter & Gamble continues to succeed in large part because of the firm’s 5 Billion USD advertising budget.


One strategy that Procter & Gamble has utilized in 2018 was to reach out to Bottom-of-the Pyramid consumers in their Olympic advertisements aired during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.  North Korean human rights violations have become as contentious as globalization itself, but in a surprising show of regional unity North and South Korea came together to compete in the Pyeongchang Olympic games.  Procter & Gamble took the opportunity to reach out to the global audience and make a statement about corporate social responsibility in the style of management consultant Peter Drucker.  Drucker emphasized the need to turn social problems into economic opportunities.  Procter & Gamble shows the way to liberate the citizens of North Korea is not with the threat of nuclear confrontation, but by giving the people a chance to build productive capacity and build human competence.  P&G’s Millenial strategy is to show that managing social responsibility is the next step our leaders need to take in addition to just managing the message of being a good corporate citizen or leader of nation (Igel.)

As entrepreneurs, our strategies must follow the swing of the globalization pendulum.  As policy-makers we must seek to improve and enforce existing laws and encourage nations to become better global citizens.  All of us in the business community must strive to better the lives of our global human community.  I would like to think the underlying idea behind globalization is that we are all a global family.  We have the opportunity to empower our family members to better their local communities using the strategies we and others have learned.  Procter & Gamble should succeed in increasing market share in the emerging economies moving forward with this message.







The Dark Side of the boom 

By James Connaughton, – Know Nothing Digest Staff Writer

When we talk about the dark side of globalization in academia we often point to the Seattle protests at the beginning of this century as the touchstone for the anti-globalization movement. The protests were held during a World Trade Organization conference as had happened before and has continued globally since. One dark side of globalization is the violence and disrupted business environment that accompanies the protest of globalization.  
Another dark side to globalization are the Foxconn employee suicides that horrify iPhone fans across the world. Hope destroying work conditions drive employees to end their lives at a rate that mirrors US military suicides during the same time period, an alarming statistic considering the size of the Foxconn workforce is proportional to the US military.
Darker still are the lowering of domestic wages and lost jobs to the lower paid workers in China, who are working in suicidal conditions. The products produced are more cheaply made, but in many cases turn out to be unsafe and at times poisonous. Some studies link exposure to heavy metals found in imported Chinese toys leading to violent crime in childrens’ later lives. Outsourcing has also lead to coal pollution in China creating a respiratory health crises in many areas.
But globalization has pulled millions out of abject poverty in China and in emerging markets around the globe. Desperately needed infrastructure is developed alongside industry in many impoverished nations rich with employable individuals. The adaption of marketing strategies by global firms has extended product distribution channels through untraditional regional partners, namely under-employed women, and allowed them to bring home livable wages for the first time in their lives. Firms have utilized globalization practices to market to bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers and not only reach this “new market segment”, but improve sanitation and quality of life in these regions on a large scale.
The benefits of globalization are not only seen through the lense of firm and consumer segment development in emerging markets, but even in the popular culture references to its opposition. Protest movements create awareness of and begin dialogue about the dangers of this new/old business strategy, globalization. 

Throughout history humans have seen it grow and decline before, and if the pendulum theory holds true we will see globalization fluctuate again. Globalization protest efforts have lead to employment growth in the legal defense industry as well as destruction repair firm growth. If, through globalization you build it, they will come, and they will shop and they will knock it down for us all to rebuild again.  

Do i stay…or do i go?

Expats and Expat kids, “Do they still have seniority or friends when they get back home?” or “Who gets the promotion upon our return?” -by Manga Meinform, staff writer


As a father of multiple children, my concern for their wellbeing would be a deciding factor in my decision to work abroad.  The length of the assignment would determine if I would attempt to relocate them with me out of country, as well as the political and economic environment of the foreign country in question.

Historically, I assumed foreign assignment would be an advantage when promotional considerations occur within the firm.  However, I have learned that unforeseen situations can change the domestic business environment and render expatriates at least temporarily inappropriate for certain advancements that they may have been qualified for, if they had stayed in country.

Fear of being passed over for promotion or obtaining senior position after returning from foreign assignment should optimally be addressed before and after embarking on the assignment.  As mentioned, there are situations where being out of the home country for an extended period of time creates disadvantages for newly repatriated employees to advance in position at the firm.  The employer and expatriate must practice negotiation skills and strive to work together to understand and communicate concerns on both sides for the common good of the firm and the individual.

Finally, I have come across the fear-of-interference-with-stability mentioned more than once in the discussion of employee foreign assignment concerns.  In business, as in life, the fear of the unknown stops many things from happening before they ever begin.  The spirit of the entrepreneur is to face the unknown and to work through fear and difficulties as they arise.

The entrepreneur faces these fears not because they have all of the answers to the countless questions, but because of faith in ability.  A successful expatriate must have faith in their ability to adapt to the new environment, faith in their family’s ability to adapt, and also faith in the strength of their company.

No retreat, only a treat.

Business and science fiction

Business and science fictionBy Hans Yambler – staff writer

In the modern age the terrible crime of not mixing business and fiction is constantly committed by proletariats and elites alike. 
Insurance salesman and jewelry merchants are all hedging their bets against the rising cost of fuel. Up-and-down, up-and-down the seesaw of the have not’s is reducing its minimum speed.  
Willy Wonka and Johnny Cash are being used to sell us access to dreams that never were are very own. It seems like self service is on the rise but honesty and transparency is being filtered.  
We now have the games of peace reuniting the broken kingdom and we hope that the glue holds, maybe we should put some more rubber bands around it. 
There is no actual substance on this platform, but we are rich with filler. A recent study shows that actual opportunities are limited. In this new gig economy it’s prudent to start your own satellite launching firm.  

Future of Work – science or fiction?

What is the Future of Work?

By James Connaughton, Know Nothing Digest staff writer


In today’s market-place we are constantly being reminded of the globalization of business and the resulting fluctuations in the labor market.  After the lure-of-cheap-labor in the emerging market steals all of America’s factory work, we are told that the machines are coming for the rest our jobs.  Should we rise up against the machines or increase our xenophobic trading policies?  Maybe, just maybe, we should take a look at what it means to have a job.


Claire Burge, CEO and Founder at Wndyr, believes employers are wanting employees who are creative problem solvers and require less management.  Burge points out that as machines are claiming traditional human jobs, many jobs are being invented today that never existed before.  Wndyr’s CEO sees work as a giant playground and seeks to transform the modern workplace through human acceleration and education.


Burge references chaos theory, defined as a complex system where multiple micro changes happen regularly in a seemingly unpredictable manner, in characterizing modern global work patterns.  Claire Burge leads a team at a firm called “This is Productivity” that focuses on three areas of work: Humans, Workspaces and Technology.  This is Productivity is building a platform enabling automation between all of the various technologies humans use in their workspaces.


Siemens, Asos, Roche, Credit Suisse, EY and other leading technologies utilize Burge’s Future of Work thinking, planning and interaction models.


John Hagel, leader of the Center for the Edge at Deloitte and former senior vice president of strategy at Atari, Inc., works to identify emerging business opportunities and consults for groups such as McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group.  His focuses have ranged from operational performance improvement and strategic management.


Hagel advocates learning to understand the digital economy and the social dimension of information and technology.   His research has shed light on the business implications of the disruptive technologies emerging in today’s global environment.  Hagel is an acolyte of Peter Drucker’s Management Challenges for the 21st Century and his Post-Capitalist Society.


This is the first of a series of investigations into what the Future of Work is going to look like in America post 2020, and more specifically what it might mean for would-be-employees in Oklahoma.