The world is rapidly growing smaller and international boundaries are increasingly more transparent to the flow of goods and services. There are few companies of any significance in their scope of business that do not have "foreign" operations. But the word "foreign" now has a foreign ring about it--something that no longer describes "nondomestic" operations. Numerous companies have made the transition from a single foreign operation marketing domestically made goods to a far-flung operation with manufacturing and marketing centers of activity located on every continent. This change in the basic structure of companies and the way they conduct their operations is reflected in business vocabulary. The word "foreign" was replaced by "international," then by "multinational," and soon, if it has not been already, it will be replaced by "global." Many U.S. companies report over half of their profits from overseas operations. Many non-U.S. companies have significant operations within the United States--the Japanese automobile companies come easily to mind. Huge consortia of companies are being formed on a transnational basis, such as is occurring in the computer industry between American, Japanese, and German companies. Many corporations already have over half of their operations outside the borders of their nations of domicile and face the prospect that this trend of greater emphasis on transnational operations will continue. The implications are that the companies are in danger of losing their national identities. At that point, companies become global.
This trend toward globalization has a major impact on how a manager fits into an organization. A rising manager within the domestic operations of a U.S. company, for example, will eventually reach a level where he or she is responsible for an operation where distance makes it impossible for him or her to manage through daily observation. An occasional visit may greatly enhance his or her