8. “Members of a society borrow from other cultures to solve problems that they face in common.” What does this mean? What is the significance to marketing?
Because different cultures experience different events and hold different values, they provide a unique perspective towards a variety of problems. They may view a problem differently and provide insight that would be new to those from other cultures. An example would be “kaizen”. It is a Japanese word that essentially means “continuous improvement”, which can apply to many different aspect of business. It is improving all and different aspect of the business from employees to using resources to distribution, etc through small changes. This idea began after WWII when Americans were helping the Japanese rebuild. The Japanese further develops idea, and strategies were born to implement the idea, canceling the usual concept of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Now, business use the idea globally.
This example shows that sharing ideas with each other can improve overall quality of solutions and answers in the world–not just limited to business. For marketing, it is especially significant because despite different cultures’ experiences and values, consumers are all human in a way that we essentially have similar–if not the same–wants and needs. It is the marketers’ responsibility to meet these and create new ways to show that what the marketers represent can deliver. With the diversity of world cultures, what may be old to one, may be new to the other, so cultures can share with each other, adopt each others’ ideas, and improve on them.
18. Defend the proposition that a multinational corporation has no responsibility for the consequences of an innovation beyond the direct effects of the innovation, such as the product’s safety, performance, and so forth.
Although I think this is difficult to defend, there is some justification that a multinational corporation has no responsibility for the consequences of an innovation. If corporation had to be constantly cautious of creating
something new or developing a new concept, corporations would have limited rate of success and/or achievement, and this goes the same way for society’s advancement. Corporations must make calculated risks of the impact of their innovation, yet some external factors may be uncontrollable as well, such as how consumers use these products of innovation. It is possible that consumers may exploit them or use them in a way the corporations may not have intended them to be used.
Cultural consequences that multinational corporations are harder to consider. In an ideal world, people would be more open-minded and accepting of new innovations. These innovations would not carry negative connotations and are simply made to advance society. This is how multinational corporations lack of responsibility for new innovations can be justified. While it’s true that corporations seek to make profit, new innovations are also meant to help or improve something, someone, or an idea in a way. If the consumers and their culture do not respond well to the innovation, it will reflect on their sales (and their brand). The responsibility would be on how the consumers respond and use the new innovation.