Page 2: The Shrinking World
The most significant developments in the business environment over recent years have been the internationalisation and globalisation of businesses. Internationalisation refers to the process of increasing involvement in international operations. Globalisation is an approach that actively seeks conformity in products, markets, promotion and branding, based on the belief that differences in markets around the world are disappearing. Both trends are reflected in rapid growth in world trade, investment and in joint ventures between companies in different countries. These allow companies in different countries to gain competitive and technological advantages and to increase market share.
Information technology has been fundamental, enabling financial services companies to trade globally and reducing the number of people needed to deal with increasing volumes of trade. It has also standardised and increased products and services across the world, allowing organisations to build economies of scale and increase efficiency. However, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is aware that subtle differences between regions and cultures must be considered. The standardisation of systems that increase volume, transcend time differences and international borders must not compromise the uniqueness of the global services it offers.