MGT 321 SEU The Swatch Group and The Cultural Uniqueness Essay

Description


‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬
‫وزارة التعليم‬
‫الجامعة السعودية اإللكترونية‬
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of Education
Saudi Electronic University
College of Administrative and Financial Sciences
Assignment 2
Introduction to International Business (MGT 321)
Due Date: 09/04/2022 @ 23:59
Course Name: Introduction to International
Business
Course Code: MGT
Student’s Name:
Semester: Second
CRN:
Student’s ID Number:
Academic Year:2021-22-2nd
For Instructor’s Use only
Instructor’s Name:
Students’ Grade:
Marks Obtained/Out of 10
Level of Marks: High/Middle/Low
General Instructions – PLEASE READ THEM CAREFULLY








The Assignment must be submitted on Blackboard (WORD format only) via allocated
folder.
Assignments submitted through email will not be accepted.
Students are advised to make their work clear and well presented, marks may be reduced
for poor presentation. This includes filling your information on the cover page.
Students must mention question number clearly in their answer.
Late submission will NOT be accepted.
Avoid plagiarism, the work should be in your own words, copying from students or other
resources without proper referencing will result in ZERO marks. No exceptions.
All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font. No
pictures containing text will be accepted and will be considered plagiarism).
Submissions without this cover page will NOT be accepted.
Learning Outcomes:
1. Identify and evaluate the significant trade agreements affecting global
commerce
(Lo: 1.1)
2. Analyze the effects of culture, politics and economic systems in the context of
international business
(Lo: 2.1)
3. Identify the major components of international business management (Lo: 2.4)
Critical Thinking
Please read Case 4: “The Swatch Group and Cultural Uniqueness” available in your e-book
(International business: Competing in the global marketplace (13th ed.), at page no.630,
and answer the following questions:
Assignment Question(s):
1. With the Hayek family controlling nearly 40 percent of The Swatch Group, how do
you think the family’s influence impacts the corporate culture in the company?
What about the company’s international culture being impacted by the Hayek
family? Explain.
(Mark:2)
2. Many of the Swatch brands have become cultural icons among a strong core
following of customers in the global marketplace. Some even talk about the
“Swatch Revolution” that began when Nicolas Hayek founded the company. Why
do you think Swatch has such a strong cultural following? Give logic in support of
your answer.
(Mark:2)
3. As mentioned, Swatch wants you to create your own unique way of accessorizing
through its Swatch watch. Is a watch a way to show who a person is culturally?
Does a watch get embedded into a person’s culture? Can a watch create a cultural
image? Discuss.
(Mark:6)
Answers
1. Answer2. Answer3. Answer-
OPENING CASE
The Swatch Group (swatchgroup.com) with its headquar-
ters in Biel, Switzerland (Europe), is a manufacturer of
watches and jewelry. The company was founded in 1983 by
Lebanese-born Nicolas Hayek from the merging of Allge-
meine Gesellschaft der Schweizerischen Uhrenindustrie
and Société Suisse pour l’Industrie Horlogère. It is now the
world’s biggest watchmaker.
Nicolas’s daughter, Nayla Hayek, has been chair of the
board of directors of the Swatch Group since her father’s
death in 2010, and she is also CEO of the luxury jeweler
Harry Winston Inc., which was acquired by the Swatch
Group in 2013. Georges Nicolas “Nick” Hayek Jr. has been
the CEO and president of the Swatch Group since 2003.
Today, the Hayek family controls nearly 40 percent of the
company.
The Swatch Group and Cultural Uniqueness
Swatch and its 37 global subsidiaries employ about
37,000 people, and the company’s revenue is about 9 billion
Swiss francs (CHF), or about $9 billion in U.S. dollars. The
company’s headquarters in Biel sits on the language
border between French- and German-speaking parts of
Switzerland and is, by design, bilingual and culturally di-
verse. In fact, everything that Swatch engages in is based
on diversity and culture. This cultural diversity is embed-
ded in its overall brand and global strategizing.
For example, many of the Swatch brands have become
cultural icons among a strong core following of customers
in the global marketplace. Some even talk about the
“Swatch Revolution” that began when Nicolas Hayek
founded the company. It was the combination of legendary
Swiss watch making (with the Swiss being famous for
watch brands like Patek Philippe, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre,
e.g.) and the unexpected appearance of an affordable
plastic watch that turned the watch world upside down.
Suddenly, a watch was more than a way to measure
time. It was a new individualized culture, a new language,
and a way to speak from the heart without words. By defi-
nition, “swatch” means a sample of material or color, often-
times referring to a small piece of fabric. It is remarkable
how Swatch has been able to develop culturally unique
watches while also building the fabric for a globally inte-
grated world by its watch making.
O
The Swatch Group’s brands go far beyond the iconic
Swatch watches, though. They also include top Swiss
brands like Blancpain, Breguet, and Omega along with
O
O
OPSL Images/Alamy Stock Photo
unique and classic products such as Balmain, Calvin Klein
watches and jewelry, Certina, Flik Flak, Glashütte, Hamilton,
Harry Winston, Jaquet Droz, Léon Hatot, Longines, Mido,
Original, Rado, Tissot, Tourbillon, and Union Glashütte.
These brands form the “art” of Swatch-a focus that is al-
most always emphasized upfront in the company’s annual
report and something the Swatch Group nurtures in vari-
ous ways, such as via its Instagram account.
On Swatch’s Instagram (instagram.com/swatch), the
storyline is clear. Swatch wants you to create your own
unique way of accessorizing by the use of a Swatch watch.
A person can showcase his or her individualized Swatch
use by tagging #MySwatch. The new line of “Skin” watches
also helps users “dance with the unknown,” break down
barriers, and make #YourMove with Skin. The product is min-
imalist in style but unique, stylish, yet culturally diverse-
much like Swatch has created its cultural uniqueness for
decades in the global marketplace. Swatch’s own descrip-
tion of its brand captures this cultural uniqueness:
Everyone knows a Swatch when they see one. There’s
clearly something that makes Swatch different from every
other watch brand. What is it? The look, the colors, the
plastic? The design, perhaps, or the fact that it’s Swiss
made and versatile enough to be worn with almost any-
thing. There are Swatch watches for people of all ages,
and a Swatch for every occasion. But there’s more to
Swatch than market coverage. Swatch is an attitude, an
approach to life, a way of seeing. The sight of a Swatch
excites emotion. Wearing one is a way to communicate, to
speak without speaking. Heart to heart.
The Swatch Group is not just about being culturally di-
verse, or as a company marketing products globally to
customers of different cultures. In many respects the com-
pany is actually creating the values, beliefs, norms, and
artifacts that form a globally unique culture worldwide. So,
Swatch’s large-scale production of watches and jewelry is
used to help create individually and culturally-based cus-
tomer uniqueness.
Sources: Corinne Gretler, “Swatch CEO Nick Hayek Sees Swiss Watch
Turnaround in 2017,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, February 2, 2017;
Silke Koltrowitz, “Swatch Group Seeing Strong Demand So Far in
2017,” Reuters, March 16, 2017 (reuters.com/article/us-swatch-
results-idUSKBN16N15B); “The Amazing Adventures of the Second
Watch,” Swatch History 2017 (swatch.com/en_us/explore/history);
“Swatch Is Challenging Google and Apple with Its Own Operating
System,” Fortune, March 16, 2017.
91
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