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Leading fashion retailer

Introduction

Next is one of the leading fashion retailer based in United Kingdom having more than 500 stores in UK and Ireland. Next offers stylish and quality products including clothing, footwear, accessories and home products. It also has an extensive catalogue retailing division and launched online retailing in 1999. Being one of the very successful retail companies in UK, it is has got more than franchise branches in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Next started its retail business in 1982 by opening a womenswear store. However the origin of its business can be traced in 1864 when J Hepworth & Son, Gentleman's Tailors was established in Leeds. By 1985 , there were 52 stores and apart from womenswear, it started selling menswear, shoes and soft home furnishings. It was 1986 when the company changed its original name from J Hepworth & Son to Next Plc after acquisition of Grattan plc, a mail order company. The company launched mail-order shopping system by launching acatalogue containing 350 pages. Since then, the company has been growing and now they are doing business from other countries as well. It opened its first Scandinavian store in Denmark in 2004 offering menswear, womenswear and childrenswear. Now they also have online shopping facility.

Literature Review

Every organization exist in a dynamic and complex environment. The business environment refers to those factors which have great impact on organization and its activities. These factors can be within the organization or outside the organization. The internal factors such as competitors, customers, stakeholders, suppliers, etc which are considered to be controllable by the organization. On the other hand, the external environment which is not controlled by the organization consists of economical, technological, political, legal, social and cultural factors. Since all these elements of the business environment keep changing, the organization faces lots of problems to run its operations and achieve its targets.

One of the major determinant for organizational change is globalization. Today, the world has become a single market place. Different organizations and people from different countries share their ideas, knowledge, culture, behavior through communication and trade. globalization has a serious impact on the organization as it has close relationship with the organizational forces like cultural, technological, political, social, environmetal. Etc.

Globalization

Globalization is one of the highly debated issue for a long time. Globalization refers to a process by which the people and the organizations move toward a more integrated and interdependent world economy. According to Thomas Friedman, "Globalization is the interweaving of markets, technology, information systems and telecommunications systems in a way that is shrinking the world from a size medium to a size small, and enabling each of us to reach around the world farther, faster, deeper, and cheaper than ever before, and enabling the world to reach into each of us farther, faster, deeper, cheaper than ever before." With the advancement of growing technology, this process has speeded as the technology helped the people to move around, communicate with each other and expand their business internationally. This has increased the competition among the organizations but it has also provided with the opportunities. Some people stand for pro-globalization, who think globalization helps to have many opportunities where as some people stand for anti- globalization as they think it is not beneficial for the people, organization and the country.

Pro- globalists or the supporters of globalization think that it brings positive things into economy. They think it helps to increase the economic growth and brings lots of opportunities. If there is free trade among the countries, there will be more employment opportunities, higher output and higher living standard. The developing countries and the people can have best chance to improve their lives. The great advantage of globalisation is that countries that have a deficiency in a specific resource or skill can make use of foreign skills or resources to resolve their needs. The idea of free trade allows each country to contribute its assets to the global market, encouraging competition and providing developing countries with sources of certain products that they can't produce.

On the other hand, Some people consider globalization as a bad thing which is called anti-globalization. Most of the people argue that globalization is harmful to the developing nations as it brings more poverty, violence, unemployment, prostitutions, injustice and even a war. The anti- globalists believe that the poor countries suffer more from globalization. The local companies can not face the strong competition with multinational companies and they are likely to disappear. It is also believed that the local culture, traditions and values can be in danger because of globalization.

Some people think it may be either a good thing or a bad thing while some think it is an inevitable. It could be good for the developed countries but can be harmful for the developing countries. Globalisation has both positive and negative impacts. For example, Japan is considered one of those countries who are benefited from globalisation in economic terms. But even in Japan, the drawbacks of globalization can be seen. There are some people who think it can not be a good or bad thing but it depends on how it is accepted and implemented in a particular country. Unfortunately, in developing countries, some big companies tend to exploit the people as well as the resources of their country to fulfill the demand for cheap products and other necessities of western life. it is easy to blame the large multinationals companies, but in fact, it is consumer demand for these products that drives such exploitation.

Looking back over the past 20 years, globalization has improved and affected everyone. For example, the cell phones with which we are always been able to be in touch with everyone whether they are next door to us or around the world. Computers are able to store and organize mass amount of information in one place. Along with the computers, the internet has allowed to connect with each other and learn about every aspect of every culture in the world. Even in the urban community, globalization has appeared. In urban areas, e-mail is the official form of communication as they can reach and communicate faster than flies or postals and many of the urban colleges and campuses, there has been an emphasis to study abroad in another countries. The colleges address the importance of learning other countries cultures, customs and traditions. The cultures of other countries have also been brought into campuses. We can see different people of different ages, colour and background talking and eating together. These are just few examples of how globalization has affected all of us.

The economies of world is becoming more independent. What happens in one economy affects what happens in other economy. In Europe, 25 nations with different culture and identities have come together to form the European Union(EU). Most countries have now market economies. Since the failure of communism in late 1980's, many former communist countries have adopted market systems. They are having mixed success. For example, the level of development in Russia and Ukraine dropped between 1990 and 2001. China and Vietnam both have improved. There are still vast differences in the quality of life between rich and poor nations. However people have started to improve their quality of life no matter how slowly. Similarly, between 1978 and 1998, average life expectancy has improved. This was because fewer children were dying before their first birthday. Income level have also increased in most places. But the income of people in rich countries have increased much more than the income of people in poor nations.

In addition, globalization has a huge impact on employment market. The jobs are now being traded because of globalization. Some people argue that the globalization is leading more and more job loss. The nations where the labour cost is very high are tend to seek employees from other countries where labour cost is low. It leads to many job losses, income inequality, and work intensification which create too much pressure and anxiety on workers and unions. The unemployment rate increases in developed countries and there will be shortage of high skilled manpower in developing nations as they work for bigger companies from developed countries at comparatively low wage. Many jobs have been lost in United states because of out sourcing . In UK, both the private and public sector organizations have recruited many people from developing countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Phillippines, South Africa and other English speaking countries to fulfill the requirement of different positions in different workplace such as teaching, healthcare, and IT. UK railway industry have recruited many skilled workforce from India to fulfill the skill shortages. Indian railway workers are providing a solution to the growing recruitment problems in the railway industry in the UK, e.g., firms have gone to India to recruit signal engineer, a skill which is in short supply world-wide (People Management, 2000). Globalization has made easy to transfer the goods and services from one place to another place across the world. There is also free movement of factors of production which has created new forms of economic activities in different nations. Today many manufacturing industries are transforming into service industries and it has reduced the union membership in developed countries. Because of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in some developing countries, the wage rate has increased and resulted in more income inequality.

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