The paper “ Microsoft - Major Geopolitical Issue, First Reaction to Geo-Political Risks, Response to Geopolitics in America and Global Geopolitical Environment” is a breathtaking example of a case study on management. The intensified globalization and aggressive competition between international corporates have made the process of international business very complex. An active but mostly undermined force in this context is the geo-politics and events happening globally. Political events taking place around the world have numerous influences on businesses across the world. The geopolitical environment focuses on how foreign policies are being established and changed based on international political behavior.
The issue of the business remains an international concept, but when it comes to laws, regulations, and policy, it is a matter of individual state (Dodds, 2001). Therefore, most businesses operating internationally face increased complexities and risks in terms of geopolitical impediments such as sanctions, terrorism, foreign policy, taxation, as well as compliance. Overall, the geopolitical aspect has proved to be an important factor for corporate leaders as well as corporate governance. This is in terms of determining and making decisions that reduce the risks of corporates from the impacts of geopolitical events.
The following research paper aims at investigating how Microsoft corporation leadership has responded to numerous geopolitical events. Microsoft Major Geopolitical IssueMicrosoft Inc. is a multinational tech company that operates in over 60 countries while its products are sold internationally. According to Thorel (2015), geopolitical issues and events have cost Microsoft millions of dollars in losses. In 1995, the launch of Microsoft’ s Windows 95 operating systems came with increased criticism due to geopolitical factors. Its launch in India was sparked with increased political tension as the time zone option illustrated a map of India that excluded some main parts such as Kashmir not being part of India (Thorel, 2015).
The main concern was that the zones illustrated as not being part of India were disputed territories with Pakistan and China also claiming to be part of their territory (Microsoft, 2000). The operating system was banned in India while the government requested for an official apology. Microsoft was forced to recall all its 200,000 copies of the operating system and make an official apology to the Indian government.
This was a costly lesson for the tech giant that was increasingly taking over the computer and technology industry. Nonetheless, these events were the foundation of Microsoft’ s response or reaction to future geopolitical events and issues. Fig 1 Time Zone Map illustrating Kashmir as not part of India Microsoft’ s First Reaction to Geo-Political RisksFollowing the events in 1995, Microsoft leadership developed a Geopolitical Product Strategy (GPS) team under its pioneer, Tom Edwards (Microsoft, 2000). The Geopolitical Product Strategy department was developed to help Microsoft understand and tackle geopolitical issues and events in developing and marketing its products.
With its products being targeted at global customers, Microsoft has to utilize maps, artwork, scenarios, languages, and scenarios that focus on delicate international events and issues. According to Munoz (2013), there is a need for international corporates and their leaders to recognize the awareness of geopolitical issues and the need for their products and services to match local social and cultural anticipations and beliefs. This means that corporate leadership must work on satisfying the cultural, social, and political needs of individual countries in terms of its product and service design.
Moreover, corporate leadership also plays a crucial role in the management of geopolitical impacts (Bremmer, 2016). Leadership involves vision, foresight, and decisiveness where current leaders of global businesses are expected to possess a basic understanding of geopolitics and how it might influence their businesses and how geopolitical responsibility can be nurtured in their corporate DNA (Munoz, 2013). Microsoft has taken a bold decision and move in establishing the GPS to handle the little details and marketing evaluations that can potentially escalate into serious business issues based on the international nature of the business.
The GPS department is also responsible for guaranteeing that Microsoft’ s products appropriately represent its international customers’ understandings of the world (Microsoft, 2000). This means researching the most simple and ignored issues that could be taken negatively by consumers who do not share the same view as that of the company. For instance, the GPS team recognized that numerous websites accessed by its customers in Mexico referred Mexico as part of Central America, which was geographically and politically incorrect since Mexico is part of North America (Microsoft, 2000).
Therefore, such little issues can be taken negatively by customers or even political institutions. The GPS leadership at Microsoft is also tasked with offering background guidelines and information on how to illustrate delicate areas, and ensure that its product offering is up-to-date on laws that influence their content in specific geographical regions (Microsoft, 2000). The team has launched a long-term plan of delivering products for the international market that meet the local expectation on geopolitical matters.