IB notes: Turmoil in Ukraine

For converged communicators who are also in International Business (that’s GEB3373), here’s an item to consider. Reports from the Ukrainian capital of Kiev (Kyiv) tonight indicate that protesters have taken control of the building that houses the nation’s department of justice. If this is true, it indicates that the Ukrainian unrest has reached a new level.

For those interested, here’s a link to the story from the Daily Telegraph in Great Britain (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/10598354/Ukraine-protests-behind-the-frozen-barricades-morale-is-high.html), and one from France24 (http://www.france24.com/en/20140126-ukraine-protests-east-president-strongholds-viktor-yanukovich).

Now, from the international business perspective. Obviously, this kind of situation creates serious concerns for MNEs doing business in Ukraine – their assets could be damaged by rioting, or government action to quash the protests could have chilling effects on businesses (not to mention humanitarian concerns). Plus, if a new government is formed, it’s possible that some government policies could be subjected to any number of changes – from minor tweaks to flat-out overhaul.

If you’re making decisions for a MNE operating in Ukraine, how would you respond? Would you make preparations to scale back or withdraw your operations? Would these clashes lead to fears about operating in other countries in Eastern Europe?

Food for thought, ahead of Monday’s discussion on the cultural environments facing international business.


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