Jerry Useem’s article addresses the issue on how factors such as government policy and culture affect business. David Rosen is an experienced and aggressive middle manager of an American Entertainment Company, who has successfully ventured in parts that others have failed such as Nigeria and Uganda. In 1933, Rosen decided to pursue the highly controlled Turkish market, where only state controlled TRT ran the television industry. The returns from this venture were very low at $500000 dollars a year since TRT purchased limited amounts of non-controversial programs and selected few programs that they saw as suitable for Turkish standards and tastes (Useem 2). Later Rosen met the Sun TV owner Mesut Bademli’s, who was interested in Rosen’s company products and was willing to take advantage of TRT’s weaknesses by relaying TV signals from Europe, purchasing massive bundles of programs as compared to TRT, and intended to air the content without censoring (Useem 3).
As a company executive or a business owner, it is important to understand a market before venturing into it. Rosen was aware of Turkeys market as highly controlled but he decided to take the risk. Although business was low, Rosen was patient and later met Bademli as potentially promising customer who would turn around business returns from Turkey. Bademli has a rich family background, is young, and has political connections in Turkey (Useem 3). Most of young population (58% of population) in Turkey is much open to westernization as opposed to the older population (Useem 6). Movie firms in America a liberal in the content they offer since censorship of movies results to the restriction of the freedom of expression (Useem 6).
The problem of Turkey as a market is the increased business control by government, thereby limiting competition and in the process; this reduces quality of goods and services. The government of Turkey is very keen in controlling the type of media consumed by the citizens for cultural, political, and religious reasons (Useem 6). Censorship of TV programs may be necessary since the messages shown in movies do affect the behavior of people as a study by Los Angeles Times revealed that movie crime and movie violence triggers the increase of actual crime and violence in the real world (Useem 6).
Useem, Jerry. Exporting American Culture. Harvard Business School. (1999). Text