By Mia Perry
Feb. 5, 2020
The world as we know it is about to change. The United Kingdom is on course to exit the European Union by mid-March. While EU residents may be concerned about social changes, businesses now also must adapt and in some cases leave the UK.
Sony, a Japanese company, is the latest company to move its headquarters out of Britain to avoid customs issues. The BBC published an article last week about Brexit and its influence on this company and others. One of Sony’s largest rivals, another Japanese electronic company called Panasonic, has already moved its headquarters to Amstedam. Several other Japanese banks such as Jaiwa Security and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group have also said they plan to move their EU bases out of London.
In response to social and governmental change: Is the decision to move headquarters bad? Globalization and its impacts sometimes cannot be seen for many years, but the immediate effects of Brexit are exposed as the business environment changes.
Japan’s Prime Minister, Mr. Shinzo Abe, showed concern for a no-deal Brexit because Japanese companies have employed about 150,000 workers in the UK who could be impacted by this decision. If no trade deal is struck between the EU and the UK, motor vehicle giants Honda and Toyota have plans in place to halt output at their UK plants.
The cases of Honda and Toyota highlight the importance of stakeholders, because many people are considered when the decision to halt or move the company is made. I think that these companies have been contemplating the halt for a while now, because they know that primary stakeholders–such as employees, customers, and shareholders–and secondary stakeholders–like the government and the community–will have competing concerns.
Another business lens through which you can look at the next step of businesses going through Brexit is the cultural relativism they will face. The companies who are leaving Britain will likely be faced with the challenge of deciding whether to continue the company culture, morals and values they upheld in the UK, or if will they conform to their surroundings in the new countries.
According to the BBC article, Sony released a statement saying, “we can continue our business without disruption once the UK leaves the EU. All our European business functions, facilities, departments, sites and location of our people will remain unchanged from today.”
Click here to view the BBC article: Sony to move Europe headquarters to avoid Brexit disruption (https://www.bbc.com/news/business-46968720)