Training Strategy for Four Seasons Essay

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This piece of work aims to explore cross-cultural awareness and communication skills as crucial qualities for international manager in nowadays global hospitality and tourism industry. Managers are facing challenging times in managing very diverse workforce in hospitality and tourism industry. This was resulted due to the increasing globalization which aroused continuing growth of world’s market, advancement in telecommunication, increased management availability and flexibility, technological know-how in different parts of the world and many other which encouraged people as a labor to move around the globe.

This essay also objects to provide an extended overview on major importance of cross-cultural and intercultural awareness, knowledge and training strategies as part of IHRM strategy that are foundations of successful long-run current and future international hospitality managers. On the other hand, this essay will also briefly introduce reader to the cost of failure of expatriates to the organization and expatriates personal life. First of all, we should define what International Human Resource (IHRM) is. Literature providea variety of definitions.

Bhattacharyya (2010, p. 241) defines IHRM as “the process of sourcing, allocating, and effectively utilizing human resources in multinational organization”. Author also states that main purpose of IHRM is “to enable companies, very often multinational corporations (MNC’s), to be successful globally”. Stahl & Bjorkman (2006, p. 1) when defining IHRM also includes its importance to MNC’s “definition of IHRM covers a wide range of human resource issues facing MNC’s in different parts of their organizations”.

A slightly different overview brings Torrington (1994:6) where he suggests that ‘In many ways IHRM is simply HRM on a larger scale; the strategic considerations are more complex and the operational units more carried, needing coordination across more barriers’. HRM is defined by Various (2010, p. 115) as “Human Resource management in the recruitment, selection, development, utilization, competsation and motivation of human resource of the organization”. Sims (2007, p. 79) in his work provides main differences between IHRM and domestic HRM.

He states that IHRM “(1) encompasses more functions, (2) has more heterogeneous functions, (3) involves constantly changing perspectives, (4) requires more involvement in employee’s personal lives, (5) is influenced more by external sources, and finally, (6) involves a greater level of risk than typical domestic HRM”. Stolt (2010:3) also suggests that IHRM is far more complex than domestic HRM ‘due to the interaction with different variables like government and regulatory bodies’.

According to the report of World Travel & Tourism Council, 2003 the international travel, tourism and hospitality industries are the world’s largest industries. It is also a foremost employer generating jobs and careers for over 194 million employees worldwide and produced more than $4,5 trillion in 2003 (Graen, 2004). Even though companies and businesses in the industry are relatively small in terms of the amount of employees and usually are independent, there are some major dominating global operators that do influence industry itself by means of brand image, name and service improvements as well as novelty.

The achievements and long-term successful operations of these global businesses very much depend on creating and improving multiple, broadly replicated services around the globe to attract investments and market share (Edgell, 2006; Yu, 1999). Yu (1999) has proposed that hospitality and tourism industries are international by its nature. For that reason, “today’s hospitality managers must be skilled at managing a multi-cultural workforce, responsive to the diversity of their customers and respectful of the local cultures in which their operate” (Pizam, 2005 p. 80).

The globalization of hospitality and tourism enterprises resulted increased interaction with diverse cultural backgrounds customers, employees and investors (Pizam, 2005). In other words, it imitated in personal and professional lives. It is important being aware of essentiality of understanding that everyone is a part of cosmopolitan environment where different traditions, philosophies must be shared and learned by all individuals.

A lot of authors suggest that successful management of complex and diverse workforce results to many advantages like improved performance and success in international markets, including greater capability to fulfill the needs of multi-cultural customers also, it boosts success of decision-making, creativity, organizational flexibility and in some cases even minimizes amount of employee turnover and absenteeism. Moreover, enhances ability to attract foreign high-performance employees or a complex of both local and foreign which depends on the availability of local talent and n business needs.

Finally, third-country nationals can bring not only international outlook into organization but also multilingualism and broad experience (Pizam, 2006; Buhalis, 2003; Yu, 1999; Sparrow, 2009). Therefore, we can say that intercultural knowledge and awareness is understood as being sensitive and attentive that a person shows about diversity of cultures and people representing them and acting in the right way along with it.

In order to develop intercultural knowledge and awareness as well as communication skillfulness there are a few factors that need to be considered and taken into the account. Pizam (2005), Brotherton (2003) and Perkins & Shortland (2006) particularly pay attention to developing abilities to deal with general and specific cultures and state that it is a crucial part of success of international operations in global arena. General cultural knowledge is all about training and considering main cultural knowledge and skills that can be transferable around many other cultures.

While Brotherton (2003) states that applicants that are selected for a managerial position where intercultural interaction is essential part, in order to void cultural shock, should embrace culture-general characteristics and obstacles confronting them in instant training and development program like inform trainees of legislations (e. g. , human rights, labor laws), language training, data (e. g. , demographics), traditions (national days off, national events), history, climate and geography, food and diet norms, cuisine, sex roles, housing, schooling etc.

Intercultural experience and knowledge of applicants should be taken into account as important selection criterion. This paragraph will particularly focus on implications and obstacles confronting western hotel companies and managers entering Russian hospitality industry. These obstacles will include: cultural and legal issues which therefore must be embraced in managerial training and development program and will come with an western management implications where neeeded.

According to Jackson (2002) Russia is placed reasonably high degree for utilitarian involvement (as alongside to loyal involvement), which points out a perceived instrumental relations with one’s organization. Furthermore, Russia is on high degree of their conservatism dimension (as alongside to egalitarian commitment), pointing out possibly a high degree of vertical collectivism, where people have a greater preference to work with others or in groups.

May, Borman Young and Ledgerwood (1998) suggest a great amount of critical matters or difficulties of Russian human resource management that they recommend Western enterprises to pay particular attention when entering Russian business market. First of all, underestimation of the difficulty of a free market, with a tendency to rely on imported solutions. While western managers should persuade development a mix of HRM engaging both free market practices as well as Russian culture.

Second issues raised by Prokhorov (2003) is Russian employees being less committed to the organizations which may result due to the lack of personal responsibility and liability at their workplaces. This is a big cultural challenge for western managers that is needed to overcome. Therefore, Yu (1999) in her work suggests western managers when dealing with eastern post-Soviet workforce mentality to include reward systems, promotions, enhancing employee importance in organization as an important part of a whole entity, which everyone builds and manages.

Prokhorov (2003) mentions about difficult and confusing legal issues which are ‘hardly understood by western management practices’. These include ignorance of health and safety where western companies could take initiative and approach these issues in a holistic way with a company’s prosperity and competitiveness. Moreover, Jackson (2002) states that confusion regarding compensation and benefits systems with a lack of information and benchmarking makes foreign management systems struggle in terms of their day to day operations.

D’Annunzio-Green (2002) in her research on the practice of expatriate managers in Russia says that the efforts by expatriate managers to create and continue keeping up with high service standards were often let down by the dissimilar perceptions of service of the Russian staff. Majority of the employees, mainly those over 30, still tend to behave in a way which was developed dur ing the prior communist-era old-fashioned Soviet system.

Under this structure Russians would never raise any dissatisfaction or criticism about service, no matter how bad it was. As a result, the shortness of a customer orientated service is still noticeable in a great amount of employees. Therefore the author also states that western management style and ways of operating cannot at all times be applied and transferred into the eastern management tourism and hospitality industry, due to conflicting cultural and organizational operational environments.

Researches in hospitality and tourism industries based on managers study of the required skills for the successful international hospitality career points out that it is essential to have variety of communication skills when dealing with people in different cultural environment, as well as above all: self-confidence, cultural sensitivity, industry experience, being flexible and adaptable, tolerant (Bhattacharyya, 2010; Jackson, 2002; Sims, 2007).

Main priority is given to confidence and capability to work in complex, diverse environment with sometimes restricted resources , having knowledge of international protocol, understanding peripeteias of global operations and effectively handle the stress are more considered while technical and functional qualities are at the lowest part of the scale. All these studies have one and the same fact connecting them that being able to adjust in a multi-cultural or cross-cultural environment and having skills to live and manage relations in it with investors, employees, suppliers, society on general etc. s much harder then gaining functional or technical skills in global business arena.

There is variety of confirmation and proofs on expatriate unsuccessful performance. In Bhattacharyya, 2010; Jackson, 2002; Sims, 2007 works adaptability, flexibility, communication skills in cross-cultural environment as well as motivation were mostly advantageous in terms of good expatriate qualities. Pizam (2005) and Sparrow (2009) recognized an obvious connection between sensitive inter-cultural sensitivity and low degree of cultural shock.

One of the most important factors of success of international enterprises is understanding of importance of training. The realization of cross-cultural training will grant a high degree of support to international employees and their families, which will result to increased the efficiency and accomplishment of the assignments to their employers. Training is a very powerful way of granting the success and enhanced development of assignments.

Usually, human resource management plays an important role in overall strategic planning of any business strategy. So therefore cross-cultural training should be also part of a business strategy and treated strategically too. It has a great amount of importance to employees as well as for increasing effectiveness of cross-cultural ability within the international companies. In nowadays increasing globalization it essential to pay particular attention to expatriates cultural awareness and knowledge of diversity that surrounds them.

In order to keep hold of a leading or strong position in a very competitive environment, investment in your own employees can cost success or failure. Businesses should critically consider the advantages of cross-cultural training and huge direct as well as indirect costs of expatriate failure. All in all, the success of the future of international enterprises is in hands of cross-cultural knowledge and awareness.

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