Globalization of business is forcing managers to grapple with complex issues Essay Example
Globalization of business is forcing managers to grapple with complex issues Essay Example

Globalization of business is forcing managers to grapple with complex issues Essay Example

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  • Pages: 14 (3775 words)
  • Published: September 10, 2017
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Globalization has forced directors to deal with complex issues in order to gain or maintain a competitive advantage. One of these fields is International Human Resource Management (IHRM), which encompasses all issues related to managing people in an international context. This assignment is a learning diary that includes all the chapters studied in our IHRM class. These 11 diaries have been written based on my reflections on the class work done during the International and Comparative Human Resource Management lecture, as well as reading the text book "International Human Resource Management (4th edition)" by Peter J Dowling and Denice E Welch (2008).

Introduction to IHRM

On the first day of the IHRM class, the lecturer, Mr. Chandana Kumara, discussed the unit outline and provided a brief introduction to the topic of IHRM (International


and Comparative Human Resource Management). Prior to attending the class, I had assumed that the unit would be similar to the HRM unit we studied in Year 2. However, during his discussion of the unit outline, Mr. Kumara emphasized several important points to remember throughout the semester. For example, he mentioned the assessments we would be graded on and provided the deadlines for each assessment. He advised us to adhere to schedules and not postpone assigned work.The text emphasizes the importance of following a planned agenda in order to achieve good grades in talks and assignments. It mentions that the instructor discussed a more interactive teaching method, which involves frequently stopping and asking questions to keep the students attentive. The instructor also discussed the APA referencing method and how to properly cite sources for assignments. It strongly advises

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against sharing old assignments with friends, as it promotes plagiarism and results in zero marks for both parties involved. The text appreciates this advice, as it discourages students from asking for others' assignments. Additionally, it mentions that not understanding certain terms in assignment guidelines, such as learning outcomes and graduate attributes, often leads to poor performance. It asserts the importance of reading and comprehending these points in order to complete successful assignments.In the next discussion, the faculty introduced the topic of IHRM and discussed its key foundations. This was crucial for understanding the fundamentals of the unit. The instructor also emphasized the factors that distinguish IHRM from domestic HRM, highlighting the importance of staying informed about global affairs. Towards the end of the class, the instructor briefly touched on the etic and emic approaches, which will be explored in more detail in the upcoming session.

Moving on to the lesson on cultural differences, we began by watching a video comparing California and Czech cultures. The video specifically focused on their greeting customs and smiling practices. From this video, I learned that Czech people have a very formal way of greeting, using "Hello" and "Goodbye," whereas in California, greetings are more casual, often just using "Hi." Additionally, smiling in Czech culture is reserved for people they know, while strangers do not typically smile at each other, unlike in California.I learned from the small picture cartridge holder that both civilizations have their own assets and subtractions. I also realized that it is not accurate to categorize civilizations as either good or bad, but rather as different. It is important to make decisions based on perception rather than labeling

a civilization as either friendly or unfriendly. We then discussed Geert Hofstede's cultural value dimensions, which include Power Distance, Individualism vs. Collectivism, Femininity Vs Masculinity, Uncertainty Avoidance, and Long-term vs. Short-term orientation. I found this discussion familiar because I had previously learned about these dimensions in my HRM and culture class. We also talked about Confucianism, which is the latest addition to Hofstede's value dimensions. When discussing the dimension of Masculinity and Femininity, some students were confused about the terms. They initially believed that masculinity referred to societies dominated by males and femininity referred to societies dominated by females. However, after the lesson, we understood that certain values associated with males, such as being goal-oriented and focused on success, are considered masculine values in certain societies. On the other hand, values associated with relationships and maintaining connections are considered feminine values in certain societies. This explanation helped clarify that these dimensions do not relate to dominance.A student raised a question about whether the lack of recognition of women's rights in Saudi Arabia relates to the masculinity or femininity dimension of Geert Hofstede's cultural value dimensions. This led to further discussion and the student presented a picture that was used to gain an external perspective on Saudi culture. From the picture, it was understood that although this may be an issue in many Muslim countries, it is not related to the Islamic faith. It was emphasized that when answering questions, we must consider the cultural background and limitations of these dimensions to provide a comprehensive response. The lecturer suggested that this is a topic that requires careful analysis and understanding within the confusion. The theoretical knowledge

gained from this chapter can be valuable in future workplace interactions with people from different cultures. In today's lesson on the organizational context, we discussed two case studies: the Long March case study and the Staffing Oil Company case study. The majority of students found the Long March case study easy as it was short and it was straightforward to connect it with the theories learned in class.After the instance study, the lecturer discussed the instance responses by providing various examples. I learned that working in groups to solve problems is very effective because it allows us to share ideas and learn from each other. The second instance study, which focused on staffing in an oil company, was quite lengthy. To improve our approach to instance studies, the lecturer suggested a different method. Instead of highlighting and going back to read the highlights, it is wise to write down the important keywords separately. This approach is helpful and saves time. Additionally, the lecturer mentioned that we should complete the instance study responses by the following week, and each group can submit their answers for class participation marks. Today's topic was organizational context, and the objectives of the lesson were to understand how to differentiate cultures and how to deal with cultural models. It was also emphasized that relying on a single model does not help in understanding culture.Structural responses to international growth involve making changes in the organization's construction to accommodate cultural factors and other considerations. This may include implementing control and coordination mechanisms, such as cultural control in certain sections of the organization. However, the level of control may vary depending on factors like

creativity and innovativeness. It is important to understand whether the organization's structure supports increased control, and if not, alternative mechanisms can be used.

In terms of management's need for international growth, important factors like host country culture and workplace environment should be considered. If the parent company culture differs significantly from the host country, localization would be advisable to address difficulties in adapting to a different culture. For example, if individual performance and improvement is encouraged in the host country (e.g., China), it may not be accepted in a highly collectivist culture.

The mode of operation also influences the level of standardization. In a wholly owned subsidiary, there is more opportunity for standardization compared to an international joint venture. The importance of standardization increases as the organization grows larger and more mature.

Understanding these factors is crucial for achieving global success and necessitates changes in the organization's structure.The topic for today's lesson was HRM in the host country context. Our instructor explained that engagement marks would be awarded and that he would be sending out weekly emails with questions for us to prepare answers for. He also mentioned that he would randomly choose a student to ask for their response in class. The focus of this unit was on the issues that arise when establishing a subsidiary in a host country. Topics such as expatriation, subsidiary issues, operations, and work practices were discussed in detail. The concepts of standardization and localization were also covered. Standardization refers to decisions made in the host country, while localization motivates host country managers to develop their own practices. The example of HSBC was used to illustrate standardization, as their offices in Sri

Lanka maintain their corporate culture, objectives, and policies. Both localization and standardization have their advantages and disadvantages.The decision to standardize or not is an important decision that every multinational organization must make. It is based on determining which method would be more beneficial and successful for the organization and its subordinates. Personally, I believe that this lesson will help me in making decisions regarding the placement or standardization of an administration in the future. This knowledge will also assist me in structuring an administration in the most effective way, keeping in mind the real-world examples discussed in class. Additionally, the topics of developing, retrenching, and retaining staff were assigned as reading material to be discussed next week.


Today, everyone was nervous because the teacher was going to randomly select students to ask questions for participation marks. I was also nervous. However, we felt quite comfortable when he arrived and started today's topic, which was about sustaining business operations and staffing methods. In this chapter, I learned about the four main staffing approaches: ethnocentric approach, polycentric approach, geocentric approach, and regeocentric approach. Each approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. The ethnocentric approach involves giving few foreign subordinates autonomy and making strategic decisions at central offices. (Dowling ;The text discusses different approaches to international assignments, including ethnocentric, polycentric, geocentric, and regeocentric approaches. The ethnocentric approach involves having key functions and decision-making controlled by parent country nationals (PCNs), while still using host country nationals (HCNs). The polycentric approach gives more decision-making autonomy to subordinate national entities. The geocentric approach focuses on global integration and selects staff based on skills

and competencies rather than nationality. The regeocentric approach involves staff from specific regions rather than globally. The reasons for international assignments are discussed, including filling positions, management development, and organizational development. Different types of international assignments are mentioned, such as short-term, long-term, commuter, rotational, contractual, and virtual assignments. Wholes vs. parts theory is also briefly mentioned, with further information advised to be read in the textbook.Our lecturer checked if we understood the information from the text edition accurately. I learned that it is important to read the text instead of solely relying on slides. Before ending the class, he asked random questions. The topic discussed today was recruitment and selection, which are crucial functions of the HRM department in any organization. HR managers must ensure they have the right number of people in the right positions at the right time. This lesson helped me understand additional factors to consider in IHRM. One aspect that caught my attention was about global managers. He asked about the difference between a global mindset and a global manager, as well as the benefits of having a pool of global managers in a company. These questions encouraged me to think outside the box and engage more in the lesson.I discovered that having a pool of global managers in multinational enterprises (MNE) brings several advantages. Firstly, it provides a wealth of experience and flexibility when starting operations in different countries. Additionally, selecting a global manager from this pool becomes easier. Therefore, MNEs prefer to have a larger pool of global managers as it assists them with foreign assignments. Furthermore, the chances of a global manager successfully adapting to different cultures are

higher compared to other individuals.

The speaker also presented an example to support their point. When an MNE establishes operations in a foreign country that requires specialized machinery, the staffing approach may be polycentric. However, they will still extend their technical knowledge to the local employees. In this case, the foreign experts who train the employees on operating the machinery are considered expatriates. This example indicates that expatriates can also serve as trainers under a polycentric staffing approach.

By raising these questions and stimulating discussions, I aim to enhance the effectiveness of my answers by incorporating relevant examples. I believe this topic will be highly beneficial to me in a workplace environment and if I decide to pursue a job abroad, it will further contribute to my career development.He further discussed the significance of international assignments as a symbol of career progression and as a decision-making tool. He also talked about the roles of a place-based manager and an internationally mobile manager.


Our lecturer opened the lesson by posing the question, "Is there any difference between training and development?" He then asked us to provide definitions for both terms. From this discussion, I came to understand that training is a fundamental function of HRM aimed at improving an employee's skills in order to enhance their future performance. On the other hand, employee development involves maintaining and utilizing the skills acquired during training. I also learned that training is a part of development. Until now, I had always believed that training and development were synonymous. Through this discussion, I realized that being trained does not necessarily lead to personal development. Providing pre-departure training

is crucial in international assignments, particularly when working in a country like Japan. Pre-departure training in areas such as English language proficiency, business etiquette, and customs plays a significant role. Additionally, I learned that the duration of pre-departure training depends on the length of the assignment and the position held by the assignee.Pre-departure preparation involves various elements such as cultural consciousness plans, preliminary visits, linguistic communication preparation, and practical aid. Cultural consciousness plans are important for gaining knowledge about the cultures of both the parent country and host country, as well as understanding work patterns. Preliminary visits, which typically last for one week, are especially crucial when conducting business in complex cultures like China. Practical aid is provided by organizations to assist with relocation and help the expatriate settle in the host country. From today's lesson, I have come to understand the importance of training and development in optimizing human resources and helping employees achieve both organizational and individual goals.This subject can be important for me in the workplace environment in developing preparation and development programmes. It can also be helpful for me personally to acquire trained and developed for a specific undertaking. This will help me to accommodate into the occupation more absolutely and as a consequence to do my job more effectual and efficient.


The lector asked if there are any differences between performance assessment and performance management rating. Initially, I believed there were no differences between the two. However, after the discussion in class and the lecturer's remarks, I now understand that there is a difference between these two methods. I realized that performance assessment and performance management

rating can be interchangeably used, but performance assessment management covers a broader mark.

After the preparation and development process, it is important to follow up with an effective performance management process. I also learned that while most organizations are established for the purpose of gaining profits, some organizations may have different purposes.I have learned that performance evaluations cannot be solely based on profits, but must also consider other factors. These factors include the volatility of the global environment, the separation of time and distance between subsidiary and parent company, as well as the level of maturity of the subsidiary. Additionally, performance evaluations are influenced by both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation of employees, as well as their attitude towards the company. Constructive feedback given on a regular basis is an important incentive for performance evaluations. Furthermore, I have learned about the differences between performance evaluations of expatriates and non-expatriates, which has reminded me of the various aspects involved in international business and the need to consider them when designing an effective performance evaluation system.I learned in today's lesson about the importance of public presentation direction and the assessment process. I also learned about the difference between public presentation assessments and public presentation rating direction, which helped me understand the complexities of public presentation rating in IHRM.


Re-entry into their home country after an assignment abroad is an important aspect of HRM, also known as repatriation. Cultural shock is a common experience during this time, referring to the confusing and anxious feelings one may have after leaving a familiar place for a different culture. The repatriation process consists of four stages: preparation, physical resettlement,

transition, and readjustment. It is crucial for the organization to provide support to the repatriate and their family during each of these phases. This support helps minimize re-entry shock.

Job-related factors during repatriation include career anxiety, difficulty adapting to a new work environment, struggling with new role requirements, and experiencing loss of status and pay earned during the assignment abroad. Career anxiety arises because many repatriates expect promotions upon returning home, but the company may not have available positions.The text discusses the challenges of adapting to a new work environment and the impact of social factors on repatriates. It emphasizes the importance of minimizing the factors that contribute to re-entry shock, such as job-related and social issues. The text also highlights the benefits of supporting repatriates in adjusting to their home country and work environment, as they can be valuable assets for an organization. Additionally, it mentions the significance of utilizing the knowledge and experience of repatriates in international assignments. The topic of the lesson is compensation, and before the lesson, the instructor reminded the students about the date of the final test and advised them to be prepared. They also emphasized important points for answering test questions effectively and stressed the importance of punctuality.He further emphasized that we lose Marks's non because we do not know, but because we cannot demonstrate the correct answer well. He also took a sample question and demonstrated how to approach and respond to it. This was very helpful for me. What I appreciate about his lecture is that he plans everything thoroughly and strives to provide maximum content within the 4-hour session. This helps us learn to be punctual

and gain the utmost knowledge about a specific subject. He commenced the lesson with an intriguing quote, "This topic is very interesting as a professional and very dull as a student." He first discussed compensation and benefits in the Sri Lankan context, mentioning terms like CCPI (Colombo consumer price index) determined by the central bank on a weekly basis. Sri Lankan customs may differ from those of India. To stay updated, it is important to use the most current COM. How is daily pay calculated? Why is it crucial to calculate daily pay? The lecturer stressed that these minor details are significant when it comes to compensation, as they can result in paying less or more, both of which can be detrimental. Next, he assessed our knowledge of Sri Lankan employment law. I learned that the law governing employment in Sri Lanka is called the Store and Office Employees Act.I also realized that understanding the employment laws of Sri Lanka and other countries is equally important when considering compensation. One area that I need to focus on is the compensation of expatriates, which can be done either based on the Traveling Rate Approach or Balance Sheet Approach. The Traveling Rate Approach suggests compensating expatriates based on local market rates, with additional payment for low-paying countries. This method aligns with local norms and is relatively simple, but it can lead to variations between assignments for the same employee and between expatriates of the same nationality in different countries, creating high competition for assignments in high paying countries. There are several factors that directly impact expatriate compensation, which I need to study further and come up with

questions on for next week's discussion. In the first half of the class, the professor assigned tasks to each group and instructed us to review the assignments and raise any questions or clarifications regarding the grading and feedback. He then individually discussed the uncertainties with each group and provided further explanations for why they didn't achieve high scores in certain areas.He emphasized that he evaluated our assignments in two main ways: analytically and synthetically. The most common mistakes we made were not maintaining a consistent flow in our reports, and he suggested having the report proofread by one or more group members to minimize this error. He also stressed the importance of professionalism in delivering formal reports. In the second half of the class, he taught us about business etiquette and social customs, which was the topic of the day. Business etiquette refers to appropriate behaviors accepted in social and business situations, such as understanding cultural differences when making introductions, exchanging business cards, acknowledging positions and status, intercultural communication, successful practices, tipping customs, gift-giving, and travel. I learned that what may be considered proper behavior in one country may not be appropriate in another. The interesting part is that when you are aware of cultural differences, you can behave appropriately. Customs are socially recognized behaviors, including greetings, verbal expressions, male/female relationships, attire and appearance, use of humor, belief in superstitions, special foods and taboos. We also discussed setting a margin for error and learned that leaving room for mistakes makes the process easier and simpler. For example,The text discusses various pictures related to cultural differences and their impact on conducting business. The first picture shows

how personal space is maintained, highlighting the cultural differences between Mexico and other civilizations. The second picture depicts cultural differences in a humorous way, comparing various aspects of Eastern and Western civilizations such as reading, swimming, and behavior in the gym. It emphasizes the importance of behaviors like minding one's own business, being objective, and being disciplined in Western cultures. This chapter emphasizes the significance of learning about business etiquettes and customs for successful international business interactions. In conclusion, studying International Human Resource Management allows for a broader understanding of practical issues when operating in a global context.The role of an HR director in a MNE is a complex one that requires skills and knowledge in managing employees from different cultures, achieving organizational goals, and helping the company to be profitable. This complexity highlights the beauty of being an International Human Resource Manager.

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