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Staffing and Training Essay

As multinational firms globalise they must learn to co-ordinate efforts among an increasingly culturally diverse workforce and environment. Nowadays people tend to be very defensive of their cultural identity and caution by others has to be taken so that insult is not caused. Through the years success of Japanese organisation’s global strategies has encouraged American firms. Although many point out the advantages, cultural diversity may leads to conflict, misunderstanding and lack of cohesion.

(Tung, [1993]) states that cross cultural training process, helps in the development of building relations between individuals or groups, especially individuals/groups with diverse cultural backgrounds. (Welch [1998]) defines cultural training as “any form of guided experience helping people to live and work more contentedly in another culture”. Such training encourages understanding about differences and acceptance of the multicultural work environment and helps create and retain effective work teams and expertise in dealing with multicultural management (Hartenian, [2000]) describes the multi-cultural workforce as a workforce that excludes no one, from top-level management to low-level employee’s. He sees the multi-cultural workforce has one of the main opportunities for an organisation.

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Although multi-cultural workforces are beneficial to organisations in relation to performance and profitability, they can be very hard to manage. According to (Hill, [92]) the key to managing multi-cultural workforces is the realisation that majority and minority cultures do not always share experiences. To solve this managers can adapt different strategies such as: developing programmes that promote awareness of different cultures, recognise common links among different ethnic groups and express concerns and confusions. (Hill [1992]) believes that if organisations use these strategies, economic benefits will be reaped.

This may be easier said than done, (Harisis & Kleiner, [1993]) argue that the implementation of such workforces are extremely difficult. They say that not only within American society and businesses but on a world wide scale there are widespread barriers. Such barriers include unwritten rules and double standards for success which are often unknown to women and minorities, stereotypes and their associated assumptions and lack of communication about differences.

In global organisations it is essential that effective cross cultural training occurs in order to help individuals obtain both the knowledge and the tools needed to reduce misunderstandings and improper actions (Black & Mendenhall [1990]) suggest that multi-cultural training provides individuals with greater self confidence and decreased narrow-mindedness about people from diverse cultures. In addition (Barlett and Ghoshal [1990]) also pointed out that establishing a multicultural training programme improved the company’s ability to operate more efficiently in different cultural environments. Although many multicultural training programmes are undertaken to enhance cultural diversity they are not always successful. According to (Woods [1992]) a systematic approach should be taken towards training. (Woods [1992]) established a four step cycle:

Firstly was to specify certain job task of individuals and assess the needs of the corporate culture. Secondly is the identification of training objectives. Thirdly was the establishment of the proper training content in which the following was used;

sensitivity training, cultural awareness and orientation programs. In addition

(Cox, [1993]; Gamio & Sneed, [1992]; Tung, [1993]) introduced the communication competency program. In the final stage (Milkovich & Boudreau [1991]) stated that training programs need to verify whether the training is successful in junior members of staff’s performances at work. The cycle used was concerned with the effectiveness of the training, however, (Mendenhall & Oddou [1986[ & Tung [1981]) found factors that deterred individuals. These included lack of specialised trainers, cost and perceived lack of usefulness. Research carried out by (Gamio & Sneed [1992]) found that the deterrence factors are of major importance. Take for instance the catering industry. Mangers in restaurants may blame high staff turnover rates on lack of multi-cultural training, therefore using these rates as the reason to ignore the need for training programs. (Jackson [1991]) believes that heterogeneity among team members contributes to high turnover rates within organisations. Researchers may find that the relationship between cultural diversity and staff turnover is of major importance to all organisations.

Hospitality researchers

Results of this study have provided useful directions for future research in the area of multicultural training. Respondents in this study perceived more success in improving interpersonal skills than dealing with culturally diverse people because those skills are probably more easily observable and acquirable. A more rigorous research design is recommended before definitive conclusions about the efficiency of the training can be reached (Black and Mendenhall, 1990). Without identifying a baseline of knowledge and skills before starting the program, it becomes difficult to measure training effectiveness.

Researchers can solve this problem by utilizing a pretest-posttest design with a control group, identifying two separate groups during pretest. One group would be tested before and after receiving the training. The other group would simply be tested twice – once before and once after the program – but they would not receive the training. By measuring both groups, training managers could fully assess the impact of the training program. Furthermore, the measurement of the training effectiveness needs to incorporate the trainee’s estimation about the program in addition to perceptions from directors of human resources. Alliger and Janak (1989) advocated that training needs to integrate two evaluation criteria:

1 Internal. For assessing how trainees feel about the training experience.

2 External. For estimating the changes in job behavior and organizational effectiveness (Milkovich and Boudreau, 1991).

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Such training encourages understanding about differences and acceptance of the multicultural work environment and helps create and retain effective work teams and expertise in dealing with multicultural management.

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> Copyright InfoWorld Publications, Inc. Apr 24, 2000

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> As the IT workforce grows more diverse, managers must improve awareness without creating inconsistency

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Diversity will have a significant impact on the hospitality industry. On one hand, diversity may cause problems, particularly in older, traditional organizations with a homogeneous workforce, including communication difficulties with supervisors and co-workers as well as with customers. Thus, group cohesiveness may be reduced by an increased cultural diversity among group members (Cox, 1993). The lack of understanding of different cultures may lead to ineffective management techniques in directing, motivating, and rewarding culturally diverse employees. On the other hand, diversity enriches a hospitality organization by adding new cultures, ideas, and alternative methods for solving problems.).

What is not understood is what effects, if any, these changes will have on an organization and how it can respond in a proactive way to them. Recognizing the significance of managing diversity in the hospitality organization, Welch et al. (1988) suggest that developing cultural awareness in a company helps employees become familiar with different values, interpersonal interactions, and communication systems which must be understood for an effective multicultural working environment. Christensen (1993) emphasizes that organizations failing to acknowledge the full range of variety inherent in their employees and customer populations will have difficulty surviving

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Restaurants need to have more thorough multicultural training programs, focusing on training goals which are practical and job-specific. Job result-oriented training goals, including increasing employee teamwork among culturally diverse employees and improving cross-cultural skills, must be a part of the training goals to encourage employee participation and eventually help in facilitating job performance in dealing with multicultural work environments.

In addition, training methods should be more comprehensive rather than limited. As case 3 reported, minority mentor and advisory programs could be utilized to encourage full participation of ethnic minorities. These involvement efforts, with full support from upper management, would help change employees’ attitudes and lower barriers between diverse workers and promote ethnic minorities, and hopefully lead to less turnover generated from the feeling of isolation and difference.

Furthermore, human resource directors may consider utilizing employees with multicultural experience. For instance, the company can hire managers who have hands-on experience with different cultures or language skills for efficient interaction with diverse employees and for multicultural training. These comprehensive training approaches can eventually generate productive training results and increase better understanding among employees from diverse cultural backgrounds.

Hospitality researchers

Results of this study have provided useful directions for future research in the area of multicultural training. Respondents in this study perceived more success in improving interpersonal skills than dealing with culturally diverse people because those skills are probably more easily observable and acquirable. A more rigorous research design is recommended before definitive conclusions about the efficiency of the training can be reached (Black and Mendenhall, 1990). Without identifying a baseline of knowledge and skills before starting the program, it becomes difficult to measure training effectiveness.

Researchers can solve this problem by utilizing a pretest-posttest design with a control group, identifying two separate groups during pretest. One group would be tested before and after receiving the training. The other group would simply be tested twice – once before and once after the program – but they would not receive the training. By measuring both groups, training managers could fully assess the impact of the training program. Furthermore, the measurement of the training effectiveness needs to incorporate the trainee’s estimation about the program in addition to perceptions from directors of human resources. Alliger and Janak (1989) advocated that training needs to integrate two evaluation criteria:

1 Internal. For assessing how trainees feel about the training experience.

2 External. For estimating the changes in job behavior and organizational effectiveness (Milkovich and Boudreau, 1991).

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In responding to the multicultural work environments and international scope of restaurant operations, the hospitality industry should provide proper training for line employees who require customer interactions during their routine jobs in addition to managers who deal with employee promotion and corporate culture.

TRAINING

Perlmutter identified three managerial attitudes toward international operations

Managers with an ethnocentric attitude are home-country oriented. Home-country personnel, ideas, and practices are viewed as inherently superior to those from abroad and are used for evaluation purposes.

A polycentric attitude is a host-country orientation based on the assumption that because cultures are so different, local managers know what is best for their operations.

Managers with a geocentric attitude are world-oriented. Skill, not nationality, determines who gets promoted or transferred to key positions around the globe. This attitude attempts to maintain a balance between global standards and local discretion.

A geocentric attitude can help management take a long step toward success in today’s vigorously competitive global marketplace.

complexity.

Documentary programs.

Culture assimilator.

Language instruction.

Sensitivity training.

Field experience.

TRAINING

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. References

1. Alliger, G. and Janak, E. (1989), “Kirkpatrick’s levels of training criteria: thirty years later”, Personnel Psychology, Vol. 42 No. 4, pp. 331-42.

2. Andorka, F. (1997), “Diversity task forces meet to set agenda”, Hotel and Motel Management, Vol. 212 No. 4, pp. 32-6.

3. Barlett, C. and Ghoshal, S. (1990), “Matrix management: not a structure, a frame of mind”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 68 No. 4, pp. 138-45.

4. Black, J. and Mendenhall, M. (1990), “Cross-cultural training effectiveness: a review and a theoretical framework for future research”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 113-36.

5. Bochner, S. (1982), Cultures in Contact: Studies in Cross-cultural Interaction, Pergamon Press, New York, NY.

6. Bond, R. and Bond, J. (1993), The Sourcebook of Franchise Opportunities, Business One Irwin, Homewood, IL.

7. Christensen, J. (1993), “The diversity dynamic: implications for organizations in 2005”, Hospitality Research Journal, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 69-86.

8. Clark, J. and Arbel, A. (1993), “Producing global managers”, The Cornell Hotel Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 83-7.

9. Cox, T.H. (1991), “The multicultural organization”, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 34-47.

10. Cox, T.H. (1993), Cultural Diversity in Organizations, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco, CA.

11. Franchise Directory (1992), 1st ed., Martin, S. (Ed.), Gale Research, Detroit, MI.

12. Fullerton, H. (1987), “Labor force projections: 1986-2000”, Monthly Labor Review, Vol. 110 No. 9, pp. 19-29.

13. Gamio, M. and Sneed, J. (1992), “Cross-cultural training practices and needs in the hotel industry”, Hospitality Research Journal, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 13-26.

14. Glick, W., Harber, H., Miller, D., Doty, H. and Sutcliffe, K. (1990), “Studying changes in organizational design and effectiveness: retrospective event histories and periodic assessments”, Organization Science, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 293-312.

15. Harris, K. and West, J. (1993), “Using multimedia in hospitality training”, The Cornell Hotel Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 75-82.

16. Houten, B. (1997), “Harvest time”, Restaurant Business, Vol. 15 No. 8, pp. 71-80.

17. Jackson, S., Brett, J., Sessa, V., Cooper, D., Julin, J. and Peyronnin, K. (1991), “Some differences make a difference: individual dissimilarity and group heterogeneity as correlates of recruitment, promotions, and turnover”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 76 No. 5, pp. 675-89.

18. Jeffcoate, R. (1981), “Why multicultural education?”, Education 3-13, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 4-7.

19. Mejia, L. and Palich, L. (1997), “Cultural diversity and the performance of multicultural firms”, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 309-35.

20. Mendenhall, M. and Oddou, G. (1986), “Acculturation profiles of expatriate managers: implications for cross-cultural training programs”, Columbia Journal of World Business, Vol. 21 No. 4, pp. 73-9.

21. Milkovich, G. and Boudreau, J. (1991), “Selection and design of training programs”, in Human Resource Management, 6th ed., Irwin, Homewood, IL.

22. National Restaurant Association (1988), Foodservice Industry 2000 (Current Issue Report), National Restaurant Association, Washington, DC.

23. Tung, R. (1981), “Selection and training of personnel for overseas assignments”, Columbia Journal of World Business, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 68-78.

24. Tung, R. (1993), “Managing cross-national and intra-national diversity”, Human Resource Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 461-77.

25. US Travel Service (1990), Annual Summary of International Travelers to the US, US Travel Service, Washington, DC.

26. Welch, T., Tanke, M. and Glover, G. (1988), “Multicultural human resource management”, Hospitality Research Journal, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 337-45.

27. Woods, R. (1992), Managing Hospitality Human Resources, Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Motel Association, East Lansing, MI.

28. Zikmund, W. (1991), Business Research Methods, 3rd ed., The Dryden Press, Orlando, FL, pp. 3

 

Despite their popularity, the risk of failure of such ventures is high. There is a wealth of academic research studying the factors which may lead to greater success. Some authors suggest that greater attention “up front” to structural and partner characteristic dimensions will arrest the high failure rate (Parkhe, 1993). Recent research effort has been directed towards forwarding general prescriptions for managing the relationship once the alliance is under way

Parkhe, A. (1993), “Strategic alliance structuring: a game theoretical and transaction cost examination of interfirm cooperation”, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 794-829.

The work of Hofstede (1980), in particular, is considered the most comprehensive effort, involving analysis of a large scale questionnaire based survey of one large American corporation in 40 of its subsidiaries. Hofstede found that differences in national culture varied substantially along the four dimensions of uncertainty avoidance, individuality, tolerance of power distance and masculinity-femininity. Hofstede’s work has frequently been used as a starting point to identify and model cultural clusters (Kogut and Singh, 1988; Ronen and Shenkar, 1985). Although the methodological approach has been extended to explore the effect of culture on international cooperation (Johnson et al., 1993; Graham, 1988) the difficulties of measuring and monitoring exchange processes have been noted.

Indonesian culture, particularly Javanese and Sundanese culture (the latter from the region of Bandung) is very different from modern Western European and North American culture. Particular aspects of these cultural differences can affect the trust-building process. The case provides key episodes which illuminate these cultural trait differences and suggests methods to work within this cultural diversity.

The critical involvement of stakeholders

A key cultural dimension in SE Asian culture is the collectivist approach to business. This manifests itself in our case study through the critical involvement of stakeholders in the formation phase of the JV. The role of stakeholders and management of their interests is a key theme running through the paper. In particular, the case study suggests a need to systematically identify the power and interest of potential stakeholders and plan for and subsequently negotiate their roles and influence in the venture.

These factors have led many Western companies to look for help and expert local advice through collaborative arrangements with ASEAN country partners. Market entry strategies have favoured equity JVs, which several ASEAN countries prefer in order to protect their own interests and ensure long-term growth (Lasserre, 1995; Mann 1996).

The JV formation process: an analytical framework

Lorange and Roos (1993) proposed a formation process model for JVs and strategic alliances which consisted of two areas of consideration; political and analytical and two phases of development; the initial and the intensive phase. This model has been modified and extended to create an analytical framework which derives from the Indonesian JV experience.

The marketing and economic benefits from such a JV were apparent to Lucas at the time. Essentially the JV would provide abundant and highly skilled low-cost labour (with future joint product development a realistic possibility), made up of a loyal, dedicated and, importantly, reliable workforce with excellent proven machine tool skills and capabilities. Good rail and air transport links with markets in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific made it an attractive proposition along with a burgeoning Western market for low-cost high quality aerospace standard precision machined parts and components

Westerners, particularly from Northern Europe and North America are generally viewed as particularists (Trompenaars, 1993). They rely heavily on rules and legal agreements to structure and provide governance to cooperative ventures. Trompenaars, F. (1993), Riding the Waves of Culture, Nicholas Brealey, London

The most commonly utilized starting point for organizational development work on managing diversity is some type of employee education program.

Human Resource Planning, June 2001 v24 i2 p10

Workforce Diversity Training: From Anti-Discrimination Compliance to Organizational Development. Marc Bendick; Mary Lou Egan; Suzanne M. Lofhjelm.

“Diversity is not just race and gender. It has a lot to do with communication styles and work styles,”

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