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Employees’ Internationalisation Experiences

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Question:

Discuss about the Employees’ Internationalisation Experiences.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

The employees in an organisation are given the training to improve the functions of the organisation. When an organisation is internationalising, the employees of the organisations are provided extra responsibilities to manage the organisations in the new geographic situation. In this essay, several strategies for the preparation of expatriates will be discussed and best-suited approach will be justified with instances on a specific region of the world. HR practices of the organisations assist the employees in order to cope up with the different situations. In this essay, the geographic region of Europe has been chosen in order to discuss the employees’ internationalisation experiences.

Explaining the strategies and approaches a newly internationalising organisation takes

The organisations send the employees in European countries when they expand the organisations as each of the organisations has a dream to open a branch in European countries to gather economic growth. The employees have to manage the course of new working culture, people and geographic conditions when they are shifted to the new European countries. The organisations send existed employees to the European countries and the organisations also recruit fresh employees from the new country also in which they start operating. Weber (2013), impacted the influence of country and organisation-specific factors on making the HR policies. The staffing process is important as large multinational conglomerate needs to send the employees in different geographic regions and employees face ‘Crusoe Situation’ all of a sudden (Marler and Fisher 2013). The employees in large global organisations need to work in European countries; however, they might be citizens of different countries. The employees are called expatriates, who are citizens of organisation's home country working in the foreign country for job purposes. External context of multinational organisations is related to economic factors, socio-cultural factors, political-legal factors and technological factors (Allen et al. 2015).

 

Ethnocentric staffing

Ethnocentric staffing involves in giving the important positions to expatriates from the organisation’s home country when the organisations open new foreign subsidiaries (Brewster et al. 2016). Expatriates are considered to be better represent of home office and they can understand the interests of the organisation. The management does this to ensure the foreign offices should be aligned with headquarters’ decisions. Most of the expatriates are selected from the current employees and they just are transferred to the other country where the organisation opens its subsidiary.

The benefit of ethnocentric staffing is that it can align the interests of perspectives of foreign countries to the home country of the organisation. In addition, ethnocentric staffing does not create an issue from the language barrier and cultural factors. Riche et al. (2016), supported this by saying that organisations can transfer the employees by the employees’ performances and records and organisations can predict the future of the subsidiaries. On the other side, as stated by Allen et al. (2015), ethnocentric staffing lacks in local perspectives that are important for the organisations to flourish in a new place and it may help the organisation to overcome the hurdles in foreign offices.

New employees in the organisations that are recruited through ethnocentric approach should be trained in technical skills and decision making abilities. The employees have to go other regions, in this situation, the employees must be given training in the leadership skills and the employees have to understand about manpower requirement. As stated by Gratton et al. (2016), the employees in this approach are given the stress management training as the employees have to live away from the home country.

Polycentric staffing

The management of an organisation recruits host-country nationals for the new positions in the organisation’s clerks or mail-rooms and even for the executives’ positions in polycentric staffing. Polycentric staffing is done when the organisations try to open a new branch in different developed countries. In polycentric staffing, the locals of the new regions should be experts and experiences in work (Cappelli and Keller 2014).

The benefit of polycentric staffing is that the host country nationals have a better understanding of economic growth, culture and systems of working. They can better judge the condition in the flourishing of new business with strategies and planning. The locals must be talented and educated who have an understanding of laws, politics and workplace culture of foreign places. On the other side, local people may have a local interest and they can misguide the management in communicating to headquarter in polycentric staffing.

The employees in the approach are given the training of career mobility and communication skills. The communication skills and technological knowledge are needed to connect with HQ to send the communication. The employees are given the training of managing the operation as the organisations use the natives of the host country to control the management process solely (Forsgren 2015).

 

Regiocentric staffing

Host-country nationals staffs are not recruited in a high degree in regiocentric staffing, on the contrary, organisations try to make facilities and offices grouped into regions that can work into a single whole in foreign countries (Anguelovski et al. 2014). The headquarter gives autonomy to the offices that are situated in the foreign offices. A region can make up with a group of countries and each region develops with their set of HR rules and practices.

The benefit of regiocentric staffing is that the employees can be transferred to each country of the region; however, the employees do not go outside their home region. This staffing approach provides the benefit to recruit the managers from various countries lying within a geographic region, moreover, employees selected from within the region that closely takes after the host country (Forsgren 2015). It provides an advantage as less cost is needed and the managers perform well as they are from neighbouring countries. On the other side, the disadvantage of regiocentric staffing is that managers from separate regions may have different viewpoints and there may occur communication barrier.

In this approach, the expatriates are given the training of cross-cultural training that could foster the understanding and appreciation of the host country employees. The employees could be given the language training to communicate with the employees (Finka and Kluvankova 2015). The organisation can take the role playing training for the expatriates in order to increase the potentiality.         

Geocentric staffing policy

Geocentric staffing policy is a global approach that views that each part of the organisation can make a unique contribution. Nationality is completely ignored in this staffing by the HR and best person is selected for the post. Colour or any types of cultural factors do not matter when geocentric staffing is considered as the development of the organisation.

The benefit of geocentric staffing is that it seeks the best people regardless nationality and colour of the employees. The employees need to be ready in working any section of the world and the management of organisation takes the approach in consistence and strong unifying culture in order to manage the management network. On the other side, as argued by Brush et al. (2015), geocentric staffing approach for training would be difficult as the managers need to adopt multiple styles at once.

In this approach, the employees are given the training of cultural management as the workplace in this approach is full of culturally diverse people. The cultural training to the employees will help the employees to manage themselves in this globally diverse workplace. The communication improvement and confidence building are also needed for the employees.

 

Polycentric staffing approach may work best in European countries and reasons

In sending the employees in European countries when the organisations are trying to expand in European countries, the organisations can take polycentric staffing approach. Polycentric staffing approach gives the best possible result for the employees as the organisations can recruit easily from the new European countries. The cost of staffing would be low as the relocation cost of existing employees will not be needed. Anguelovski et al. (2014), emphasised that multinational organisations follow environment factors to survive and prosper and they anticipate the training needs of the employees in different regions. In European countries, parent companies open its subsidiaries and nationals of the host country are recruited at managerial posts (Daley 2012).

In this regard, training requirement of the employees is less and organisations can manage the training sessions related to language, communication and workplace culture to the host nationals. The training process of polycentric approach can increase the career opportunities for the nationals and subsidiaries can have government support in providing training to the employees in European countries (Reiche et al. 2016). The locals have a better understanding of the market and they can set the marketing strategies that provide extra chances of success. The recruitment process will be comparatively less expensive when the new freshers will be recruited in European countries.

Discussing challenges employees often face when working abroad

The organisations, as well as the employees, like to broaden the horizons of working and they do not regret the experiences they are having. However, the expatriates face challenges when they are sent to the foreign countries for a project for employment purposes.

Language barriers   

The most significant challenges that the employees face in working in foreign countries is language barriers. However, in case of working in European countries, language barrier will not bother to this extent as most of the European people speak in English. As stated by Cole (2015), even if the employees in the home country are an excellent speaker, however, this may not create any value in foreign countries. When, Xiaomi, renowned mobile brand launched the products in India, they sent the expatriates to India and the Chinese employees had to learn the Indian native languages to communicate with employees and customers. The expatriates have to learn the new language in which they need to work with idioms and slangs also.

Cultural differences

The expatriates in the new foreign country can feel a fish out of water when they face the cultural differences. The employees need to admire and understand the new culture and they just need to follow it as this would be rewarding. Become used to with the new culture is important when working in abroad otherwise; the employees will feel apathy or homesickness. For instance, in European country Spain, the employees have to take long gap during the lunch hours and they have to work a few extra hours to make up this (Finka and Kluvankova 2015).

Less support from fellow employees          

When the employees work in the own country, they get support from the team members as they know each other very well. The range of support system gets lower when the employees need to work in foreign countries (Gratton et al. 2016). Social services, friends, families and near ones are not there to support the employees in difficult situations. The employees have to face the battle of their own.

Relocation issue        

If the employees are relocated to European regions from the Asian continent, then the time difference between two places will be longer. In this case, the employees need to set a new routine for themselves. When, Malaysian company Sunway Construction, Real Estate Company sends their project managers to the different countries in work purposes, they feel the pressure of relocating in different places and to communicate with local employees. When the employees start working in new countries, they need to adopt new routines and this makes the life harder for the employees.

Learning issue          

When employees get a new job out of their home country, they require new learning curves and the learning curve in a foreign country is steeper (Daley 2012). The employees do not feel much comfort when they learn something new and it is a rewarding experience for the employees. The employees are given the training to learn something new; however, the training can be about job roles, diversity training and communication.

Adapting new situation        

In some of the cases, the employees face the issue of adapting to the new situation as the employees have to live there alone. The relocating of the employees happen suddenly and they do not have plans to adopt the new situation. The shock comes suddenly and the employees have to check the situation with different laws, social norms and various other challenges (Cappelli and Keller 2014).

Cultural shock

In this situation, the employees may feel the experience of cultural shock; it is experienced by the employees when they move to a new cultural environment which is different from their own. As supported by Schuler and Jackson (2015), cultural shock can be defined as personal disorientation when individual experiences an unfamiliar way of life immigrating to a different place. This move between social environments can provide the transition of human life-changing experiences. Cultural shock can provide an experience of transition of human beings to another form of life. In this case, the employees feel the culture shock when they are shifted to another foreign land and they have to adopt theirs without prior knowledge (Brush et al. 2015). The employers sometimes provide training to the employees about new life, new learning and working types. The employees feel in shifting to a foreign land the challenges of information overloading and generation gap issues. As stated by Muratbekova-Touron (2014), employees can feel the homesickness in cultural shock and boredom is inevitable for them. In this regard, the employers need to provide training to set the cultural skills and skill to interdependency in new places.

 

The process through management and HR practices can assist them in coping with the difficulties and being successful

Convergence and divergence

HR needs to benchmark the company’s best practices and HR department can influence decision-making for convergence. HR also provides local autonomy for ensuring the local employees as they must meet adequate embracing towards the divergent approach (Brewster et al. 2016). However, in today's market needs to ‘un-versus them' that this policy to recruit people from home country can provide disadvantage as well. The HR cannot be ethnographic and the management tends to xenophobic (Simmonds 2015). The strategic HR of a multinational should not consider ethnographic staffing and they miss the top-notch people from the host-national countries.

Cultural diversity

HR department must meet the challenges of international business to achieve the balancing act of cultural diversity. In this regard, according to (Anguelovski et al. 2014), the HR should understand the values of expatriates and they know the company’s culture and they have business skills along with the technical expertise. The recruitment policy in the foreign land needs to be strategic as the organisation needs to wings to fly in the new place. The HR must recruit the people who have special transferrable skills and can work in emerging market. In recruiting the people from the local market can be helpful for the management as they are cheap and they know the language and country very well.

Rules and labour rights       

HR department must ensure the safety rules, compensation and labour practices in the organisation to make the employment policies harmonised (Allen et al. 2015). In addition, the labour administration and industrial relations are managed through HR departments. The HR of the multinational companies needs to build a global database where they store the data of foreign offices and the home office as well. The HR database can be accessed from all parts of the world and the top managers review the database in end of the year. IBM took 20 years to make a global database of their own and it helps them to find the annual reviews of an employee are easily (Rudd and Lawson 2017). In managing the global human resources, the organisations can keep a ‘personal-profile template' and that can consist of names, skills, hobbies and interests of the employees

Conclusion

It has been observed that the organisations take different strategies and approaches in order to train the employees so that they can manage the projects or organisations. The employees need to amalgamate with new culture, employees and types of works. The organisations try to train the employees in order to survive in the new country. The employees are mainly given the on-the-job (OJT) training to cope up with the working process. This OJT training is not expensive as compared to another mode of training. There are various challenges that the employees face in settling in foreign countries and the multinationals companies try to mitigate the pressure through strategic planning.

 

References

Allen, D., Lee, Y.T. and Reiche, S., 2015. Global work in the multinational enterprise: New avenues and challenges for strategically managing human capital across borders. Journal of Management, 41(7), pp.2032-2035.

Anguelovski, I., Chu, E. and Carmin, J., 2014. Variations in approaches to urban climate adaptation: Experiences and experimentation from the global South. Global Environmental Change, 27, pp.156-167.

Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. London: Kogan Page Publishers.

Brewster, C., Mayrhofer, W. and Morley, M. eds., 2016. New challenges for European resource management. Berlin: Springer.

Brush, C.G., Edelman, L.F. and Manolova, T., 2015. The impact of resources on small firm internationalization. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 13(1), pp.1-17.

Cappelli, P. and Keller, J.R., 2014. Talent management: Conceptual approaches and practical challenges. Annu. Rev. Organ. Psychol. Organ. Behav., 1(1), pp.305-331.

Cole, D.H., 2015. Advantages of a polycentric approach to climate change policy. Nature Climate Change, 5(2), pp.114-118.

Daley, D.M., 2012. Strategic human resources management. Public Personnel Management, pp.120-125.

Finka, M. and Kluvánková, T., 2015. Managing complexity of urban systems: A polycentric approach. Land Use Policy, 42, pp.602-608

Forsgren, M., 2015. Managing the Internationalization Process (routledge Revivals): The Swedish Case. Abingdon: Routledge.

Gratton, L., Hope-Hailey, V., Truss, K., Stiles, P. and Hailey, V.H., 2016. Strategic human resource management (pp. 79-100). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jackson, S.E., Schuler, R.S. and Jiang, K., 2014. An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.1-56.

Marler, J.H. and Fisher, S.L., 2013. An evidence-based review of e-HRM and strategic human resource management. Human Resource Management Review, 23(1), pp.18-36.

Muratbekova-Touron, M., 2014. From an ethnocentric to a geocentric approach to IHRM: The case of a French multinational company. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 15(4), pp.335-352.

Reiche, B.S., Mendenhall, M.E. and Stahl, G.K. eds., 2016. Readings and cases in international human resource management. London: Taylor & Francis.

Rudd, J.E. and Lawson, D.R., 2017. Communicating in global business negotiations: a geocentric approach. London: Sage Publications.

Schuler, R.S. and Jackson, S.E., 2015. Strategic human resource management. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Simmonds, K., 2015. Global strategy: achieving the geocentric ideal. International Marketing Review, 2(1), pp.8-17.

Storey, J., 2014. New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals). Abingdon:  Routledge.

Weber, W. (2013): Human Resource Policies in European Organisations: An Analysis of Country and Company-specific Antecedents. In New Challenges in European Human Resource Management, pp. 247-253.

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