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About Four Seasons

In present scenario, the multinational corporations are expanding globally and for achieving high sustainability and growth, there is an extensive need of an efficient international human resource management. To have successful management of the diverse cultures and values, there is a need of managing the human resource in the best possible manner. There are several issues and challenges related to the effective human resource management in the global business. The issues are related to several elements including motivation of the employees, selection of appropriate personnel and recruitment of the candidates (Harzing and Pinnington, 2010). The report will focus upon the case study “Four Seasons Goes To Paris” for revealing the primary challenges encounter by the companies seeking international expansion and the manner in which IHRM supports the eradication of these issues. The case study is related to the hotel named Four Seasons which is entering in the regions of Paris as a part of its global expansion strategy and the issues faced at the time of expansion. The report will highlight several issues and challenges faced by the company in context with the factors such as cross-cultural society, motivation, reward and recognition and the recruitment and selection.

About Four Seasons

In the year 1960, the hotel Four Seasons was established as a part of the hospitality and the tourism sector. The headquarters of Four Seasons are positioned at Ontario, Toronto and Canada.

The hotel Four Seasons has faced a number of human resource management challenges and issues at the time of expanding into Paris. All these issues are mainly related to the diverse cultural groups, inappropriate practices of recruitment and selection, ineffective rewards and retention schemes and absence of performance management. Following is the description of the issues in Four Season Hotel.

The cultural adaptation is another major issue faced by Four Seasons as the culture of the hotel and the culture of Paris are entirely diverse in nature and it is difficult to manage the highly diverse cultural groups. There are some of the theories which are in relation to the case study, “Four Seasons Goes To Paris”, for the motivation and retention of the employees as they are essential to implement the HRM practices in the company, so that it can results in improved employee engagement. As per the theory of Maslow, the employees’ needs are required to be met for achieving greater employees’ satisfaction. As per the Cultural Dimensions Theory of Hofstede, the culture is defined by the Professor Hofstede as a mutual programming of the human’s mind in such a manner that it differentiates the people from each other. The theory has its primary emphasis upon the values that in what manner they get impacted by the diverse cultures present at the organisation as well as it shows the distinctive aspects of culture and on the comparison scale they are rated (Armstrong and Taylor, 2014).There are primarily three basic reason of the global expansion of Four Seasons i.e. when to target a market, which market is to be targeted and at what point of scale it must be targeted. Because of high attention and attractiveness of the various luxurious hotels in France and the high-class hospitality, there has also been implemented the theory of Hofstede in the hotel for the scaling of the present cultural diversity and its impact in Paris for improved positioning of the organisation. Another primary issue for the hotel was to renew and modernize the culture. The organisation wants to establish a diverse set of cultural factors as Four Seasons do not want to reproduce it in a similar context at the Paris branch also so that through renovation the potential customers can be attracted (Luthans and Doh, 2009).

Issues and challenges faced by Four Seasons Hotel when expanding internationally into France (Paris)

(Source: Wordpress, 2014)

There are vast differences among the culture of both the countries and this creates numerous challenges for Hotel Four Seasons to have its expansion in France.

Secondly as per the Hierarchy of Needs Theory of Maslow, there are majorly five different set of requirements which are necessary for attaining individual satisfaction. These includes physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualisation needs. The physiological needs are the primary and the basic requirements for the survival of a human being such as clothing, air, shelter, water, food etc. The need for the security of an individual are under the safety needs such as needs related to family, health, life, property etc. the social needs relates to the association with the various groups of individuals. The esteem needs are in concern with the confidence, sense of achievement and the self-esteem and the self-actualization needs are in connection with the creativity, morality and acceptance of facts (Koontz, 2010). The individuals of Paris want to have satisfactory accomplishment of their entire basis as well as the social and safety needs. It becomes challenging for the hotel to meet the needs of all the individuals

There were several issues that were in relation with the recruitment and selection processes in the running of the F.S. George V. There was a major need for appointing potential and highly competent workforce. Therefore, the selection and the recruitment process was much complex and this become a challenge for the hotel to recruit well-trained staff. There were also remunerations, recognition and measurement issues related to “Anglo-Saxon” as it comprises of several remunerations an d benefits that are required to be offer to the workforce, what will be the performance measurement criteria, what all will be the remunerations, rewards, incentives offered to the employees. All such things are a great challenge for the hotel to manage. The one major challenge for Four Seasons was to appoint an efficient general manager for the hotel who is basically have association with France and its culture. Therefore, the hotel employed Le Calvez as the Four Season’s general manager of France branch as Le Calvez has in-depth knowledge of the hotel and he is also linked to France. The other primary issue was to appoint a team of thirty five members for managing the operations at France branch. Another big challenge for Four Seasons was to appoint a French Chef for maintain and offering the taste and quality of food required by the customers. Therefore, finding and hiring a competent French Chef was a major challenge for the hotel as the Chef is also required to develop a balance with the various working operations and concepts of the hotel.


To work effectively in an overseas nation, it is essential to follow the laws and regulations of that country, for example, high social equity in the government laws, tax policies etc. For this, there is a need of effective training. But there were numerous differences in the values, ethics, and culture are also acts as the HRM challenges for the hotel in offering adequate training to the employees.

The company is planning to have changes in the practices of talent retention, reward and motivation in the organisation. The practices will be modified as per the aspects of talent, skills and competence. In these kinds of practices, the staff members that are more competent and skilled in the comparison with employees will be eligible for getting additional benefits and incentives for their hard work and efficient performances. And the less efficient employees will be turned out from the company because of lack of skills and competence. This creates several issues and challenges for the hotel as these demoralises the staff members who are not efficient or worked effectively in the initial phase. Thus, it increases the rate of attrition of the employees and also the increase level of de-motivation among the workforce. The higher the satisfaction is the increased is the motivation of the workforce which is linked to the theory of motivation of Hertzberg and also to offer several amenities to the diverse set of workers in relation with the cultural dimension theory of Hofstede so that there can be personal development of the employees at the individuals level also.

As per the Two Factor Theory of Herzberg (Motivation-Hygiene Theory), there are several factors at the organisation which are accountable for the dissatisfaction or the satisfaction of the workforce. The factors are divided in mainly two dimensions i.e. the motivational and the hygiene factors. To have increased motivation of the employees, there is a need of presence of hygiene factors in the organisation. The absence of such factors leads to job dissatisfaction of the employees. The element in these factors includes improved working conditions, increased salary, fringe benefits and incentives (Viorel, et al., 2009). There were issues analysed related to the human resource management of Four Seasons has it has less emphasis upon both the factors. The organisation have not implemented number of approaches for increase the level of motivation such as staff development, appraisal, recognition, awards, skill-based pay, merit pay for motivating the employees and retaining them for longer period.

Recruitment and Selection

The hotel management wants to establish a direct communication channel among the general manager and the workforce, so that there can be an open communication channel which helps in faster resolution of organisational conflicts and rapid attainment of goals.

The one of the primary modes of global expansion is mergers and acquisitions. To have successful international expansion and operations, the acquisitions and mergers are highly potential. Number of enterprises gets facilitated with this kind of organisational or strategic practices as in merger, two different companies integrate together and perform function as one single group (Estrin, Baghdasaryan and Meyer, 2009).

There is an essential requirement of this kind of change as it supports in boosting the operational capacity of the hotel in having successful global expansion.

Creating a Human Resource Development program

It comprises of the organisations of similar sector who all wants to engage in the process of merger and wants to have a change in the resources.

Human Resource Development program implementation

As per the evaluation and the analysis, the mergers take place as per the financial conditions of the companies. There will also be implementation of changes in the organisational processes.

Evaluation of the Human Resource Development program        

The merger practices are recognized as one of the best expansion strategy for the company as the two companies that are of small scale operations have a merger and developed into a large scale organisation and work with synergy. Thus, for the companies, merger acts as one of the most advantageous business expansion strategy.

Merger imposes both a negative and a positive impact over the workforce depends upon the manner in which the practice has been incorporated in the organisation. If before indulging into an agreement of merger, if the company has offered adequate trainings and development sessions regarding the changes which take place because of merger, then it will impose a positive impact upon the workforce. Whereas, if the complete information is not disclosed and there is sudden change in the operations and administration then it will lead to have negative impact over the employees and there will be decreased organisational efficiency and productivity because of mismanagement (vaškovi?, 2015).

(Source: Ahmed, 2013)

The hiring process of the hotel is the central strategy as it supports the attainment of the set goals of Four Seasons i.e. to recruit the right number of individuals for carrying out the operations, vision and strategy of the hotel in an efficient manner. there is a need to understand the various factors while selecting the expatriates as due to these factors there is impact jupon the individual performances of the expatriates. Following are teh points of consideration while recruiting or selecting people.

  • Work life balance


There is a need to incorporate the practice e of work life balance for maintain the balance among the personal life, working life and health of the employees.

  • Social Recruitment

There must be taken use of online and social recruitment through career sites and engaging in the HR planning in the various hiring strategies

  • Retention Practices

To retain the valuable human assets of the organisation, it is essential that after recruitment, the employees must provide with adequate benefits, perks and incentives.

  • Training

To have high competitive benefit there is a need to offer trainings to the employees regarding the values, goals and objectives of the hotel. Better training will help employees in providing improved services to the customers. At every continuous interval, there are offered trainings to the employees (Jiang, et al., 2012).


In both domestic as well as global businesses, it is essential to understand the key components of human resource management. By emphasizing upon the international HRM, there has been analysed that the companies face number of issues and challenges while expanding globally. These issues are primarily recoats to the cultural differences, retention, motivation as well as various other factors. By the case study of Hotel Four Seasons, it is concluded that many a times the organisations ignore the various effective process for retention, recruitment, training and selections and this results in occurrence of several issues at the time of global expansion. As described above in the report about then failure of Hotel Four Seasons in Paris in context with the international human resource management, the key factors were recruitment and selection, training, motivation, reward and recognition and culture. Thus, it is concluded that the companies must pay additional attention on all these aspects to have a sustainable and successful business in the overseas regions.

To achieve competitive benefit and the long term sustainability and growth of the Four Seasons, there is a need that the organisation must have the enhanced exploitation of its HR practices and policies in the form of a strategy. The report led emphasis upon the HRM practice for example HR administration practices, development practices, recruiting practices and the structure of the various trainings. All these theories and practices will result in the successful attainment of the several competitive benefits. Following are few recommendations for resolving the various HRM issues related to the culture, recruitment, performance management and rewards and recognition:

In such a professional and specialized world of Four Seasons, there must incorporate the cross-cultural training and workplace diversity practice as if there are present employees from diverse cultural groups then it will help in building a strong image in the minds of the customers. If there is no discrimination on the basis of background, gender, ethnicity, race, age and caste, then it will support the formation of equity based culture which boosts employee motivation too (Purce, 2014). There is an extensive need of having cross cultural training and workplace diversity as it offers the business with several advantages such as increased productivity, development of pioneering ideas, handling international markets, extended service areas, efficient execution and controlling and faster adaptability towards any kind of organisational changes (Stahl, Björkman and Morris, 2012).

Reward and Motivation

The practices of HRM of human resource administration comprise of the advantages which are offered to the workforces and it also includes the reward system for the employees:

  • Reward System for Employees

There are set benchmarks on which the performances of the employees are evaluated. There are several elements included in the reward system such as tuition assistance, free coupons of food to the top performers and additional bonuses.

  • Benefits

There are extensive numbers of benefits offered to the employees as the hotel is a world-wide famous business corporation in offering advantageous and pioneering benefits to its workforces. Apart from basic salaries, there are benefits such as health related insurance, dental and visionary care, medical treatments, free of cost food and beverages, saving plans, income protection, retirementbenefits etc. (Aguinis, 2009).

  • Job Satisfaction

To have improved association with the employees, the hotel incorporates practices which benefit the workers in the best possible manner. The employees remain satisfied both in a full time or a part time job. There is high equity in providing benefits to the employees irrespective of their diverse cultural groups. Because of a friendly and satisfied working environment, the employees retain for alonger time period in the organisation (Liao, et al., 2009).

  • Employee Engagement

For outshine and succeeding, the hotel must take use of the complete competence and talent of its human resource at diverse levels of the corporation. There must be effective practicing of improved integrity and equality among the employees by having increased employee engagement. The efforts of the workers must be recognised with rewards so that they can be motivated to work hard with utmost zeal. The HR must make the employees feel that any kind of change in the organisation is positive for them and will help in the growth and personal development of the employees too. The HR manager must make the employees a vital part of any kind of change process instead of pressurizing them to adjust with the changes incorporated. There must be a detailed description of all the benefits which the employees will get in the entire tenure of their job. This will help in achieving high level of employee engagement (Scott-Jackson and Michie, 2014).

  • Performance Review

Through the performance reviews, the strategies and processes are improved on a continuous basis with the change in the time. A proper analysis, benchmarking and evaluation is performed if the performances so that they can get the rewards and recognition as per their performance review (Moran, et al., 2014).


Aguinis, H., 2009. Performance management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Ahmed, T., 2013. Dowling chapter 4. Accessed on: 6th July, 2017. Accessed from:

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

Estrin, S., Baghdasaryan, D. and Meyer, K.E., 2009. The impact of institutional and human resource distance on international entry strategies. Journal of Management Studies, 46(7), pp.1171-1196.

Harzing, A.W. and Pinnington, A. eds., 2010. International human resource management. Sage.

Jiang, K., Lepak, D.P., Han, K., Hong, Y., Kim, A. and Winkler, A.L., 2012. Clarifying the construct of human resource systems: Relating human resource management to employee performance. Human Resource Management Review, 22(2), pp.73-85.

Koontz, H., 2010. Essentials of management. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Liao, H., Toya, K., Lepak, D.P. and Hong, Y., 2009. Do they see eye to eye? Management and employee perspectives of high-performance work systems and influence processes on service quality. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2), p.371.

Luthans, F. and Doh, J.P., 2009. International management: Culture, strategy, and behavior. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Moran, R.T., Abramson, N.R. and Moran, S.V., 2014. Managing cultural differences. Routledge.

Purce, J., 2014. The impact of corporate strategy on human resource management. New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals), 67.

Scott-Jackson, W. and Michie, J., 2014. Universal HRM and the Gulf Leadership Style: The Perils of Best Practice. Cases on Management and Organizational Behavior in an Arab Context, p.1.

Stahl, G.K., Björkman, I. and Morris, S. eds., 2012. Handbook of research in international human resource management. Edward Elgar Publishing.

vaškovi?, I., 2015. The Effect of HRM Quality on Trust and Team Cohesion.Economic and Business Review, 16(3), pp.337-365.

Viorel, L., Aurel, M., Virgil, M.C. and Stefania, P.R., 2009. Employees motivation theories developed at an international level. Annals of the University of Oradea, Economic Science Series, 18(4), pp.324-328.

Wordpress, 2014. Sales management processes: A cross-cultural analysis. Accessed on: 6th July, 2017. Accessed from:
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