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Multinational Organisations Must Retain And Develop A Workforce With A Global Mindset

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Discuss about multinational organisations must retain and develop a workforce with a global mindset?


Globalisation of businesses has been a common phenomenon that has been evident at an increasing level in the 21st century. The availability of incentives to businesses in going global such as the chances of higher growth in their business has driven more and more of them to go global. This has resulted into businesses having their operations in more than one country with a view to leverage on the opportunities available in such markets. However, in looking towards achieving such higher growth levels across international market, one such major issue that act as barrier to them is their workforce. The management of workforce at the international level has been highly difficult because of the existence of various important factors such as cultural differences, language issues and many more. Even the mindset of workforce in many countries is limited to their local level and this restricts them from exploring the opportunities in the international markets. This has been a crucial issue that act as a barrier in the internationalisation process, and an important solution in this regard can be the development of workforce with global mindset.

This essay is aimed at analysing the existing literature with a view to evaluate whether multinational organisations must retain and develop their workforce with global mindset. In this relation, the essay includes a critical analysis of the findings of the past researchers regarding workforce management in international context. However, it is argued that the focus of multinational organisations should be towards developing their workforce with global mindset.

Arguments Supporting the Case

As businesses are expanding at the international markets at a highly rapid pace, it is essential that their managers and employees should be globally minded. This is mainly because a globally oriented nature of the managers would allow them in efficiently handling and managing the international projects efficiently. According to a study as conducted by Arora, Jaju, Kefalas and Perenich (2004), it has been identified that increase in the business across international borders has necessitated the need for global managers. The study was focused towards US textile and apparel industry, and it emphasises on the characteristics of global mindset in terms of conceptualisation/contextualisation abilities. The conduct of the study has resulted into identification that global mindset of existing workforce is essential so that they can adapt to different markets as per the location conditions. The study indicated that the global mindset can be created within existing organisational by providing them adequate level of training before sending them on international assignments (Arora, Jaju, Kefalas and Perenich, 2004).

The role of mindsets is crucial in achieving desired level of outputs from the employees as per a study performed by Keating and Heslin (2015). The study indicates that mindsets are mental framework that guides people regarding the ways in which they think, feel and act. By shaping their mindset towards global oriented nature of organisation management, it could be possible in achieving better performance of employees at the international projects (Keating and Heslin, 2015). The role of global mindset is indicated as important by Gupta and Govindarajan (2002) in their study on cultivating a global mindset. They have indicated in their study that the failure of majority of the US companies in the Japanese markets initially was mainly the heterogeneous environment conditions, and these US companies have ignored such heterogeneity factor. The study indicates that the workforce is crucial to achieving success in the international markets, and at the same time, they must be intelligent enough to operate across diverse and dynamic environment conditions. As per the study findings, creating a global mindset is regarded as central ingredients in addressing market requirements across international markets (Gupta and Govindarajan, 2002).


With a global mindset developed within workforce, it could be possible in achieving higher level of integrate diversity across cultures and markets. With better abilities among the organisational employees in integrating efficiently across cultures, they have the better potential in meeting out the needs and requirements of businesses across international levels. A study by Nummela, Saareketo and Puumalainen (2009) has indicated that one of the most important prerequisite for the successful internationalisation of business activities in the 21st century is mainly the development of global mindset within employees. This is identified as integral to success across international markets because such global mindset allows for the efficient overall management of task and processes as per the local environment conditions. The chances of success as a result of such cross market compatibility are higher, and this leads to higher emphasis being placed over the management of workforce with global mindset in the study. Job rotation is identified as an important strategy in which the promotion of workforce with global mindset can be accomplished (Nummela, Saarenketo and Puumalainen, 2009).

The global mindset of workforce is identified as critical from the point of view of handing the cross cultural environment and/or cross border jobs. This is mainly because a global mindset includes a strong learning orientation whereby workforce learn new things which enables them in applying their learning in better management international projects (Beechler and Woodward, 2009). The global mindset is considered as essential by Kedia and Mukherji (2009) because with the increasing companies striving to expand internationally in achieving higher growth opportunities, it is essential that they must focus towards managing their operations across international boundaries by way of creating globally mindset attitude. This has been a key factor in respect to achieving competitiveness as indicated by Kedia and Mukherji (2009) in their study, as businesses can perform efficient management of their practices across international boundaries through having multitalented or global mindset employees (Kedia and Mukherji, 2009).

According to Christiansen and Bryan (2013), a manager with global mindset has a better level of understanding with regard to global integration and local responsiveness strategies that are likely to work. It is highly essential that businesses should customise their strategies and activities across different markets so that they can better address their customer expectations efficiently in such diverse market. In this relation, the global minded orientation of employees has been highly significant from the point of view of allowing businesses in addressing international requirements efficiently. The global mindset of people is beneficial to businesses in the sense that it results into an appreciation for diversity as well as homogeneity and also an openness to learn from all possible sources. With so much of assistance from globally mindset attitude of employees, it needs to be highly encouraged especially by the multinational corporations with a view to achieving higher level of success and growth in their performance (Christiansen and Bryan, 2013).

The main purpose of businesses behind expanding into the international markets is mainly to achieve higher level of growth and development. The role of global mindset is critical as identified in a study conducted by Lovvorn and Chen (2011). They have carried out a study that is primarily focused towards analysing the relationship between international assignment and cultural intelligence and the conduct of the study has resulted into the argument that global mindset of employee is the first major factor that must be considered by businesses in becoming multinational. The international assignments are considered as the most efficient way in cultivating global mindset within employees as such international assignments provide unique and tacit knowledge to employees that is essential to them in achieving success internationally.

As suggested by Marquardt (2009), it is essential that businesses should understand the local requirements across different markets whereby they aim at performing their operations. This can be positively accomplished by way of striving towards developing a global mindset within their employees. This would allow them in making changes to their approach while handling international assignments and the resulting impact would be better performance of the entire organisation (Marquardt, 2009). It is the employees of the organisation that have to carry out the roles and responsibilities of the organisation, and they need to be culturally aware of different working conditions so that changing business environment condition is positively addressed by them. A global mindset is therefore positive to supporting the employees even in different working conditions away from their home country environment to adjust themselves efficiently and meeting out the requirements.

However, an important question in this regard of supporting global mindset within employees is that whether such global mindset of employee is likely to create positive values for a company that has its operations only in domestic markets only. The answer to this question has been provided by Gupta, Govindarajan and Wang (2015) and they have indicated that global mindset is essential in respect to multinational companies and also in respect to local companies because global mindset explores the attitude of the employees and enables them in handling their operations even at the local level. With the enhanced level of knowledge and abilities, such experienced workers can contribute towards accomplishing organisational goals in a positive way. This leads to the identification that global mindset is beneficial irrespective of whether the company performs expansion of its business activities into global market or not (Gupta, Govindarajan and Wang, 2015).

Such global mindset within the existing employees is highly justified because it has been a crucial factor that accounts for bringing in large number of advantageous benefits to the organisation. As for instance, the global mindset enables an organisation with the ability to combine speed with accurate response. The benefits that are being possible from global mindset can allow an organisation in achieving competitive advantage over others. The important sources of competitive advantages from such global mindset approach in managing their operations can be categorised as early mover, trade-offs, best practices, new products and coordination. These aspects are crucial from the point of view of allowing the organisation in accomplishing competitive advantage from considering such global mindset. Although global mindset is quite beneficial to an organisation from the point of view of allowing them in achieving competitiveness, yet there are certain major initiatives that are essential to be considered by such organisations in achieving competitiveness.

An analysis of such initiatives indicate that they must include a friendliness behaviour despite the existence of cultural differences, performing efficient level of communication across global as well as local demands, encouraging formal and informal best practice sharing, acting on emerging opportunities and focus towards building trust across cross cultural setting. These are the important factors that must be considered in ensuring that the positive level of mindset is supported within employees so that they can address even different business environment in a positive way. The global managers as suggested by Gupta and Govindarajan (2002) has usually open mind and they have better understanding of the ways in which different country behaves and operates in particular. As a result of this, they can ensure the efficient management of organisational processes even across international business environment (Gupta and Govindarajan, 2002).

An important finding has been indicated by the study as carried out by Gupta and Govindrajan (2002) with regard to building global mindset within their workforce. In achieving cohesiveness with regard to building a globally mindset workforce, it is essential that such businesses should focus towards facilitating increasing level of knowledge building at the level of individuals. Apart from applying this strategy in particular, it is also highly essential that there should be the encouragement of diversity with regard to composition of people in making up the company. This indicates that diversity management is an important way in which organisations can empower their existing employees to cultivate a global mindset within them, and thereby in making them compatible in addressing complex external environment in a positive way. This has been a crucial factor supporting the growth and development of global mindset within employees, and this could ultimately become a competitive edge to the organisation at large (Özbilgin, Groutsis and Harvey, 2014).

Another important way that can be utilised in order to develop global mindset is sending the employees to assignments across global boundaries. It is essential that the expatriate managers are offered with sufficient level of support in the form of training so that they can ensure the enhancement of their global focus and by performing across such international assignments, there could be the further level of improvement in their skills and abilities in taking such international assignments efficiently. With such global mindset, it has been extremely important that employees should look towards achieving improvement with regard to their abilities (Dekker, 2013). This is mainly because successful operations at the international level require the application of sound knowledge and abilities. The global mindset would not only benefits the employees in applying their domestic application of knowledge and skills, but it would also assist them in applying their global oriented learning from such international assignments (Ungson and Wong, 2008).

Overall, the analysis of the arguments above clarifies that a global mindset is highly essential to employees in addressing the increasing requirements of their business, and it is therefore essential that businesses should look for creating and retaining employees with such global mindset in their business.


This essay involved a critical assessment of argument that the employees should be developed in respect to multinational organisations by way of focusing solely towards a global mindset approach within them. The conduct of analysis has indicated that global mindset is the ability of employees in efficiently performing the management of global organisation. A global mindset within the employees implies that they are ready to work on the international projects efficiently and they have requisite abilities in doing so. However, the review of literature has indicated findings that with increasing businesses expanding their operations into international markets, it has been highly essential that the development of their employees should be achieved by considering this phenomenon of global mindset. This is mainly because the global mindset phenomenon allows for handling not only the domestic project, but there can be appropriate management of the international assignments that could also become possible. The conduct of analysis has also indicated that there is a need for training and appropriate level of assistance in the form of sending employees to international assignments so that they can be developed efficiently in addressing organisational requirements even at the local and global level. The performance of analysis has also indicated that there are significant level of benefits that could be accomplished from ensuring such development of global mindset within the workforce. As a result, on the basis of entire analysis as performed, it has been identified crucial for the multinational organisations that they should develop and retain employees with the purpose of global mindset so that the increasing requirement of businesses in meeting out the global market needs can be efficiently addressed.



Arora, A., Jaju, A., Kefalas, A.G. and Perenich, T. (2004), ‘An exploratory analysis of global managerial mindsets: a case of U.S. textile and apparel industry’, Journal of International Management, Vol. 10, pp. 393-411.

Beechler, S. and Woodward, I.C. (2009), ‘The global war for talent’, Journal of International Management, Vol. 15, pp. 273-285.

Christiansen and Bryan, (2013), ‘Cultural and Technological Influences on Global Business’, IGI Global.

Dekker, W.D. (2013), ‘Global Mindset and Leadership Effectiveness’, Palgrave Macmillan.

Gupta, A.K., Govindarajan, V. and Wang, H. (2015), ‘The Quest for Global Dominance: Transforming Global Presence into Global Competitive Advantage’, 2nd ed., John Wiley & Sons.

Gupta, A.K. and Govindarajan, V. (2002), ‘Cultivating a Global Mindset’, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 16 (1), pp. 116-126.

Keating, L.A. and Heslin, P.A. (2015), ‘The potential role of mindsets in unleashing employee engagement’, Human Resource Management Review, Vol. Xxx, pp. 1-13.

Kedia, B.L. and Mukherji, A. (2009), ‘Global Managers: Developing A Mindset For Global Competitiveness’, Journal of World Business, Vol. 34 (3), pp. 230-251.

Lovvorn, A. and Chen, J. (2011), ‘Developing a Global Mindset: The Relationship between an International Assignment and Cultural Intelligence’, International Journal of Business and Social Science, Vol. 2 (9), pp. 275-283.

Marquardt, M.J. (2009), ‘The Global Advantage’, Routledge.

Nummela, N., Saarenketo, S. and Puumalainen, K. (2009), ‘A Global Mindset — A Prerequisite for Successful Internationalization?’, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences, Vol. 21 (1), pp. 51-64.

Özbilgin, M., Groutsis, D. and Harvey, W. (2014), ‘International Human Resource Management’, Cambridge University Press.

Ungson, G.R. and Wong, Y. (2008), ‘Global Strategic Management’, M.E. Sharpe.

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