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Abstract

            This report is aimed at discussing the role of HRM is the cross-cultural international business. The objectives of the research are related to the analysis of the role of HR managers in optimising cross culture, characteristics of cross-culture, issues faced in cross-culture and the managerial skills required by the HR managers to manage cross-cultural aspects. The secondary research methods such as interpretivism philosophy, inductive research approach and secondary data collection methods are used in the research. In addition to these, the thematic analysis technique is applied for the interpretation of data into meaningful results. In today’s competitive era, all the international organisations are required to have an effective business culture due to the diverse workforce. In order to manage the work by the diverse workforce, skilled and knowledgeable HR managers are required who can understand the needs of the employees and make them coordinated towards the work so that organisational objectives can be fulfilled. In this manner, the role of HR managers in cross-cultural organisations is significant due to the multiple issues arising from the change in workplace diversity.

Chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Human Resource Management (HRM) is considered as an essential aspect of the organisations. The concept of HRM is responsible for the management of the workforce by providing safe and secure work environment within the organisation. Cross-Cultural aspect within the organisations is related to the diverse workforce and their cultural backgrounds. The cross-cultural environment is becoming prominent within the organisations in order enhance the cultural diversity within the organisations (Gillies, 2016). This chapter forms the base for the entire dissertation as introductory information has been included in it. Within this chapter, the background information regarding the topic of the role of HR mangers in the international organisation has been provided. In addition to this, research aims and objectives and questions have been developed which will help in exploring the research in further sections in a better manner.

1.2 Research Background

With the advancement of globalisation, internationalisation scenario of businesses is gaining momentum. The business market is considered a global hub where there is not only free movement of goods and services, but also there is free movement of individuals and employees (Comber, 2013). Moreover, it is because of the globalisation that fierce competition is encouraged due to which the MNC’s are offering the wide range of benefits and opportunities.  In order to avail these benefits and opportunities, every year the high number of expatriate employees and managers are sent overseas within the MNCs to different branches located in different countries.

With the introduction of the diverse workforce within the international organisations the responsibilities of the human resource department have increased as they are not only required to recruit and hire diverse workforce but at the same time are required to manage the diverse workforce which is a challenging task (Jing, 2010). A number of issues tend to arise among the diverse workforce which directly or indirectly has the capability of influencing the organisational performance in an adverse manner. Due to the difference in geographical culture there is difference in the language, attitude, value and beliefs of the workforce which acts as hindrance to their individual performance and the organisational performance.

As a result of these issues, the roles and responsibilities of the HR managers within the international organisations and MNCs have changed. A more complex responsibility of managing the culturally diverse workforce is required to be fulfilled by the HR managers in -such a manner that employees work cohesively and cooperatively which helps in improving their performance which in turn helps in improving and enhancing the organisational performance (Kostova, Nell and Hoenen, 2016). Therefore, it becomes important to have a detailed understanding of the role of the HR managers in the cross-cultural business environment along with the challenges and issues that they face and strategies applied to ensure effective cross-cultural environment.

1.3 Research problem

It has been observed that while operating the business at the international level the organisation needs to hire local employees from every country in which they are operating their business. It is because of it the local employees who can help in understanding the business environment of their country and the needs and preferences of the local consumers (Jackson, 2014). However, it is not easy to deal with the culturally diverse workforce due to the high degree of heterogeneity involved concerning values and beliefs which are culturally driven. This indirectly affects the performance of the organisation adversely.

Under such situation, it the HR manager who is required to identify the differences among the employees and is required to take steps to overcome the identified differences. However, it is a difficult task for the HR manager to manage the culturally diverse people. The present research discusses the issues faced by the HR managers in a cross-cultural environment and the role they are required to play to overcome the identified challenge. In addition to this, the significance of leadership and decision-making skills that are required to be possessed by the HR managers is to be identified.

Due to rising of the diverse workforce within the MNCs it has been seen that the HR managers are burdened with complex responsibilities which demand from them to be more skilful and knowledgeable. Moreover, the cross-cultural environment prevailing in the MNCs

1.4 Research question

The research question plays a vital role in the research working as it provides a direction to the research study (Noe, 2013). Following is the research question that is explored in this research study-

‘What is the role of Human resource managers in cross-cultural management and how important and effective are their skills in international business?’

In order to explore and analyse in a better manner in the latter part of the dissertation, this research question has been divided into a number of sub-questions which are as follows-

  • What are the major issues that are faced by the HR managers in a cross-cultural environment?
  • What are the different dimensions as well as differences that exist in a cross-cultural environment?
  • What kind of role is required to be played by the HR managers in cross-cultural management?
  • What kind of leadership and decision-making skills are required by the HR managers in international businesses?
  • What is the role of effective managerial communication in international business?

1.5 Research aim and objectives

Research aim

With the help of research aim, an effective base and platform for the research are developed. A refined research study is done with the help of defined research aim. The main aim of the study is-

To investigate the role of the HR managers in cross-cultural management and to understand the significance of their leadership and decision-making skills in an international business

Research Objectives

Following are the research objectives-

  • To identify the relationship between international cultural and HRM practices
  • To understand the concept of cross-cultural HR management and its significance
  • To research on the characteristics or features of a cross-cultural HR management
  • To understand the wide range of issues existing in a cross-cultural environment
  • To research on the role of the HR managers in cross-cultural management and study the importance of their leadership and decision making skills
  • To understand the significance of managerial communication in a cross-cultural environment
  • To develop effective strategies for international businesses to manage and overcome the cross-cultural differences

1.6 Research significance

Since cross-cultural management is gaining momentum in the current scenario, therefore, it becomes important to research on the issues that are faced by the management. With the help of this research study, effective knowledge has been gained regarding the cross-cultural management and the issues faced by the HR managers while dealing with it (Festing and Maletzky, 2011). Therefore, this research will provide a holistic overview of the HR managers of various MNCs in dealing with cross-cultural management issues.  It is analysed that with the help of this research study the HR managers at the international level will be able to get adequate information regarding the cross-cultural management. Moreover, the findings of this research study will inform them about the vulnerabilities that should be worked upon and the steps through which the issues identified can be worked upon. There several gaps in the research such as accumulation of primary and secondary data. It can be analysed that the area of research is wide and can be discussed in an effective manner. This research still has significant scope for discussion of the cross-cultural environment within the organisations. This research can be used only for the academic purpose instead of using it personally. It can be analysed that the management of the complete data was time consuming and difficult. However, research work is completed successfully within the stipulated time.

It has also been observed that cross-cultural management is a wide and diverse topic which needs updated information over the period (Akande, 2009). Therefore, with this research, new findings regarding the cross-cultural management and its implementation in the organisations can be derived. On the basis of this research work, organisation can get the better understanding on how cross-cultural environment can be beneficial for their business and help them in achieving the organisational objectives. At, last the outcomes of this research study will prove to act as base information for the future researchers who will research the related topic.

1.7 Organisation of research

The entire research has been presented in the form of various chapters that are explained in a sequential manner. The detailed elaborations of all the chapters that are incorporated in the research study are explained below-

Chapter 1 Introduction

This chapter includes the base information regarding the entire research work which is in the form of the research problem, research aim and objectives, research question and research rationale. The topic of the research, i.e. cross management issues and the manner in which HR managers are required to deal is explored superficially in this chapter.

Chapter 2 Literature Review

Literature Review chapter covers the theories and the concepts related to human resource management and cross-cultural management. Within this secondary chapter data collected has been presented in which work of different authors has been compiled.

Chapter 3 Research Methodology

Research Methodology chapter mainly deals with information regarding the flow of the research study. The manner in which the research has been conducted is mainly highlighted in this chapter. Furthermore, in this chapter, the various methods that are required to be applied in exploring the data in an effective manner are done.

Chapter 4 Data Analysis and Findings

After the data being gathered and collected through the use of appropriate research methodology, the data needs to be analysed. Therefore, in this chapter, the collected secondary data has been analysed through thematic analysis on the basis of sub-questions being formed. After the analysis, research findings have been made wherein the analysed data has been aligned with the research aim and objectives.

Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendations

This is the last chapter of the dissertation, wherein the concluding points have been made on the basis of an entire research study. In addition to this, a number of recommendations have been provided for the managers which can help them to combat the managerial issues related with cross cultural management.

 

 

Chapter 2 Literature review

2.1 Conceptual Framework

 

Figure.1 Conceptual Framework

2.2 Introduction

The literature review chapter is considered as an essential chapter that includes the theoretical underpinnings of the research subject in an appropriate manner. In the following chapter, the theoretical concepts with regard to human resource management and cross-cultural management have been explored and identified in order to analyse the relationship between these two concepts (Gupta and Bahber, 2016). A large number of literary sources have been gathered in this part of the research study so that relevant data can be collected and analysed. Each of the heading within this chapter is developed on the basis of the research aim and objectives being set in the former chapter of the research.

2.3 Characteristics of Cross-Cultural Environment and its Management by HR

2.3.1 Hofstede cultural dimension theory

According to Gupta and Bhaskar (2016), the dimensions of cross-cultural environment can be better analysed with the help of Hofstede Cultural Dimension theory. Cultural Dimension theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication which was developed by Geert Hofstede. With the help of this theory, the impacts that culture has on the members of the society has been described. Moreover, the manner in which values relate to the behaviour using the structure derived from factor analysis is described. This theory has become the recognised standard for understanding the cultural differences. He mainly researched upon the people who were working for IBM in more than 50 countries. The main dimensions as per this theory are power distance index, individualism vs Collectivism, masculinity vs Femininity, uncertainty avoidance index, pragmatic vs Normative and indulgence vs Restraint (Gupta and Bhaskar, 2016).

Figure. 2 Hofstede Theory

Source: (Rowley, 2012)

In the perception of Higgs and Boeije (2005), power index defines the extent to which the less powerful members within organisations accept and expect the distribution of power in an unequal manner. Individualism vs Collectivism index explains the degree to which people in a society are integrated into groups. Individualistic societies emphasise on ‘I’ instead of ‘we’. On the other hand, collectivism focuses on tightly-integrated relationships (Migliore, 2011). Uncertainty avoidance index is defined as society’s tolerance for ambiguity. Cultures that score a high degree in the index opt for strict codes of behaviour, guidelines and laws. On the other hand, the lower degree in the index shows more acceptances of differing thoughts or ideas (Higgs and Boeije, 2005).

In the perception of Akande (2009), masculinity vs Femininity index defines different perspectives towards traditions. Masculinity defines the preferences in society for achievement and heroism whereas femininity defines preferences for cooperation and modesty. Long-term orientation vs. Short term orientation determines the connection of the past with current and future actions. A lower degree of this index shows that traditions are values while higher degree indicates addictiveness and pragmatic problem solving are valued. Indulgence vs Restraint indicates the measure of happiness which is different within cultures (Akande, 2009).

 

2.3.2 Trompenaars Cultural Dimensions model

According to Comber (2013), with the help of cultural differences, a better understanding can be created in reality. This model has identified seven different dimensions are national culture, and there are five orientations in which humans deal with each other. They are universalism vs particularism, individualism vs communitarianism, neutral vs emotional, specific vs diffuse, achievement vs Ascription, sequential vs Synchronic, and internal vs External control. The first dimension of universalism is applied where there is distinction between right and wrong. In this culture the standards and values are important and can be deported only after consultation. On the other hand, particularistic culture is the one wherein the members believe that it is the circumstance which determines the ideas to be applied in practice. The other dimension of individualism vs Communitarianism discusses the human being as individuals and groups respectively. Neutral vs Emotional dimension states that emotional traits wherein in neutral dimension emotions are controlled, and in emotional culture, emotions are expressed. Specific vs Diffuse describe the space requirements (Comber, 2013).

 

Figure 3. Trampenaars theory

Source: (EPM, 2017)

According to Hox et al. (2005), In a specific culture, individuals tend to have large public space whereas in diffuse culture the public, as well as private spaces, are interwoven. Achievement vs Ascription dimension is the performance culture determined. In achievement dimension, a person’s worth is determined on the basis of their performance whereas in an ascription-oriented culture the performance is judged on the basis of knowledge. Sequential vs Synchronous time determine the time. In sequential culture, time is measured using years, months and days whereas in no times zones are concerned in synchronous time, but the rhythm of the group and nature is concerned. At last, internal direction vs Outer direction dimension focuses on the manner in which the manner in which people experience the environment. The outer-directed culture which prevails in the west wants to control the environment whereas in non-western countries it is more about living in harmony and peace and there are no forces which control the environment (Hox et al. 2005).

2.3.3 Cross-cultural dimensions

In the perception of Jackson (2014), the major differences that exist between the cultures can be divided into two important dimensions. One dimension was developed by Geert Hofstede as discussed in the previous section whereas Fons Trompenaars explained the other dimension. Both of these methodologies provide the explanation regarding the cultural dimensions set as per the dominant value system. These value systems tend to have a significant impact on the human acting, thinking and feeling and also on the organisational behaviour in predictive ways (Hwang and Ng, 2013). The two dimensions are identified to be the same. However, Jackson (2014) also stated that the dimensions tend to differ from each other. Both of these theoretical concepts are used to understand the differences in dimensions which prevail within the different set of cultures (Jackson, 2014).

2.4 Human resource management and International Business Culture

According to Sparrow (2009), the concept of human resource management is related to the process of managing the employees of an organisation in such a manner that they ensure highest level of success to the organisation. The management of workforce within the organisation is considered as the important part of the organisation so that tasks can be accomplished in an effective manner. They are termed as the most significant and important assets of an organisation out of all the assets known. It is because behind the production of every product or a service is dependent on the working ability and hard work of the employees. Human beings are recognised as the fundamental resource for the construction or development of anything. Thus, these resources are required to managed in a careful way (Sparrow, 2009).

In the perspective of Kostova et al. (2016), human resource management is the process of recruiting, selecting and selecting an employee and the procedure goes much beyond that which includes training and development, assessment of employees, providing of compensation and benefits, maintaining proper relation with the employees and promoting their welfare at each stage. Thus, altogether it is the process, which helps in maximum utilisation of available resources and workforce in the most efficient manner. It is for this reason that every organisation nowadays focuses on having a separate human resource department that is responsible for looking after all the issues related to workers and employees and is responsible for bringing the best out of each of the employee (Kostova et al. 2016). However, the process of human resource management is not easily accomplishable because it requires proper knowledge and resources to be implementable within the organisations (Ojala, 2015).

In the perception of Muenjohn and Armstrong (2015), there are some principles of human resources, which helps in making HR practices transparent and relevant for the future. The first principle states that HR department of an organisation is required to deal with the employees’ right from their recruitment to retirement. It includes human resources planning, selection, training and development, and job evaluation to exit interviews. The second principle states that people are the real power that helps an organisation to move forward. The third principle states that attitude is the key to employee engagement and therefore HR managers emphasise on the attitude rather than the experience (Ojala, 2015). The fourth principle states that hiring should be slow, but the right talent should be identified and recruited within the organisation. The fifth principle states that employees should be offered with simplicity rather than the complex working environment that will enhance their performance. The sixth principle states that HR managers should guide the employees at every step (Muenjohn and Armstrong, 2015).

Spector et al. (2015) stated that every country has its human resource development and this can be put in phases namely personnel management, human resource management and human capital management. Each of these phases has its tasks and activities which signifies management of people in a workplace.

2.5 Cross-Cultural management in MNCs and its Significance

According to Oloko and Ogustu (2017), a multi-national corporation (MNC) refers to a corporate organisation which owns and controls the production of goods and services in at least one country other than its home country. After the globalisation, a number of MNCs have been established all over the world, and within these companies, there is the free exchange of goods, services, financial, physical and human resources.

In the words of Gillies (2010), as a result of globalisation and increasing competencies it has become essential for the companies to recruit skilled, experienced and knowledgeable employees from across the globe and retain them to ensure organisational success. On the one hand recruiting employees from across the globe helps in enhancing the performance of the organisation. However, it has been stated by (Ojala, 2015) that it may lead to many management issues including management of tasks and workforce. It is from here the concept of cross-cultural management has come into effect which involves examining and managing human behaviour within the organisation from a global perspective (Gillies, 2010).

Den Hond et al. (2015) stated that cross-cultural management defines the management of behaviour of a global organisation which operates in different culture and countries. With the help of it, the focus is made on understanding the methods and ways through which communication and interaction of the workers can be improved. In the current scenario, it is observed that people from different cultures and countries are employed in MNCs, and each of the employees has a unique set of attitude, behaviour, values and traits which are affected by his or her culture. Thus, in such situation, the MNCs consist of the number of employees which are heterogeneous in terms of values, beliefs, and traits. There are high chances that the employees might not be able to work with each other due to the difference in culture from which they have been brought up (Den Hond et al., 2015). It is with the help of cross-cultural management that all the different values and beliefs of the culturally diverse workforce are aligned well through cross-cultural awareness to achieve better cooperation and communication at a global workplace (Toth, 2012). The managers at the MNCs are required to have specific skills in order to manage the cross culture in order to succeed in an effective manner.

According to Mighiore (2011), the cross-cultural managers within the MNCs are required to keep their employees united within the workplace and assign them job responsibilities in such a manner that they keep their cultural differences aside at work. Thus, effective cross-cultural management plays a significant role in maintaining and retaining the diverse workforce which is important for the sustainability of an organisation in an international market. It also includes identifying the management values and business values along with appropriate methodologies in the global marketplace. However, in the perceptions of Hox and Boeije (2005), there may be some issues that have to be faced by the managers such as difference in language, culture, working pattern and work ethics. Overall it is seen that every country has its style of management and thus it the MR Managers within the MNCs are required to perform complex responsibility of handling several cultures tactfully (Mighiore, 2011).

2.6 Issue faced due to the cross-cultural environment

In the opinion of Stahl et al. (2012), the international organisations can flourish well when there are perfect harmony and the high degree of cohesiveness among the workforce and the internal members of the organisations. Employees act as the backbone of every organisation. However, when it comes to overseas business the traits, values, and beliefs of the employees tend to change as they belong to the heterogeneous culture.

According to Trompenaars (1996), the role of the HR manager in the MNCs and international organisation is not just restricted to hiring of culturally diverse workforce who can work for them but goes way beyond that. After the potential candidates are hired for the particular job roles the HR managers tend to face a number of issues which requires to be solved as earliest as possible by the management. All the issues that are faced by the management are because of the heterogeneity of values, beliefs, norms and thinking perspectives of the culturally diverse employees. However, according to Perrewe (2011), the prime issue which is faced by the organisation due to cross-cultural environment is the communication barrier. Approximately 25 different languages are spoken in different parts of the world which becomes a challenging task for the MNCs. It is because when the culturally diverse workforce is raised by an international organisation then the employees tend to speak their native language which might not be understandable for the others. However, English is considered as a universal language but still there are many countries in the world where English is not preferred such as France. When employees are hired from such countries then it becomes a communication barrier within the organisation (Trompenaars, 1996).

Moreover, in order to have enhanced organisational performance it is important that the employees should work as a team, but due to communication and other related barriers there is inadequate trust. In order to develop trust among people it is important to communicate which becomes a barrier. Perception is another challenge that is faced in a cross-cultural environment. For instance, employees of the western counties consider employees from the less developed countries as inferior to them due to their perception of lack of knowledge and exposure in the developing countries (Noe, 2013). Difference of opinion is another challenge that acts as hindrance for the MNCs. It is because of difference in the dimensions such individualism and collectivism and power index that employees in a culturally diverse environment might not agree with other. In the perception of Perrewe (2011), it reflected that there are high chances that disputes and personal indifferences might arise among the employees in a culturally diverse environment which is harmful for the overall performance of the organisation as it adversely affects the productivity of the team as a whole (Perrewe, 2011).

Kostova et al. (2016) stated there are high chances that issues of false communication might arise among the culturally diverse workforce which leads to misinterpretation of information and thus organisations might face adverse situations and circumstances. For instance, the gesture of thumbs up is quite controversial. It is a recognised sign of approval in the western countries, but on the contrary, it is used as an insult in Asian countries such as Bangladesh (Ojala, 2015). There are a number of gestures like this which might be falsely communicated among the culturally diverse workforce. However, in contradictory manner,the HR managers in such an environment are burdened with managing the people of the organisation in such a manner that each of the sentiments related to their culture is not hurt and at the same time the work is performed out of them. This becomes a challenging task for them as considering each of the employees’ preferences becomes a tedious task (Kostova et al. 2016).

In the perception of Gillies (2010), it is a challenging task for the HR managers to identify the different needs of the employees and to motivate them differently. The need level of the individuals varies even in the same culture group.However, when the diverse culture is practised, then it becomes all the more challenging task for the managers to motivate the employees who belong to the culturally diverse background. The HR managers are responsible for framing policies wherein each of the employees’ needs and preferences should be met because each is an asset to an organisation. However, this is a challenging task for the managers to include culturally diverse preference within the policies and regulations of the HR within an organisation (Gillies, 2010).

2.7 Role of HR managers in cross-cultural management

According to Den Hond et al. (2015) the primary role of human resource managers is to formulate HR strategies and policies in accordance with the business policy of an organisation. While formulating the strategies, the HR managers are required to keep in mind the issues in the geographical location from where the company is planning to operate. In this regard, it is the role of the HR managers to consider the difference in political, labour, religious and diversity aspects. In addition to this, it is the HR’s responsibility to facilitate the transfer of knowledge which is defined in terms of explicit qualities and tacit qualities. It is mandatory for the international human resources managers to possess explicit as well as tacit knowledge. With the help of explicit expertise, the managers can frame international HR policies on the basis of organisational objectives. On the other hand, with the help of tacit knowledge the external factors can better understand with the help of the HR managers can analyse the opportunities and threats in a better manner (Den Hond et al. 2015).

In the words of Akande (2009), the HR managers must foster global collaboration by focusing more on ensuring personnel works effectively together as a team. For fostering global collaboration, they are required to organise ice-breaking sessions for the culturally diverse employees so that they get to know each other. Furthermore, better communication channels should be organised by the international HR managers who can help in fostering global collaboration in a better manner. It is the role of HR manager within international organisations to build effective teams by practising diversity management. For this team building workshops should be conducted, and the managers should take steps to promote acceptance of cultural diversity and motivating employees to achieve strategic goals. In addition to this, the international HR managers should recognise the significance of individual recognition and should create awareness about how teams can function effectively across borders for maintaining the overall profitability of the companies (Akande, 2009).

In the words of Festing and Malestzky (2011), it is the HR role to identify the differences among the workforce and to use the differences effectively in such a manner that they benefit the organisation and at the same time those differences which hinder the organisation growth should be eradicated. For instances in case the international employees have different set of skills, qualities and knowledge then it is the HR managers’ role to identify their area of specialisation and provide them work accordingly which can help in enhancing the overall performance of the organisation. At the same time if the employees have difference in attitude and beliefs then he should organise sessions where the employees get to know each other so that the beliefs and values can be aligned well. Apart from that it is the HR managers’ role to maintain a productive environment and thus training sessions should be organised for the cross-cultural employees. Thus, employees who are facing language barriers should be made to attend language training sessions. Similarly, cross-cultural training sessions should be organised by the HR managers to facilitate the diverse cultural environment (Festing and Malestzky, 2011).

2.8 Leadership and decisions making skills of the HR managers

According to Noe (2013), the HR Managers are required to play a dual role of leaders and decision makers while managing people within the organisation. Leadership refers to the ability of influencing others in such a manner that the followers are inspired and motivated by the leaders. It is seen that in a cross-cultural environment it is the HR manager who is responsible for making the employees comfortable in a foreign environment and thus with the help of transformational leadership style he can listen to the needs of the culturally diverse employees and at the same time, HR manager can guide them regarding the necessary responsibilities to be fulfilled in a cooperative manner (Gupta and Bhaskar, 2016). However, in the perceptions of Perrewe (2011), it is reflected that HR managers need to have significant leadership and management skills without which working environment cannot be made effective. An HR manager without any skills and knowledge cannot develop a productive and efficient working environment. Thus, overall it seems that the HR manager in a cross-cultural environment is required to have leadership qualities such as high emotional intelligence, good listener, ambitious, goal-oriented, and problem-solver and should act as a people’s person (Noe, 2013).

According to Comber (2013), as far as the decision-making skills are considered, then it is observed that the HR managers should be quick as well as accurate in decision making because their decisions tend to affect the performance of all the employees within an organisation. In addition to this it is observed that HR managers should make decisions by not considering the organisational objectives but at the same time should consider the personal objectives of the employees so that the employees feel motivated which in turn is helpful for the organisations. Apart from that, since the HR managers represent the entire workforce of an organisation, therefore they should avoid taking autocratic decisions and on the contrary, should discuss with the people before taking any decision on behalf of the entire organisation. Thus, decision-making skills within the HR managers are required to be consultee, quick and accurate (Comber, 2013).

2.9Significance of Managerial communication in cross-cultural environment and strategies to overcome the issues

According to the Agarwal, Croson and Mahoney (2010), managerial communication is an essential aspect that is responsible for managing the communication at the workplace in order to carry out the work effectively. Managerial communication is necessary in terms of allowing the exchange of ideas amongst the employees from different cultures and backgrounds within the organisation. It accomplishes healthy discussions among the employees at the workplace for quick and effective results. It can be considered that if a brilliant idea is not shared among the employees, then it is of no use (Agarwal, Croson and Mahoney, 2010).

In the perception of Gupta and Bhaskar (2016), managers should focus on communicating themselves with the lower department employees to convey the ideas, which is not only beneficial for their teams but also for the whole organisation. Effective and regular communication at the workplace helps in reducing duplicity in the tasks. However, sometimes upper and lower level employees have conflicts with each other due to the improper management of work and politics at the workplace (Clampitt, 2012). A manager should have proper knowledge of the tasks performed by the other teams also and keep himself aware of the requirements and the latest developments within the organisation. Thus, it can be possible only when manager level employees are in regular contact with the lower staff (Gupta and Bhaskar, 2016).

According to Conrad and Poole (2012), another significance of managerial communication is analysed in terms of solving the issues among the employees from the different cultures. They are responsible for creating a friendly environment in the organisation so that employees do not face issues in working on their tasks. Managerial communication can also help in reducing partiality at the workplace in order to create the safe working environment for the employees who come from different backgrounds. The effective communication from the managers also helps in assigning different tasks to different people on the basis of their talent and skills rather than the ethnicity or culture. In this manner, the managerial communication possesses several benefits in cross-cultural organisations for accomplishing different kinds of tasks with proper accuracy and responsibility (Conrad and Poole, 2012).

In the perception of Clampitt, (2012), managerial communication plays a significant role in the time of crisis. In the critical situations,each employee regardless of the position in the organisation should communicate with the other employees on a common platform. This kind of approach can help the organisation in coming out of the tough times easily and proceed towards growth and development. Effective communication in case of the cross-cultural business environment, act as a lifeline during emergency casesand binds and motivates the employees to work collaboratively (Clampitt, 2012).

Kim and Rhee (2011) stated that there are several strategies for overcoming the cross-cultural issues within the organisation such as interacting with the people from other ethnicities, respecting their cultures, allowing them to communicate with other people, learning phrases from their languages, and help them get comfortable at the new place. These kinds of tasks can be beneficial for the employees in letting them know each other so that tasks can be accomplished collaboratively. Cultural differences can create barriers amongst the employees during an agreement in negotiation (Kim and Rhee, 2011). However, barriers can also act as the opportunities for learning new things in order to reach valuable discussions agreements. It reflects that the cross-cultural conflicts and negotiations may result in rife with opportunities in case of counterparts to understand the preferences, beliefs, values and priorities(Clampitt, 2012).

According to De Waal (2013), the issues related to languages can result in many problems within the organisations and these kinds of issues can be resolved by conducting communication programs so that employees get each other in terms of their culture, languages, background and ethnicities. In this manner, communication issues can be solved. When it comes to personal disputes due to cultural differences, the senior level employees within the organisations should act as intermediaries between the local people and the people coming from the other backgrounds. They should motivate all the employees to respect the culture of every employee and interact within them in order to increase the learning. Sometimes, differences in opinion also result in disputes among the employees due to which business operations get disturbed and delayed (De Waal, 2013).

In the perception of Vercic, Vercic and Sriramesh (2012), the disputes may be related to the pattern of working as it could be different in case of different employees. The working pattern of one employee may or may not be liked by other employees thus result in disputes. These disputes can be solved by discussing the points of conflicts with each other so that tasks can be accomplished without any delays and issues (Vercic, Vercic and Sriramesh, 2012).

2.10 Summary

Overall it is can be summarised that the human resource management is an important activity within every organisation.  Its significance increases even more in the cross-cultural environment within an organisation because the beliefs, values and perspectives of culturally diverse employees tend to be different which can lead to disputes. Therefore, it is the role of HR managers to overcome the differences of the employees through effective strategies. In addition to this, there are different cultural dimensions which are required to be considered by the HR managers so that they can be worked upon. A number of issues are faced by the HR manages due to difference in the cultural dimensions such as trust issues among the employees, lack of communication and false communication among the employees and poor organisational performance (Baba Abugre, 2012). All these issues are required to be cautiously considered by the international HR managers. At last, it is seen that the HR managers are required to act as good leaders and decision-makers in order to manage employees well. Thus, managerial communication is considered to have a significant role in the cross-cultural organisations as communication between the senior level employees and junior level employees can help in optimising the workplace scenario. In case of cross-cultural disputes, the concept of managerial communication can help resolving the issues for better work performance.

Chapter 3:  Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

Research methodology refers to the application of approaches and methods for the purpose of data collection and analysis so that significant direction can be provided to the research. It includes multiple approaches and methods in order to accomplish various tasks such as data collection, data interpretation and analysis along with the research outcomes (Mackenzie and Knipe, 2006). These process and activities are considered essential for managing the research work in an efficient way in order to make the research work more effective.

Figure 4. Research Methodology

Source: (Resource Valley, 2016)

3.2 Research Methods

            There are various research approaches that can be applied for the successful accomplishment of the research such as research philosophy or paradigm, research approach, research design and data collection methods. These methods are used for developing an outline about what can be used in the research work. The subjective research techniques are utilized as a part of the examination as assortment of perspectives and discernments are utilized for tending to the exploration points and destinations that can be performed through top to bottom inquiries about by meetings and auxiliary sources (Denzin and Lincoln, 2008). With regards to this exploration, the examination strategies are as per the following:

3.3 Research philosophy

The concept of research philosophy is considered essential for the developing an approach through which data can be collected and used for the accomplishment of the research. It includes the way in which research can be directed and accomplished. There are mainly two types of research philosophy such as positivism and interpretivism. Positivism research philosophy is based on inclusion of facts, theoretical underpinnings and practical approaches. Interpretivism philosophy is based on the human perceptions and understandings that are considered when collecting the data (Ritchie et al., 2013). In context of this research, the role of HRM in cross-cultural environment international business can be analysed through interpretivism philosophy.

In terms of this research, the perceptions of the employees can be investigated in order to understand the role of HRM in cross-cultural organisations for accomplishing international business. Interpretivism approach is considered essential for understanding the views of employees regarding the role of HRM in context to cross-cultural organisations (Sapsford and Jupp, 2006). However, scientific concepts and theories cannot be analysed using this philosophy because it is not based on facts and scientific data. The application of positivism philosophy could have introduced the facts and theories regarding the cross-cultural environment in international businesses. Thus, on a critical discussion of the philosophy, it can be analysed that the interpretivism philosophy may lack in scientific data but it can still be used for the analysis of secondary data.

3.4 Research Approach

The research problem is considered to be an effective approach for the accomplishment of the research. Research problem mainly addresses the research problem for providing direction to the research. In this section, all the approaches such as research philosophy, research design and research approach are linked with each other in order to provide direction to the research. There are mainly two types of research approaches such as deductive approach and inductive approach. Deductive approach is related to deducing the information from the existing theories and sources whereas inductive approach is based on developing new theories and concepts regarding the research work (Creswell and Clark, 2007). In the context of this research, the inductive approach seems to be suitable as it can be helpful in accumulating significant secondary data for the accomplishment of the research. The role of HRM in cross-cultural organisations can be analysed through the application of the inductive approach. On the basis of this approach, research work moves from specific assumptions to general observations.

3.5 Research Design

The research design in the research methodology section refers to the integration and utility of all the components in a most effective way so that research problem can be addressed properly. There are mainly two kinds of research designs including descriptive research design and exploratory research design for the completion of the research (Walker, Di Sisto and McBain, 2008).

In terms of this research, the most suitable research design is exploratory research design, which is based on exploring the research areas in an effective manner. The exploratory research design is beneficial in accomplishing the research that has not been properly studied and evaluated in order to develop operational research design (Pramatari, 2007).  The use of exploratory research design assisted in accumulating vast content to address the research problem effectively. It also helped in eliminating the scope of doubts mentioned in the research

3.6 Data collection

Data collection refers to the accumulation of the relevant data for the accomplishment of the research. The data is collected on the basis of the research question, research aim and objectives. Mainly, there are two kinds of data collection methods such as primary data collection and secondary data collection. The primary data is collected through interviews and survey questionnaires whereas secondary data is collected from the books, journals, case studies and online articles (Marczyk, DeMatteo and Festinger, 2005). In the context of this research, the main data is collected through the secondary data sources such as books and journals that include the information regarding the role of HRM in cross-cultural organisations.

The reason for using secondary data collection method is that it can be collected easily from the library and another online database. The accumulation of data is also easy in secondary data collection method because it can be accessed for unlimited time. These kinds of sources are considered significant for the gaining theoretical data about the research topic. The application of secondary research offers credibility and relevancy to the research subject, as the secondary data provide reliable and useful information about the research subject (Panneerselvam, 2014). The information regarding the role of HRM in the cross-cultural organisation can be gathered efficiently.

3.7 Data Analysis Method

Data analysis method refers to the process of conversion of raw data into the meaningful conclusions so that desired results can be inferred.There are various data analysis methods that can be used depending on the research subject. Data analysis approaches include thematic analysis, graphical representation and descriptive analysis techniques. In the context of this research, thematic analysis method can be applied to the analysis of the data in a suitable manner (Panneerselvam, 2014). In this method, multiple themes are developed in regards to the responses gathered from the interviewers and the literature review. In this way, the complete research subject can be properly analysed on the basis of the discussion of the themes.

The thematic analysis technique is considered as a significant method for the analysis purpose of qualitative data in order to infer appropriate results. In addition to this, the case study method is also used in the research for enhancing the quality of the research and deriving significant and accurate results. Thematic analysis approach for data analysis is useful in making sense of unrelated information and study material for the thorough accomplishment of the data. It is also helpful in analysingthe qualitative information for gaining empathy and knowledge about a subject, an interaction, a group, an organization, a culture and a situation. In context to this research, only thematic analysis technique can be most suitable due to qualitative data in the research work.

Other method such as graphical representation methods cannot be used as this kind of data analysis method can only be used in case of primary data. In the context of this research, only thematic analysis technique will be considered suitable.

3.8 Ethical considerations

Ethical considerations are considered to be an important part of the research work and the methodology chapter. It includes ethics and norms that are needed to be followed when accomplishing the research. Ethical considerations have significance in increasing the credibility and authenticity of the research work. In terms of primary data, the major ethical considerations that are followed in the research are related to getting consent forms before sending them survey and interview questionnaire (Miller, Mauthner and Jessop, 2012). Another ethics is related to keeping the names of the participants confidential in order to prevent the data breach. In context to this research, the major ethical considerations include the effective application of secondary data in the research work by giving recognition to the authors of the journals and books in order to avoid the case of plagiarism. It is also ensured that the secondary that has been used in the research is used only for the study purpose rather than personal use.

In this research, the information regarding role HRM in cross-cultural organisations in the international businesses is gathered from the updated secondary sources and all the sources have been properly cited in between the text (Maxwell, 2012). The issue of plagiarism is also avoided in this research by providing in-text citations for every reference used in the research. All the legal applications and procedures have been properly used in the research to increase the credibility and authenticity of the research work and to avoid the adverse or illegal conditions in the research.

3.9 Limitations

Research limitations refer to the issues and problems that arise during the use of the research methods. Research limitations are counted in case of inability of the research methods to accomplish the research work properly. In context of the inductive approach, specific to general assumptions are made. However, the deductive approach could also have been used for deriving general to specific assumptions for better results. The major limitation that was faced is related to the lack of time in collecting the information from the secondary data sources (Maxwell, 2012). In this research, there could also have been using primary data through survey questionnaire and interviews in order to accumulate a large number of data for better accomplishment of the research through desired results. The concept of the role of HRM in the cross-cultural organisations could also have been updated by using primary data from the employees of the cross-cultural organisations.

 

 

Chapter 4 Thematic Analysis

Theme 1 – The current trend of the relationship between cross-cultural business environment and HRM practices

Moran, Abramson and Moran (2014) have stated that cross-cultural environment generally relates to the operation in other countries by considering the cultural values of the host nation and carrying forward the business with correct understanding the opportunities, environment and their culture and its impact on the existing market. It generally includes the general beliefs and values that are shared following the aspects such as history, geographical location, language, religion, education and government (Moran, Abramson and Moran, 2014).

Right HRM practices followed in an organisation can have a substantial effect on the performance of the firm (Zhong, Wayne and Liden, 2016). It is from the very beginning that the scholars have embraced the idea of synergising cross-cultural management and HRM practices in an organisation for an effective and productive result. As per the views of Kostova et al. (2016), human resource management is the process of filtering out the best candidates and selecting them for the betterment of the organisation (Kostova et al., 2016). In the current scenario, the selection of the employee undergoes a proper procedure as per the HRM practices followed in an organisation. In general, HRM practices include the overall training and development, assessment, providing benefits and compensation, maintaining proper relations with the fellow employees and welfare promotion of the recruited employees at each stage of the organisational growth (Kostova et al., 2016).

Muenjohn and Armstrong (2015) have stated about the principles followed by human resources that significantly help in enhancing the work of HR practices as well as making it relevant for the organisational future (Muenjohn and Armstrong, 2015). The first principle involves the HR department of the organisation in dealing with the rights of the employees till they get their retirement. Furthermore, HRM should be majorly involved in the planning of human resources for the organisation, selection, training and development, and job evaluation. The second principle deals with the employees’ power that could take the organisation to move forward productively.

 

Figure 5. Human Resource Management

Source: (Bishop, 2012)

The third principle highlights the attitude carried by the employee in the organisation. It is analysed that the attitude of the employee is the prime way to engage him or her and hence, the HR managers generally focus on the attitude rather than the experience of the employee. The fourth principle focuses on the hiring procedure within an organisation (Kreps, 2013). It states that the hiring process should be conducted slowly in order to recruit the right and deserved candidates. The fifth principle states that in order to retain the employee strength in the organisation, they should be offered simplicity in their work rather than a complex working environment. It would further enhance the performance of the employees. The sixth principle focuses on the maximum guidance provided to the employees by the HR team of the organisation. Hence, the current trend followed in the organisations rely on both, cross-cultural environment as well as HRM practices that would make the organisation move forward (Muenjohn and Armstrong, 2015).

Theme 2 – Analysis of the concept of cross-cultural HR management and its significance within the organisations

In the viewpoint of Scott and Davis (2015), human resources department is considered to be one of the primary resources in an organisation. A proper management structure is a necessity that makes the decisions mainly concerning with the people associated with the organisation. It mainly begins its role with the employee remuneration, recruitment practices, job rotation, job description, employee training and his or her development. On the other hand, it is analysed that for the overall growth of an organisation, cross-cultural communication is essential for the both domestic as well as international operations. The significance lies in the collaborative working of the employees in order to mitigate or eliminate the conflicts for the organisational interests (Scott and Davis, 2015).

In the current scenario, the business environment is considered to be multifaceted and competitive (Schaltegger and Wagner, 2017). It is also inferred that the manufactured products have become more of knowledge-based and the workforce has grown diverse in culture. There is significant and rapid development of technology, communication network and almost everything has been automated with the advancement in computer technology and computing abilities of the employees. Additionally, it has changed the communication within the organisations and among the settings of the organisations includes the hiring of human resources with different traditional and cultural backgrounds as well as education (Niazi, Babar and Verner, 2010). It is analysed that since the workforce among the organisations is becoming more and more diverse and multicultural, there is an effective growth in the organisational productivity. The organisations nowadays believe that the employees and human resource management within the organisations must gain not only knowledge of communication but also the cross-cultural aspects in order to successfully achieve the objectives and goals of the organisations (Ganapathi, 2013).

For instance, effective cross-cultural communication is followed by the international organisations that significantly enable the businesses to work progressively and successfully. In today’s world that is full of competition, communication plays a vital role in a successful business. There are many considerations- such as knowledge of different cultures, cultural differences, and overcoming language barriers- that the employees in an organisation must have while dealing with an environment including diverse cultures. The business agreements often fail due to the lack of interaction among the colleagues. In other words, failure in business often takes place because the involved parties did not take enough time to learn about each other’s cultures or they run short of time to interact and understand each other. Therefore, it becomes a necessity in the organisations to implement the concept of cross-cultural human resource management as it signifies the actual growth as well as helps in the development of the employees within an organisation (Ganapathi, 2013).

Theme 3 – Analysis of the characteristics and features of a cross-cultural HR management

The critical characteristics of cross-cultural HRM include: sharing of culture among the fellow members of the organisation; learning the culture through socialising within a particular group; culture shapes the behaviour of the employees that work in the organisation. Apparently, these issues or characteristics need to be taken into the consideration of fundamental HR policies and the processes while starting to work in a cross-cultural environment. Such factors are likely to influence the development of competency frameworks for the international positions on a direct basis. In addition to this, the prime characteristics of cross-cultural HRM in an organisation also include the performance management and reward management processes. These two management processes are similarly impacted by the talent management, and leadership development is impacted by the activities being conducted by the management (French, 2015).

As per the recent Economic Intelligence Unit report, ‘Competing across Borders- How Cultural and Communication Barriers affect Business’, current economic scenario is leading contemporary organisations on an international level. In order to achieve this aim, the organisations should ensure an effective system and processes of cross-border communication and implementing collaboration in order to attain the financial success plans for business expansion. It is also analysed that the cross-cultural if communication were improved, then it would automatically give rise to the profitability and market share of the organisation. On the other hand, culturally based miscommunication would prevent a cross-border transaction that could result in financial losses in business (Kasper and Kellerman, 2014). Geert Hofstede has defined organisational culture as the collaborative mind programming that distinguishes different groups of people engaged in the organisational activities.

Theme 4 – Different issues that affect the cross-cultural business environment in contemporary organisations

Culture is basically defined as the beliefs, norms, informal values and the pattern of behaviour of an individual in an organisation. In addition to this, culture is defined as the creation of meaning through which the human beings interpret their experiences and actions (Moran, Abramson and Moran, 2014). Therefore, it can be analysed that cross-cultural issues can occur in many different ways that depend on the size, location and also custom culture of the organisation. These issues may also arise due to the employee attitude towards their organisation. There is considered to be some people working from different backgrounds thereby giving rise to the vital issue in the organisation, cross-cultural business environment (De Mooij and Hofstede, 2010). However, it is also analysed that developing an effective cross-cultural environment in the organisation helps in enhancing the mindset of the people or their perspective of working in such an environment. Gradually, these issues of cross-cultural business environment lay an impact on the performance and productivity of the organisation. In addition to this, analysing these issues result in the major cultural issues that are involved; age, communication, and gender (Moran, Abramson and Moran, 2014).

It is observed that while managing the international business, embracing the cultural diversity of a particular country might not bring the success but not paying attention to the cultural diversity of a country would surely increase the chances of business stagnation or failure. Evidently, the world is becoming smaller day-by-day that truly indicates more and more involvement of the entrepreneurs and managers in the business. It is also analysed that the entrepreneurs need to be more sensitive towards the cross-cultural challenges and ethnic landscapes of the countries that they work in (Cascio, 2018).

As per the views of Singh, globalisation has become a reality and advancement in the field of information and technology has increased the speed and ways in which the companies manage their global operations (Cascio, 2018). However, multiple factors affect the business environment like differences in economic, social, legal, cultural and political environments. In order to mitigate these factors affecting the cross-cultural business environment, human resource management is required to perform well at all the operational levels across all the business units such as global or domestic. Thus, it becomes crucial for an individual to know more about the prevailing cultural differences in the organisation. As the globalisation increases, cultural differences are bound to prevail in a workplace. So, it must be mandatory for the employees working in the organisation to follow the different cultures being followed by different individuals (Singh, 2010).

Theme 5 – Role of the HR managers in cross-cultural management and the importance of their leadership and decision making skills

Human resource management is an important aspect that involves a major role in the growth of an organisation. It is analysed that the HR development differs with the difference in the culture of different countries. Generally, the human resource enhancement takes place in three stages: human capital management, human resource management, and personnel management (Schultz, Utz and Göritz, 2011). One main difference between the three stages is that the three stages are located in the concept of changes and development of different organisations that deal with their staff. In macro organisations, the HR managers usually incorporate HR policies and organisational practices in order to achieve the overall objectives and attain conflicting global intentions. Therefore, it is analysed that human resource management system in an organisation should be flexible in order to permit major variations in different kinds of effective policies and practices to be followed by the individuals. If it is to deal with the specific utility part of HR such as rewards; global HR managers are featured with the great diversity of the country in which their organisation lies in and also concern worldwide.

In a cross-cultural business environment, HR managers play a vital role in conducting employee engagement programmes and in the recruitment procedures. However, Dries et al. (2014) state a contrary view about the HR managers in an organisation, who are not expected to play a crucial role in talent management strategy of their organisation as they are not necessarily the key decision makers (Dries et al., 2014).

In addition to this, there are chances that the HR managers have a stronger belief in the malleability of selecting the candidates because one of the core functions of HR manager is the employee development (Deresky, 2017). Overall, human resource management staff usually recruits deserving individuals who have the requisite skills to do a particular job. The challenge that is faced by the HR managers in the organisation is to develop the strategy and tools to promote a certain corporate culture that brings about similarity with the development practices followed by other organisations. In addition to this, HR managers find it a bit tricky and difficult to decide the top management staff or the key positions; whether to choose local candidates or from any host country. Furthermore, they find it hard in deploying the people from any of the organisational headquarters or to have a uniform hiring policy globally (Deresky, 2017).

Theme 6 – The significance of managerial interaction and communication within the organisations having the cross-cultural environment

Language interpretations and cultural differences are likely to be avoided by increasing an effective understanding of the other individuals or employees’ cultures and their way of thinking. It would further enhance the productivity and result in the successful growth of the organisation as the workforce would work in a collaborative manner (Gurung and Prater, 2017). It is analysed that the fundamental principle of cross-cultural communication within an organisation is communication among the employees through culture and overcoming the differences (Vaiman, Scullion and Collings, 2012). In addition to this, the major component of culture is a proper system of beliefs, values, and material products. However, apart from these components managerial interaction and communication within the employees as well as with the other organisations also play a key role in developing cross-cultural business environment (Gurung and Prater, 2017).

The technological advancement and the facility of the internet in every corner of the world have opened up new ways to enter in the marketplace that has allowed promoting the businesses in new geographical locations and experiencing new cultures. Hence, managerial interactions help in expanding the businesses at a global level. It further eases out the work in remote areas as cross-cultural business environment and communication is increasing in the upcoming businesses. In other words, if the communication is digital or electronic, it becomes easy to work with the people residing in other places (Tu and Shangguan, 2018).

The organisations holding a cross-cultural business environment usually describe the organisational behaviour and managerial interactions within countries and their cultures. They even compare the behaviour across cultures and the countries and are mostly known for seeking to understand and improve managerial interactions among the workforce, clients, alliance partners, and suppliers from different-different regions or cultures (Thomas and Peterson, 2017).

Interactions among fellow business partners and other organisations help in improving the conditions of the business. Productive workforce creates an environment that significantly supports diversity while maintaining a workforce balance in the management, time, and cost (Barak, Findler and Wind, 2016). There exist several resources in the cross-cultural business environment that provide effective communication tactics in a culturally diverse organisation. Managers in the organisation must be aware of the cross-cultural differences in order to manage the workforce at a global level and leverage the learning opportunities that are presented by diverse cultures.

Business competitions at a global level require a learning perspective from the employees of all levels and all the cultural backgrounds. The organisations that promote the environment of learning at all levels are the ones where people seek to expand their desire of creating productive results. Through managerial interactions and cross-cultural communication new and their thought process is also nurtured and expanded. It is analysed that collective aspiration is set free while initiating communication between the employees and the managers of an organisation and a learning environment is created (Ferraro and Briody, 2017). Therefore, it can be significantly analysed that the learning organisations continue to learn and transform themselves to adapt to the changing environment.  It is further analysed that it has become a managerial agenda to manage cross-cultural differences in all the types of organisations (Barak, Findler and Wind, 2016).

Theme 7 – Effective strategies for international businesses for preventing the differences in cross-cultural organisations

Many strategies are followed in the international businesses in order to eradicate cross-cultural differences and run the business smoothly (Zhang and Shi, 2017). Acknowledging potential problems at any level in the organisation that can occur and take proactive steps to mitigate those problems can efficiently help the employees to work in a better and a learning business environment. Evidently, it is analysed that employees take time in adjusting their behaviours with fellow employees and therefore, it becomes a necessity to learn about the culture, behaviour and habits before the problems take place. One of the strategies followed in the international businesses is that human resource management believes in setting prior expectations throughout the organisation that additional effort is required to create that level of understanding among fellow employees (Hatch, 2018).

Some strategies that are followed by the international organisations include: running meetings for the employees to introduce other cultures; demonstrating language dependence; and workshops for effective cross-cultural communication. Introducing the employees in a non-threatening environment that enables a good working relationship and the same is retained for a long term. It is analysed that learning about another culture’s language, norms and rules that are acceptable for helping prepare their employees to deal with any situation that might arise. Changing preconceptions of the workforce regarding the work can lead to more conducive working relationships (Ochieng and Price, 2015).

As per the views of Stahl and Tung (2015), culture is the way of living of people and social legacy acquired by an individual from his or her surroundings. The researchers have also stated that cross-culture in businesses is a collection of employee habits, beliefs, living patterns, and their behaviours within an organisation. It can be analysed that culture and communication are inseparable because culture reflects the communication or interaction among the fellow employees in an organisation and how it proceeds. Hence, it becomes necessary for the organisations to plan effective strategies in order to mitigate cultural differences. Many organisations organise fun activities in order to involve the employees and boost up their morale to work harder for a bright future of the organisation (Stahl and Tung, 2015).

Theme 8 – Case study- McDonald’s

McDonald’s is considered to be among the largest food chains all over the world. It serves a large number of potential customers on a daily basis because of the best of food quality, services, and everyday value. McDonald’s has the advanced operational system, customer-friendly policy, modern infrastructure, computerised systems that are involved in the faster execution of their services. In the year 1948, McDonald’s started its initial services in the USA and experienced success at the very beginning of its establishment. In the current scenario, McDonald’s is found to be one of the biggest and reputed global food service providers across the world. It provides a huge return value to its shareholders for its products and services. However, McDonald’s is often criticised for providing junk food and high turnover rates (Zhu, Anagondahalli and Zhang, 2017).

Business Environment

McDonald’s follow an autocratic management style as it directly deals with their potential customers. It is analysed that at busy times the decisions are bound to be taken quickly and wisely in order to ensure that best services are received by its customers. There lies another reason behind autocratic management style being used by McDonald’s that reflects the training of the employees for certain tasks during busier times. In other words, the organisation follows the strategy of training its employees in every situation that might occur while serving the customers (Jeon et al., 2016). However, the company is facing issues due to the application of democratic leadership style as the employees at the lower level are not permitted to share their views in the decision-making process of the company.

It can be analysed that McDonald’s follow cross-cultural business environment that usually involves people from different communities, genders, beliefs, and cultures. McDonald’s also employs the people having any physical disability but are willing to work. This proves the cross-cultural business environment in the organisation and believes in working collaboratively with the people belonging from different-different cultures. However, the cross-cultural issues in the company such as language barriers, different ethnicities, work ethics, opportunities and adaptability in the working environment are affecting the company’s overall working environment.

Basically, different cultures present within the business organisation, McDonald’s, is due to the size and the number of offices that are situated across the globe. Each office across the corner comprises of different functional departments, and these departments include people who are specially trained to perform specific work tasks. Hence, it can be said that McDonald’s follow a cross-culture business environment that reflects a healthy work culture and a successful future for the organisation (Jeon et al., 2016). It can be analysed from the cross-culture environment of the McDonalds that the accomplishment of the business objectives can be achieved by applying the strategies similar to the McDonalds. The cross-culture environment of the company is effective and can be utilised by the organisations for accomplishing the growth in the market.

It is also analysed that moving beyond the cultural differences in order to establish common grounds and establishing frequent contacts in both ways, formally and informally is also the key characteristics that affect the cross-cultural HRM in an organisation (Xing et al., 2016). The efficiency of global HR teams requires establishing a formalised work process that would make a smooth and predictable workflow. Generally, the work processes in an organisation involved, production of formal reports, scheduling the updates, holding mutual discussions and establishing consensus, ensuring openness and sharing. It also refers to the effective usage of technology. It is analysed that great teams in an organisation typically use more than one technology in order to stay in touch, collaborate and get the things done for the successful growth of the firm (Xing et al., 2016).

Discussion

On critically discussing the cross-cultural aspects within the organisations, it can be analysed that the human resource management system being followed in national as well as international organisations. There are eight themes discussed in the document that highlight the current trends, issues faced, significance of HRM, features, role of HR managers, cross-cultural communication, and case study of McDonald’s. The first theme focuses on current trends, cross-cultural business environment and HRM practices being followed in different organisations. In the viewpoint of Deresky (2017), cross-cultural business environment is considered to be an environment where different people from different communities, countries and regions are being employed within the same organisation. However, the interactions among these people reflect different values and viewpoints that might be problematic in the development of the business. It has been further discussed by various other researchers that cross-cultural environment in different organisations is considered to have cultural values of the host nation that helps in carrying forward the businesses with a proper understanding of the opportunities available in the market, environment and their culture and its impact on the existing business.

The thematic analysis further focuses on the characteristics and features of a cross-cultural human resource management system being followed by the organisations. The key characteristics that are being discussed in the cross-cultural business environment include the performance management and reward management processes. It is also discussed that the efficiency of global human resources team requires establishing a workforce that would smoothly predict the workflow (Mesman, van IJzendoorn and Sagi-Schwartz, 2016). Furthermore, it is analysed that great HR teams in the organisations work on more than one technology to stay in touch with other similar organisations and collaborate in order to practice effective strategies for successful growth of the organisations.

Moreover, different issues affecting the cross-cultural business environment in contemporary organisations are also being discussed. It is further analysed that developing an effective cross-cultural environment in any organisation would help in enhancing the peoples’ mindset or their perspective of organisational working in such environment. Therefore, it is analysed that cross-cultural issues occur in many different ways that depend on the size, location, and custom culture in the business environment (Mei and Nathalang, 2010). It is further discussed that developing a cross-cultural environment in the organisation helps to enhance the working activities and mindset towards the organisational work. It is also observed that while managing international businesses, it becomes crucial to pay attention to the cultural diversity of the country in which the business is being established. The discussion further focuses on the attitude of the entrepreneurs who are required to be more sensitive towards the cross-cultural challenges and ethnic landscapes of the places in which they work in.

It is observed that the cross-cultural environment in national and international organisations generally involve general beliefs and values that are shared among the fellow employees such as, history, geographical locations, religion, languages, government, and education.

It is also discussed that HRM practices are significantly followed in various organisations and have a substantial effect on the organisational performance. In addition to this, Scott and Davis (2015) have stated that human resource department is considered to be one of the main resources that practise recruitment of deserving employees in the organisation. In contrary to this, it is discussed that complete growth of the organisation depends on the cross-cultural communication among the fellow organisational members. It can be said in other words, that cross-cultural communication is essential for the national as well as international operations. The HRM of the organisations generally focuses on the collaborative working of the employees and eliminating maximum conflicts being faced by the people or organisation. It is analysed that the business environment is multifaceted and organisational products have become more of knowledge-based and culture has become more diverse. With the advancement of technology and computing abilities of the employees, there is observed significant growth in the productivity of organisations.

The analysis further reflects the significant role of the human resource managers in the cross-cultural management and the importance of the leadership and their decision-making skills in order to grow the business successfully. The discussion highlights the three stages of human resource enhancement: human capital management, human resource management, and personnel management. Moreover, it is observed that the HR department of the organisations must be flexible enough to permit major variations in different kinds of policies and practices being applied for the development of the workforce. Effective programmes to engage the employees in the organisations are being conducted by the HR managers of an organisation and in recruitment procedures.

One of the themes being discussed highlights the significance of managerial interaction and communication within the organisations that possess cross-cultural business environment. It is analysed that language interpretations and cultural differences can generally be eliminated by increasing an effective understanding of the other individuals or the employees being involved in the organisation. It is also stated by Thomas and Peterson (2017) that the organisations that effectively hold the cross-cultural business environment are known to describe the organisational behaviour within the countries and their cultures. Effective strategies are also discussed further for the international businesses in order to prevent the cross-cultural differences within the organisations. The strategies that are being developed by the international organisations significantly include: running meetings for the employees, demonstrating language dependence, and practical workshops for an effective and efficient cross-cultural communication (Anderson and Anderson, 2010). In addition to this, the organisational behaviour is being explained by involving the case study of McDonald’s where the cross-cultural environment is followed in an effective manner by the HRM department of McDonald’s. Thus, it can be said that McDonald’s is one the biggest food service providers at an international level while adopting cross-cultural business environment in its human resource management system.

 

 

Chapter 5. Conclusion

            It can be concluded from the overall discussion that HRM is the most significant part of the cross-cultural organisations. The role of HR managers is considered to be the catalyst for enhancement of work within the organisations. HR managers are responsible for managing the cross-cultural organisations within the organisations in order to motivate staff to work with proper efficiency. The international business culture is comprised of employees from the different backgrounds so that workplace diversity can be managed properly. It can be concluded that the cross-cultural environment in the international businesses is managed and sustained by HR managers through optimising the ways of communication (Thanh, 2014). Communication is the most effective tool to increase cooperation and collaboration among the employees.

It can be concluded from the above discussion that the human resource managers should focus on adopting the policies in order to enhance the cross-cultural environment within the organisations so that employees from different backgrounds can work together efficiently. The policies regarding cross-cultural development should be related to the aspects such as values of the people, the expression for the commitment to equity and access, demonstrates ethical conduct, focus on primary values for dignity and freedom of humans, should demonstrate respect and acceptance of cultural values. Thus, the policies related to the development of cross culture within the organisation should be promoted and implemented with time in order to motivate the employees to perform better.

It can also be inferred from the above discussion that the current scenario of the international businesses includes workplace diversity with people from various cultures and regions in order enhance the business culture within the organisations. It is reflected from the overall discussion that proper understanding of cross-cultural differences is needed to determine the solutions for cross-cultural issues. Cross-cultural management is also beneficial for the workforce in order to gain knowledge of several cultures, and languages. Thus, it can be helpful in integrating the employees at work that directly improves productivity and efficiency. Hofstede theory on cultural dimensions reflects that cross-cultural dimensions such as background, ethnicity, language affect the work culture within the organisations due to which HR managers are needed to manage to work culturally for smooth flow of operations. The issues faced due to cross-cultural barriers include communication issues, interaction issues, changed perception and false communication. These kinds of issues can be addressed by HR managers by implementing significant organisational policies for workplace diversity. The HR managers can act as a mediator for accomplishing communication tasks among the employees from different cultures.

HR managers are responsible for managing the workforce in order to accomplish the organisational goals and objectives. In addition to these, it is the role of HR managers to maintain a collaborative and productive working environment. For accomplishing these kinds of tasks, HR managers take training sessions for the cross-cultural employees in order to make them aware of the benefits of workplace diversity and intercultural communications. The employees who face language barriers should be subjected to attend the language training sessions so that they can interact with the people from different backgrounds. In case of international businesses, the cross-cultural training sessions are organised and conducted by the HR managers for facilitating the diverse cultural environment within the organisation. It is also concluded that the managerial communication is also necessary for allowing the exchange of thoughts among the people from different backgrounds and ethnicities within the organisation. The main aim of managerial communication is to accomplish the healthy work environment by having discussions at the workplace for effective and accurate results.

The application of strategies by the HR managers for sustained and effective working culture is performed with proper coordination and support from the higher authorities. It can be concluded from the overall discussion that key to organisational success is cross-cultural diversity. The role of HRM in managing the cross-cultural business environment is significant as it facilitates the smooth business cultural that result in the accomplishment of goals and objectives. It can be analysed that the business environment in the international organisations require an effective and sustained workforce diversity scenario so that all the operations can be carried out successfully. The reason for implementing workforce diversity scenario is related to the enhancement of the work culture in an effective way. It is also concluded that the HR managers should focus on developing an approach through which tasks can be performed collaboratively.

The aspects of the international business can be fulfilled if companies focus on formulating the policies for diverse work culture to motivate the employees. In this way, international businesses possess cultural aspects in their organisations so that business can be increased with proper sustainability and support from the diverse workforce.

In relation to the research limitations, it can be stated that the research aims and objectives are broad and could have been narrowed to a particular organisation or a business area. There could have been the use of primary data collection, but due to the scope, nature of the study and lack of sufficient experience restricted during the data collection process. Sample size could also have been selected, but it was not possible due to the secondary research. There is also lack of studies in this research area due to processes got delayed for some time, however, it was managed properly.

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Appendix

Learning Statement

Approach to Research

The application of research methods and approaches helped me in enriching my knowledge about the aspects of research methodology. I also understood that the mixed methodology approaches could not have been used in this research as it is based only on the secondary data, which allows the application of the qualitative approach only.

Before started working on this project, I started accumulating the information from various sources such as articles, journals, websites and books that were related to the role of HRM in cross-cultural organisations in international businesses. While I was accomplishing the task of collecting information, I faced a lot of difficulties in collecting the information as the information was not available easily. I tried finding access to the libraries in order to accumulate the sources from which data can be collected.

During the accomplishment of the methodology, I came to know about the significance of methodology chapter and the methods used. I used only secondary data collection methods that helped me in saving my time from the unnecessary activities. The application of primary data could have been problematic in this situation as the survey could not be conducted in this research is secondary.

I also learned to prioritise the secondary data, as the completion of the thesis is not only dependent on the quantity of the data but also dependent on the quality of the data. Nowadays, a large amount of information is available regarding the analysis of the role of HRM in cross-culture organisations in international businesses in the form of secondary data sources including magazines, newspapers, books, journals, and internet. The current research and its completion have taught me that it is not physically feasible to analyse and discuss all the available data concerning the research question and aims and objectives.

Achieved learning

While conducting this research, I got the learning of the variety of models and approaches regarding the accomplishment of the research. I gained knowledge about the multiple tools and techniques that are applied within the research in order to complete it in an effective manner. During the accomplishment of the research, I learnt that research work should be accomplished by applying relevant tools and techniques in order to increase its credibility and authenticity. It can be analysed from the overall discussion that the accomplishment of the research is dependent on the type of data collection process that includes primary and secondary sources. These kinds of sources include the information and the difference between them.

In the literature review process, I had learned to prioritise and sort the secondary data with reference to the aim and objectives so that research could have been completed successfully. At this stage, I also learned to include credentials and authority of the author, the credentials of publisher and date of publication.

On a professional and personal level, I am also greatly benefited from the in terms of managing and improving my time-management skills. Mainly, the research process skills that are needed for extensive planning and preparation for every stage of the research work. In this manner, each stage of the research work had to be accomplished in a most effective and organised way.

My experience regarding the accomplishment of the research reflects that this research has been comparatively different from other researches because this research was purely based on the secondary data. I also contacted people in order to learn and manage my time management skills along with different ways to carry out the research within the stipulated time. This kind of knowledge, learning, and experience was different for me. I also gained the learning of different research approaches that I could not learn through the accomplishment of the other courses.

Views and feelings towards the dissertation

As a result of the completion of this dissertation, I learnt that I have the capability to accomplish the research on my own as I have proper knowledge of the research subject that helped me in completing the research within the stipulated time. This research had the positive impact on my learning skills in terms of developing project management skills, time management skills, research skills and communication skills. It was a great learning experience that also helped me in improving myself in both professional and personal level.

In terms of knowledge about the research subject, it can be analysed that the analysis of the role of HRM in cross-culture organisations in international businesses is a significant topic. This research subject can be helpful for the organisations that are operating internationally and face problems in managing the cross culture in their working environment. My understanding of the research subject also increased as the research methods applied within the research were effective and suitable according to the research topic. The whole concept of the role of HRM in cross-culture organisations has been covered on the basis of these tools. Thus, the overall research has been accomplished successfully with the support of my guide, parents and my friends as they always motivated me to work hard on my project.

Practical and ethical issues

The major ethical and practical issues that were encountered were related to the collection of data and its interpretation. In addition to this, the five main ethical principles that were needed to abide by, in most cases were minimising the risk of harm, obtaining informed consent, protecting confidentiality and anonymity, avoiding deceptive practices, and providing the right to withdraw in case of surveys and interviews. The major concerns related to the about the use of secondary data mostly revolved around possible harm to subjects and issue linked to the return for consent. Secondary data varied in terms of the identification of information and its amount. Informed consent is considered as an essential task that might also be an issue if not followed properly.

The practical issues in this research work were also related to the choice of topic as the research subject of cross culture environment in the international business is a vast research area that consumed a lot of time and resulted in a little bit delay in the research work. It was addressed properly through the proper schedule that helped in the management of the task. In addition to these issues, some of the issues that I faced were related to the anonymity and responsibility. It took proper guidance and care when accomplishing the data collection and data analysis because of the relevant use of secondary data for the completion of the research. I also faced difficulties in managing the information in order to achieve the authenticity and credibility of the research.

Reasoned perception for the future value of dissertation

The future value of dissertation refers to the use of research work for academic as well as research purpose in the same research area. The research subject of cross culture environment in the international businesses is considered as the most useful area of research in order to help the organisations in gaining the benefits of cross culture within the organisations. In this context, the research subject also links to the human resource capabilities that could be an added benefit for the organisations. It is one of the most important assets of every organisation as it includes the wide range of skills, knowledge, and experience which can be used to guarantee success to an organisation. When the organisations and companies expand at the global level they are not only expanding their market but are also expanding their workforce as in order to expand business in different countries, diverse workforce is required that can help in giving better performance as per the country or geographic specifications (Gillies, 2016). It is the diverse workforce that helps in understanding the diverse needs of the customers in different countries through their diverse performance that helps an international organisation to grow.

In this manner, the future aspects of the research are related to building sustained findings of the research that could be helpful for the future researchers as well as organisations to perform better in order to improve the cross-cultural aspects of the organisations. This research can also be useful in building or examining a theoretical concept regarding the exploration of the area of research. The future scholars might be benefited from this research work in terms of accomplishing their work in a successful manner.

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