Case Study on International Joint Business Ventures

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Executive Summary

Attaining global competence when entering into international joint ventures, in order to be successful, is dependent on developing a strategic approach to Human Resource Management (HRM) that ties to Business Strategies and to the overall Organization’s mission, vision, goals and objectives. Through problem analysis of this case, this paper will show evidence that international initiatives must be tailored to implement HR policies and practices that will complement the workforce taking in consideration sensitivity issues internal and external to the home-country, cultural awareness and differences in standards such as education and diversity. It will be stated that remedies that would bring about organizational cohesion would include the development of an appropriate orientation program; ensuring that management takes advantage of Human Resources expertise in program delivery such as training and compensation; and to have an effective monitoring system in place that will enable the organization to become better at identifying and managing change. These adopted strategies have a purpose and a plan in moving this company from just being good to great.

In review of the evidence presented in the case analysis, it appears that Polska Pipe Works is following an International Growth Strategy that seeks to gain competitive advantage through joint venture and expectations that horizontal movement internationally will result in increase profitability. The strategy incorporated initially appears to be a multidomestic strategy that incorporates an Adaptive International Human Resource Management (IHRM) approach. This approach demonstrates that the Human Resource practices were developed solely by the Polish partners. This includes such practices as establishing the organizational structure, writing job descriptions, managing recruitment and selection as well as determining compensation and benefits. This aligns to the concepts that the home-country national organization is familiar with local issues, legal implications, and cultural sensitivity both internal and external to the Polish organization. The disadvantages or flaws indentified in our analysis begin with the directorship of facilitating this venture. Leadership is the key to success and responsible for the alignment of home-country national goals and objectives to the parent-country national’s goals ensuring that Human Resource strategies are implemented to support the overall mission. The hiring of the Director William Zukowski, although a veteran of 19 years is contrary to the multidomestic strategy. The strategy should be all about supporting the home-country national environment in all of its policies and practices. This begins with leadership. This is William Zukowski’s first assignment in leading a venture of this magnitude. Although he has family traditions that are steeped in Polish tradition, he has limited cultural awareness and is not fluent in the language of business. He sees this opportunity as a means for his own personal advancement within the parent corporation. To lead a company from good to great one must put aside one’s ego and ensure that the company comes first (Good to Great). Zukowski’s management approach was to first teach American methods of management without giving consideration to the current Polish culture and practices. This is an area of extreme sensitivity as the culture is moving away from a Communist Regime to a Post-Communist Free Regime. His additional focus was to make changes to operational policies previously established by Polish partners. He believed the current system to be bureaucratic and too entrenched in old Eastern Block management philosophies. He continued with changes to compensation opting for a performance based system. Although Zukowski wanted to incorporate a participative teamwork approach as the best means to push forward this new strategy, his error in judgment was to...
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