Hr Strategies and Practices to Manage a Multicultural Workforce

Topics: Culture, Multiculturalism, Research Pages: 57 (15837 words) Published: October 19, 2012
* Human Resource practices and strategies used by companies to manage multiculturalism

Avantika Krishna

MSc in Human Resources Management & Organizational Analysis King’s College London

September 2010

Supervisor: Professor Ewan Ferlie



While working on my dissertation, I had the opportunity to gain new insights relating to a multicultural companies as well as their relationship with their parent company. In addition, I also had the chance to learn the perseverance, determination and cooperation involved in order to successfully complete my dissertation, the final assessment of the Master’s course in Human Resource Management and Organizational Analysis.

I would most of all like to thank my supervisor, Professor Ewan Ferlie for all his help throughout my research. His guidance and assistance was valuable for my dissertations final outcome.

I would also like to thank all the people who were thoughtful and considerate enough to participate: Human resource managers, line managers and employees of ABC Ltd and XYZ Ltd. Without them, none of this could have been done.

I would like to thank everyone who was extremely helpful, caring and willing to contribute their wisdom and time when I was in need.


There is growing significance of multicultural companies in today’s globalized world. However, there are certain issues with the presence of different cultures working together towards the aims and objectives of the organization. The value of such a company can be achieved only when this multicultural workforce is managed well. Therefore it is extremely important for managers to ensure the benefits are received rather than the issues by introducing the right human resource practices. This dissertation not only focuses on the human resource practices and strategies used by companies to manage a multicultural workforce but also mentions a few issues and opportunities faced by these companies. Theories in the literature have been used to establish the practice and the practicality to recognize these issues and how best to rectify them. Research questions’ pertaining to this study relates to the theories mentioned in the literature. Research questions were answered by human resource managers, line managers and employees of two companies. The first had its office in Manchester, UK and was recently acquired by an India based company and the second company interviewed had its office in Bangalore, India and is the captive of a US based company. The first company being rather small compared to the second is an information management specialist and the larger company is one of the world’s largest financial services company. To obtain an unbiased reaction, both primary and secondary data was used. Primary data was collected through personal interviews which were unstructured by nature and secondary resources such as articles and published material was used to strengthen the study. The conclusion and analysis is based on the feedback received from the interviews with the two companies. The results show the importance of awareness about other cultures, leadership, training, research, culture and management audits, and follow-up irrespective of the size of the company.

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