International Human Resource Management: Determining the Strategies for Effective Cross-Cultural Training

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The internationalization of human resource management has increased the scope of traditional HRM. Today, HR practitioners not only manage people from their home country, but one that involve managing many diverse nationalities, with which the culture of staff and employees are already well-known or predicted. Companies start business within their country of origin and staff are hired from within that country. However, with the arrival of globalization and the shift from industrial to information technology, a new problem for HR practitioners emerged as employees become more diversified and hard to manage. Companies expand to other countries, or moreover participate in joint ventures or mergers and acquisitions. This move has many implications including the limited choice of hiring employees from the country which the company expanded. Basically, this gives HR practitioners a new challenge as they are faced with a diverse cross-cultural workforce that they are not yet familiar with. For instance, a UK or an American company expanded or having joint ventures in China would have to integrate their own HR practice in that country. However, the Chinese and Western managers have different beliefs and practices in terms of managing employees. Thus, a cross-cultural conflict might arise, which could affect the productivity and culture of the company as a whole, most especially in the branch they invested in China. Western expatriates might not be able to adapt with the Chinese way of working or any Asian way of working for that matter if they don't have proper training or knowledge about them. This gives the HR team a huge responsibility in making sure that cross-cultural relationship within the company is going well. An HRM expatriate might have problems having the best local staff when they do not have enough knowledge about the foreign culture. Furthermore, productivity might also be affected if their way of human management is not compatible with the working nature of the local staff.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The study will address the following three key objectives:

1. To determine the different cross-cultural training strategies of multinational companies in the UK that employs expatriates from other countries.

2. To determine the advantages and disadvantages of their cross-cultural training programmes and determine which approaches are highly recommendable.

3. To build theories of effective cross-cultural training programmes for international human resource managers.

CONTRIBUTION OF EXISTING LITERATURES

Human Resource Management

Human resource management (HRM) is known and accepted in the broadest sense of the term, as a form of management that includes "all management decisions and actions that affect the nature of the relationship between the organization and the employees – its human resources" (Beer et al., 1984, p. 1). It is defined as the process of coordinating an organization's human resources, or employees, to meet organizational goals. As can be observed based on the definition, the tasks of those belonging in HRM can be complex as it involves all issues that encompasses employee and firm relationship. Believing that the most important asset of a business is the people in order to achieve sustained business success is the core philosophy of human resource management (HRM). Realizing this leads to a strategic management of people within the organization. Its philosophy is based on the simple belief that human resources are the most important asset in achieving and sustaining business success. This realization became the driving force behind the creation of human resource management resulting in organizations taking a strategic approach to the management of their people.

Human resource professionals basically deal with such areas as employee recruitment and selection, performance evaluation,...
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