IHRM Homework 10.12.12 MPS
1 Diagnose and prioritise what you see to be the crucial IHRM for Jim issues.
Medical Precision Systems (from now on MPS) have a HR strategy with the intentions of gaining strong control over its subsidiaries through the extensive use of expatriate managers in both technical and managerial areas of the business. Expatriate managers have been told to try to keep the unions out or to ensure that they have a minimal influence. The main issue with MPS IHR strategy is that they are using an ethnocentric approach where they export their HR strategy to foreign countries. It's different working environment, culture and mentality between the local subsidiaries' workforce and its American managers. These differences result in demotivation and unwillingness in the workforce. It's important to take these differences to consideration when trying to adapt an IHR strategy from one country to another. There are also some "miner" issues that are a consequence of using a IHR strategy who don't take cultural differences in to consideration. One of MPS strategy is to minimize the number of unions and their influence; unions are in many countries of Europe the most important safeguards for the employees. To try to remove the unions influence can be looked as attempt to under build the employees rights, as in the UK example this was taken very negative. Also Sweden is a country with long and strong union tradition. Also the fact that they are using extractive managers can be a problem, because these managers don't know a lot about the culture in the specific country, this can end up in a situation with many problems regarding communication and differences in mentality. This can end up in a "we against them" situations if these differences aren’t handled in the right way. Especially in France have they had problems with manager style and a workforce who don't understand why things are run as they are.
2. Draft an option for an international HR strategy that could respond to those issues in feasible and relative ways at both corporate and subsidiary levels.
To draft a new IHR strategy on a corporate level they should change their ethnocentric approach and develop a polycentric IHR strategy, adapting the IHR strategy to the different countries. They could try to make a geocentric strategy and integrate this globally, but I feel that it in this case would be very hard, because they have a workforce who is highly skilled and have very different demands and mentality because of cultural differences. They can no longer try to generalize their American and European workforce by trying to adapt a HR strategy from one country to another. They should continue to use the best HR practise as they are already using in the US. Work environment, Open management, Performance Incentives, Performance feedback, Employee evaluation, Shearing of knowledge, Publicize good performance, Discussions, Rewards, The surprise factor. But these factors should be an overlaying factor in their HR strategy, but how to manage these factors should more or less be decided within the different subsidiaries. If they do this, the employees will get ownership to the IHR strategy and be more trustfully to the company. I also feel that when they pick a leader they should be less aware about the person’s origin and focus more about finding the best-qualified person for the job. Probably will they have better results if they pick a leader from the host country that understands the local culture and the mentality of the workforce. These new leaders should be fluent in English and they should have work experience from the US marked. If they are uncertain about loosing control by hiring leader from abroad, they could use training programs and give the expatriate managers a consulting role in the beginning so they are sure that they have the right candidate with knowledge about bought the local and the American business...