Tel-Comm-Tek Case Study
(ref: Daniels et al, 2009. International Business: Environments & Operations, Pearson, chapter 20 Human Resource Management.)
Tel-Comm-Tek (TCT) manufactures a variety of small office equipment such as copying machines, dictation units, laser printers, and paper shredders. The company is headquartered in the U.S., but has an Indian subsidiary. Mark Hopkins, the managing director of TCT’s Indian subsidiary, has just resigned and needs to be replaced. Six candidates have been identified as possibilities to fill the position. Due to plans for the construction of a factory in Bengaluru, the new director will need to have manufacturing experience as well as the ability to function effectively in other aspects of the position.
1.Which candidate should the committee nominate for the assignment? Why? There are a number of good candidates for the position. Depending upon the firm’s HR philosophy, different candidates could be viewed as the best choice. The best candidate from an ethnocentric point of view is either Tom Wallace or Brett Harrison. Wallace has the edge over Harrison due to his longer tenure with TCT and relevant experience with a similar operation in the U.S. From a polycentric approach, Saumitra Chakraborty would be the best selection. Although young, he is well connected with the local business community and would be best able to integrate TCT’s operations into the local situation. From a geocentric perspective, Jalan Bukit Seng is a good fit. He has a broad multicultural background and experience managing a similar operation successfully in Malaysia. It is critical that TCT have a person with line experience in the position to assure product quality and to control costs. Tom Wallace has that experience and would be able to manage the companies operations well. A case could be argued for a number of the candidates. The best choice is dependent on the overall orientation of the firm and is somewhat subjective.
Developing Staffing Policies
Staffing policy is the process by which the company assigns the most appropriate candidate to a particular job. For most of these companies, staffing policy revolves around the decision of whether to run international operations with local workers in the host nation, expatriates sent from the home country, or third-country nationals. 1.Ethnocentric Approach. An ethnocentric staffing approach fills all key management positions with home-country nationals.
a.Advantages of the Ethnocentric Approach.
• Transferring Core Competencies. People transferred from headquarters are more likely to have a thorough understanding of the company’s core competencies and values. The leading reasons to staff foreign operations with expatriates include maintaining command and control consistent with headquarters’ policy, filling local talent gaps, using international assignments as a mechanism for social integration, safeguarding intellectual property in joint ventures, transferring best practices from other locations, counteracting high turnover among local employees, and as a management development tool to help managers develop a global outlook. •Countering Cognitive Dissonance. Companies often use an ethnocentric staffing approach to reduce the degree of cognitive dissonance, or the incompatibility between home-country and host-country attitudes. Relying on people familiar with proven workplace methods and labor procedures helps companies cope with the stress of foreign situations. b.Drawbacks of the Ethnocentric Approach. This approach can, however, lead the company to adopt a narrow perspective in foreign markets and blinds the company to the benefit of exposure to different, and possibly better, ways of doing things. Ethnocentric...