This piece of work aims to explore cross-cultural awareness and communication skills as crucial qualities for international manager in nowadays global hospitality and tourism industry. Managers are facing challenging times in managing very diverse workforce in hospitality and tourism industry. This was resulted due to the increasing globalization which aroused continuing growth of world’s market, advancement in telecommunication, increased management availability and flexibility, technological know-how in different parts of the world and many other which encouraged people as a labor to move around the globe. This essay also objects to provide an extended overview on major importance of cross-cultural and intercultural awareness, knowledge and training strategies as part of IHRM strategy that are foundations of successful long-run current and future international hospitality managers. On the other hand, this essay will also briefly introduce reader to the cost of failure of expatriates to the organization and expatriates personal life.
First of all, we should define what International Human Resource (IHRM) is. Literature providea variety of definitions. Bhattacharyya (2010, p.241) defines IHRM as “the process of sourcing, allocating, and effectively utilizing human resources in multinational organization”. Author also states that main purpose of IHRM is “to enable companies, very often multinational corporations (MNC’s), to be successful globally”. Stahl & Bjorkman (2006, p.1) when defining IHRM also includes its importance to MNC’s “definition of IHRM covers a wide range of human resource issues facing MNC’s in different parts of their organizations”. A slightly different overview brings Torrington (1994:6) where he suggests that ‘In many ways IHRM is simply HRM on a larger scale; the strategic considerations are more complex and the operational units more carried, needing coordination across more barriers’. HRM is defined by Various (2010, p. 115) as “Human Resource management in the recruitment, selection, development, utilization, competsation and motivation of human resource of the organization”. Sims (2007, p.79) in his work provides main differences between IHRM and domestic HRM. He states that IHRM “(1) encompasses more functions, (2) has more heterogeneous functions, (3) involves constantly changing perspectives, (4) requires more involvement in employee’s personal lives, (5) is influenced more by external sources, and finally, (6) involves a greater level of risk than typical domestic HRM”. Stolt (2010:3) also suggests that IHRM is far more complex than domestic HRM ‘due to the interaction with different variables like government and regulatory bodies’.
According to the report of World Travel & Tourism Council, 2003 the international travel, tourism and hospitality industries are the world’s largest industries. It is also a foremost employer generating jobs and careers for over 194 million employees worldwide and produced more than $4,5 trillion in 2003 (Graen, 2004). Even though companies and businesses in the industry are relatively small in terms of the amount of employees and usually are independent, there are some major dominating global operators that do influence industry itself by means of brand image, name and service improvements as well as novelty. The achievements and long-term successful operations of these global businesses very much depend on creating and improving multiple, broadly replicated services around the globe to attract investments and market share (Edgell, 2006; Yu, 1999). Yu (1999) has proposed that hospitality and tourism industries are international by its nature. For that reason, “today’s hospitality managers must be skilled at managing a multi-cultural workforce, responsive to the diversity of their customers and respectful of the local cultures in which their operate” (Pizam, 2005 p. 280).