Multinational organisations, defined as organisations with operations, subsidiaries or investments in more than two countries, are becoming more commonplace as the concept of globalisation and the global economy becomes more widespread in practice. It is evident that the globalisation phenomenon has dramatically advanced in the last twenty years, as globalisation is a more advanced form of internationalisation; which includes the connection of various practices within organizations and countries to include the functional integration of cross-border economic activities. This is primarily due to technological advances enabling goods and information to travel further and faster with greater ease. It is also due to the proliferation of the more liberal political philosophies and, thus, reduced barriers to trade across borders and continents; especially since the end of the Cold War. As a result, multinational corporations are expanding in number and size, and the problems facing these corporations are different compared to those faced by domestically competitive organisations.
As multinational organisations first developed their business internationally, they encountered many initial problems, problems which still exist today. Geert Hofstede states: "For those who work in international business, it is sometimes amazing how different people in other cultures behave. We tend to have a human instinct that 'deep inside' all people are the same - but they are not. Therefore, if we go into another country and make decisions based on how we operate in our own home country - the chances are we'll make some very bad decisions." (http://www.geert-hofstede.com, accessed 19/11/04).
This lack of individual multicultural understanding has led to many multinationals initiating their own proactive methods for embracing diversity and multiculturalism. Proctor and Gamble, one of the largest domestic product manufacturers globally, says "At P&G we view diversity as a huge asset that generates fresh attitudes, different perspectives and exciting new ideas. We embrace diversity because it's the fair and right thing to do, and because it helps us to successfully mirror the positive changes occurring within our global society. By utilizing a diverse workforce that interacts effectively, we learn from each other and, in doing so, deliver increasingly effective and innovative solutions and products." (http://www.pgcareers.com/index.asp?l1=4&l2=8&l3=36, accessed 20/11/04). Proctor and Gamble are not alone. McDonalds says of its diversity policy "Diversity at McDonald's is understanding, recognizing and valuing the differences that make each person unique." (http://www.mcdonalds.com/corp/values/diversity.html, accessed 21/11/04).
As can be seen, multinational organisations are fast identifying the business case for embracing diversity and equality throughout their employment operations. Some of this is dictated through government legislation that prohibits discrimination in the workplace based on gender, ethnicity, and disability. In the United Kingdom, the Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act and Disability Discrimination Act are examples of these. However, many organisations are going further, in an attempt to achieve their business goals, especially in countries where some of this legislation may not exist. Proctor and Gamble states "At P&G, we operate on the fundamental belief that individual differences are good and such difference will produce a genuine competitive advantage." (http://www.pg.com/company/who_we_are/diversity.jhtml, accessed 23/11/04)
Although this essay will concentrate on the issues surrounding consistency in assessment of applicants, it is also acknowledged that inconsistencies may occur at the initial recruitment phase. If a company advertises for employees using certain media, then it should expect to receive applications from a range of individuals likely to experience that media. Therefore, in order to...
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