International Human Resource Management

Topics: Sociology, Culture, Cross-cultural communication Pages: 6 (1487 words) Published: March 11, 2013
Question 1
With the use of appropriate examples, discuss the cross cultural issues or problems that International firms might face in their international staff assignment. Suggest strategies for international human resource managers in coping or reducing those issues or problem. (30 marks)


Doing business on a global basis requires a good understanding of different cultures.  What works in your country might not work well in another, and could even be interpreted as an insult!  And in your role as an international human resources professional, it’s important to raise the awareness of cultural issues within your organization to ensure effectiveness.

When multinationals develop into or with other countries there may be an assumption that because everyone within the company is working for the same goals and to the same values, they will automatically communicate, think and view the world in the same way. When multiple cultures begin working together, problems or difficulties arise that many people within these companies are not skilled or adept enough to deal with effectively. This can simply be because they've never had to deal with the issue before.

Language is often the least difficult barrier to breach. When we know there may be language differences, we have a greater awareness of the potential for problems. However, much more often it's a completely different way of seeing things and an inability, or unwillingness, to see what the other person is seeing that causes the difficulties.

Cross National Difference

In recent years, with the increase in globalization and diversity in the workplace, cross cultural management has become an important element of organizational. Culture can be analyzed from a country, language, religion, value, ethical and/or many other areas of study as a frame of reference. The main cross national differences are-

- Social & cultural Environment
- Social structure of the society
- Values and belief of people
- Political environment
- Legal system
- Education system and standard
- Quality of quantity knowledge work force
- Level of available technology

Managing Multiculturalism Cultural diversity

Cultural diversity is the variety of human societies or cultures in a specific region, or in the world as a whole. Human have spread throughout the world, successfully adapting to widely differing conditions and to periodic cataclysmic changes in local and global climate. The many separate societies that emerged around the globe differed markedly from each other. Cultural differences that exist between people, such as language, dress and traditions, there are also significant variations in the way societies organize themselves, in their shared conception of morality, and in the ways they interact with their environment. Most people would agree that cultural diversity in the workplace utilizes country’s skills to its fullest, and contributes to overall growth and prosperity.

Diversity at its core is about people and the behavioural characteristics that guide how we interact, i.e. “culture.” To better understand this notion, let’s examine the impact of culture within our workplace organizations. Several aspects of culture shape today’s workplace. For example, employees’ communication style, time consciousness, and work practices all stem from their cultural programming. The dominant cultural norm here in the United States dictates that business communication be specific and explicit. Meaning is found in the actual content of words with very little left to interpretation. However, in many ethnic and international cultures, communication is more implicit and indirect: meaning is found in and around the words themselves.

By better understanding the cultural norms and values within their organization, leaders and their units benefit. When this enhanced comprehension becomes a way to guide efforts, hiring practices, and employee relations...
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