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HR7242 : Managing Across Cultures

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HR7242 : Managing Across Cultures

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Course Code: HR7242
University: University Of East London

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Country: United Kingdom


Briefing Paper 1
This paper should critically evaluate the factors which need to be taken into account in developing a people-management strategy for the proposed future internationalisation of the firm.  The strategy should also address any current international people-management issues.  The paper should also address the issue of the transferability of policies and practice across national borders.
Briefing Paper 2
The HR Director, based on experience and analysis of how the firm is developing, feels it is desirable to send young consultants on foreign assignments to develop international experience. Local offices are also developing expertise in new areas of business.  However, the Board opposes an international assignee programme.  They have heard that ‘most assignments fail’, and do not want to risk damaging local operations with underperforming and expensive expats. At the same time, some directors have voiced the opinion that Dexter International ought to be careful about granting country managers too much autonomy, especially for new operations: risk management had, after all, been a big issue in the past.  On balance, the Board’s preferred option was to send specialist staff when needed, and impose more formalised risk controls. The IT Director also argued that ‘virtual working’ would be just as good.
Given the Board’s current concerns about the risks and costs associated with an international assignee programme, prepare a 1,500-word paper which:

offers a justification for the possible use of international assignments,
analyses the main components of an international assignment policy for the company, and
identifies some of the key challenges in implementing the policy across the business.


Task 1
The purpose of this report is to provide brief information about the management of company Dexter Consultancy in different parts of the world. The task is completely based on the case study given; this section of the report evaluates the factors that are needed by the organization to develop the people management strategy for the company. It is important for the organization to implement a strong people management so as to eliminate the challenges faced by the company in successfully implementing its activities. Further, the report also explains the current international people management issues attracted with the activities of the company. The transferability policy issue of the company is also overlooked while discussing the issues connected with the international strategies of the company. The business Dexter Consultancy is an UK based organization that is working well in the market, however the company started facing issues in its international expansion strategies. More details about the report are discussed below:
Factors Affecting People-Management Strategy
Whenever an organization aims to initiate a strategy that includes the contribution of employees of the company, the company always faces issues because it is difficult to attain unanimous agreement of all the employees for a decision. Resulting to which, the company faces many problems in the process of implementation of any strategy in the management. The people management strategy refers to the strategy that is initiated by the management of the company with an aim to enhance the productivity of the company by enhancing the overall business strategy of the company (Hollenbeck, Noe, and Gerhart 2018). This strategy includes the process of tackling the biggest assets of the company that are the employees of the company. The fact is clear and known to all that the organization can never win in the competitive market without winning the hearts of its employees. The company Dexter Consultancy fails to manage the human resource of the company present in different parts of the world due to which only few segments of the company that are spread in different parts of the world are successful (Armstrong, and Taylor 2014). Further, many factors affect the people management strategies organized by the company. These factors many times act as barrier or assist the development of the company in the external market. These factors are discussed below:

Culture and environment: According to the strategic objectives of the consultancy, the company wants to expand their business in central and eastern part of Europe. So, as UK and Europe has segregated now due to which the culture and environmental factors have simultaneously changed. Resulting to which, the company should keep in mind diverse cultural factors while initiating people management strategy in Prague (Ortolani, et. al., 2017). While making a domestic organization international, it is important for the organization to understand the importance of diversity management and organize the strategies for the employees accordingly. If the management of Dexter consultancy will adequately understand the culture of Europe then they will aim to adopt it in the workplace environment as well due to which they will get familiar feeling while working in the company (Shields, et. al., 2015).
Labor Laws: labor laws play a major role in determining the stability of an organization in international market. It is important for the organization to equally understand the labor laws present in the city where the company is aiming to enter. Every country have their differential laws related to employees according to which guide the organizations to manage the employees accordingly (Renz 2016). Therefore, if the company will apply the laws of UK in Europe then the employees will get dissatisfied with the activities of the company that is will result in failure of people management strategy organized by the management. So, the management should take care of the current labor laws present in the country improve the accountability of the people management strategy (Carnall 2018).
Economic Factors: While organizing the people management strategy for subsidiary of the organization, it is important for the company to consider the cost of living of people present in that area. Remuneration is a part of the people management strategy of organization, so it very important for the management to consider the economies of scale of the people living in that particular country. With the help of acknowledgement of such information, the management should form strategies and provide valuable income the people on which they agree to join the organization (Bailey, et. al., 2018).

People-Management Issues

Performance Management Issue: The managerial department of the company face difficulty in managing the performance of the employees of their organization, but placed in another part of the world. As discussed above that it is difficult for the organization to manage employees of all the branches of the company at once due to diversity. Resulting to which, the company faces problems performance management of the employees (Ost, et. al., 2018). More than performance management, the company faces the problem of diversity management in the organization as the top level management is not acknowledged with the environment of Germany or Paris. Resulting to which, the norms created in this respect for the employees do not validity and it becomes tougher to manage the performance of employees. In addition, it should be noted that diverse economic factors also make it difficult to manage the people of the company (Goetsch, and Davis 2014).
Training and Development Issue: It is regarded as the need of the management to train the employees of the company so that they can successfully work according to the requirements of the company. However, entering in an unknown market makes it difficult for the company analyse the type of training that employee needs in the organization (Brewster, et. al., 2016). Employees present in different parts of the world require having different type of training based on their culture, working environment and expectation of the organization. Resulting to which, the company faces difficulty in analysing the type of training that the employees want in different branches of Dexter Consultancy situated in different parts of the world (Reiche, et. al., 2016).
Code of Conduct Issue: While initiating activities in different parts of the world, it is very important for the organization to decentralize the activities of the company and centralize them at the same time at the same time. Dexter Consultancy has inaugurated its branches in Germany and France while the main headquarter of the company remains in UK. So, the organization faces difficulty in complying with the code of conduct in all branches. As the manager of Germany branch do not have an adequate relationship with the UK headquarter branch due to which he fails to convey the code of conduct and objectives of the organization through their people management strategy (Bratton, and Gold 2017).

Transferability of Policies Issues
With the change in state, the human resource management policies of the company also change. It is very important for the organizations to initiate flexibility in the business process in such a way that the company (branches situated in other part of world) is free to adopt any policy according to their prevailing culture and external circumstances. That is when the problem occurs when the organization is growing but it is unable to transfer the policies of the company from one part of the world to another (Machado 2015).
Depending upon the environment and economic variances, it is important for the companies to mould their policies accordingly for the fulfilment of the ultimate objective of the organization. However, if the people management strategy of the company does not align to environmental variances then the company will face difficulty in surviving in that particular market (Brewster, Chung, and Sparrow 2016). For instance, UK is more expensive than Germany due to which the company faces the difficulty to hire people at slightly greater amount so as to retain them and help them to cover up with the cost of living. However, the people of Germany need not to get that much salary because the cost of living in Germany is low. This can create chaos in the internal process of the organization as the might feel differentiated (biased) in the organization. Apart from this, the company also faced issue in transferring the workplace policies of UK to other branches. The UK headquarter has their own set of policies that successfully applies to the business but other branches face a hard time in understanding and adopting them (Bolino, Klotz, and Turnley 2017).
Thus, in the limelight of above mentioned events, it should be noted that the people management strategy plays a lead role in helping the organization to grow in diverse environment. The people management strategy helps the management to find out ways with which they can easily manage the employees of the company. Further, the above mentioned report successfully portrays the issue present in people management strategy organized by the Dexter Consultancy for all the branches of the company. It also evaluated the factors affecting the strategy and transferability issue related to the case. The people management strategy is a strategy with the help of which the human resource department of the company manage the interest of employees in the organization. It is important for the management to understand the strategy so as to ensure easy flow of work.
Task 2
The purpose of this report is to provide brief information about the possible use of international assignments in the business of Dexter Consultancy so as to initiate the growth of the company. The task two of the report evaluates the importance of use of international assignment in an international business. It also evaluates the components of international assignment policy initiated by the company and the challenges faced by the management in initiating such policy. Further, international assignment process refers to a assignment policy under which, the management of company send the existing employees of the organization on different programs from home country to different country to increase the scope of business of the organization in that area as well. At the current stage, it is important for the company to use international assignment policy for the assimilation of work and enhancement of the skills of the employees as well. Further, more details about the report are discussed below:
Justification for Possible Use of International Assignments
Before underlining the justification for the possible use of international assignments in the business, it is important to understand the issues present in the business that increases the need to organize international assignments for the company. The company Dexter Consultancy facing problems in expanding the scope of business in different parts of the world (Shortland 2016).  The company is unable to gain output out of their Germany branch that is negatively affecting the profit margin of the company. The employees have also started losing their interest in the activities of the company. Along with which, the management is unable to implement a strong people management strategy that can be applied in all branches together. Further, these are the issues associated with the company; the justification of implementation of international assignments is discussed below:

As noted in the case study that the Frankfurt (Germany) manager of the company is unable to co-operate with all the functions of the company. The German manager of the company has never worked with the company due to which he does not know what the organization wants from him. As the manager was not familiar with the image of the company due to which the company faced difficulty in convincing the clients and customers to co-operate with the organization. Thus, the international assignment program will help the employees to move to different places and promote the brand image of the company in the target market (Cole, and Nesbeth 2014).
The international assignment policy will encourage the existing employees and it will provide them a platform to showcase their talent and gain experience as well. The experience of the young employees will boost up the morale of other employees of different branches as well. The expatriate program will help the new joiners to wish for the similar growth in near future by staying in Dexter Consultancy (Chatterjee, et. al., 2017).
Lastly, this process will centralize the activities of the company. Major problem that Dexter Consultancy was facing in recent years was the problem of co-ordination. One branch of the organization was doing something different while the other branch was acting totally opposite. This activity was happening because the activities of the consultancy firm were not centralized. The activities of UK branch not adopted by another branches and the activities that other branches carried out were unknown to all. Resulting to which, the company was growing but in an unknown direction. So, the international assignment policy will help the employees to visit all the departments and branches of the company and ask them to follow same kind of services so that the organization can be identified as one (Stahl, Miller, and Tung 2002).

Thus, the above mentioned are the justification for the use and adoption of international assignee policy for the growth of the company.
Components of International Assignment Policy
The components of international assignment policy are discussed below:

Aim: The aim of this policy is designed to promote the international expansion strategies of the company and enhance people management as well. The aim of this program is to develop opportunities for the assignees and other employees as well. The consultancy aims that the program will help the branches to move systematically with the headquarter and initiate the objective of the company accordingly (Briscoe, Tarique, and Schuler 2012).
Nature: the assignment will usually last in an year after the employees complete education about the activities of the company. Further, the assignment will complete itself automatically after the expansion of company in another market (Europe) and elimination of work related barriers.
Preliminary arrangements: Assignment manager, human resource and assignee are the three most important people present in the assignment. The assignment manager arrange assignee, make housing arrangement in host country and complete most of the work that are required to initiate the program. The human resource initiate salary discussions with assignee and perform various other HR related functions. And the assignee prepare all the documentation related to the program (Dickmann, et. al., 2008).
Assignment Remuneration: The assignment remuneration is determined on the basis that it protects the purchasing power of the employees in that country. The payroll facilities of the employees should be decided on the basis then only the human resource manager will identify the tax liability of the employees living in home country. The assignees are entitled to bonus after the completion of the assignment. The bonus will accrue at the rate of 10% of net pensionable salary.
The assignment should be terminated on the will of the board of directors of the company. The assignment will automatically terminate itself when the objective is completed or after the unanimous voting of the employees along with assignees of the company (Lazarova, Morley, and Tyson 2014).

Challenges in Implementing Policy

Compensation: compensation acts as a major challenge for the employees of the company. It is important for the management of the company to consider the contribution of expatriate towards the activities of the company. The HR professionals of the company should provide remuneration to the assignees to an optimum amount. This amount should be good enough to make them stay in different country or city. The compensation should match to the efforts of the employees and it should help them to manage their living in diverse area. The company faces the challenge in providing adequate remuneration to the expatriate of the company (Al Ariss, Cascio, and Paauwe 2014).
Cultural and Adjustment issues: When the employees of UK branch of Dexter Consultancy will move to Germany for the international assignment program then the employees will face a shift in their cultural beliefs. Resulting to which, the employees will face settlement issue in new region; cultural shock can lead to dissatisfaction among expatriates and ultimately they will leave the position. If the assignees will leave their assigned position then the project will fail itself. Also, the young employees flicker a lot so they will not take time in making this decision also. Thus, the company will face challenge in keeping all the employees interested in the international assignment policy (Vaiman, Haslberger, and Vance 2015).
Time Consuming and inadequate planning: planning is the key to growth of any organization. However, ineffectiveness of the implementation of the planning process can negatively hamper the growth of the company. So, planning can act as a challenge in the implementation of the international policy. Apart from that, an international assignment in drawn based on certain assumptions and boundations; if their limitations are waived then it becomes difficult for the management to carry on the program. Time boundations is the basic requirement of the program, so if the activities in the assignment are time consuming then it will make it challenging for the organization to complete the assignment on time (Shortland 2016).
Employees reluctant to learn: For the success of the international assignment, it is important for the assignees to train the employees and it is important on the part of the employees to learn from the training and experience of assignees. If the employees resist to be trained from the young employees of the company then it can create a challenge for the management to initiate the business process effectively and aim for expansion strategies.

Thus, in the limelight of above mentioned events, the fact should be noted that it is important for organizations to implement international assignment policies if other branches of the company are not working effectively. However, it is not easy for the company to operate the assignment policy in the organization as it involves high risk and high cost (investments) as well. The above mentioned report explained the need of international assignment policy in Dexter Consultancy along with important components and challenges faced by company in initiating the program.
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