Lecture 8: Developing A Global Workforce Connie ZHENG
Agenda 4 Understand the importance of T &D of global workforce in MNCs; 4 Conduct basic training need analysis for international employees; 4 Grasp the process of T & D of international employees; 4 Examine different components of pre-departure training programs for expatriates; 4 Appreciate different training methods; 4 Understand the issues of international training of HCNs; 4 Evaluate various instruments for developing a global workforce.
Importance of Training & Development of International Staff 4 Minimize expatriate failure rate –globalization process –international competition –need to market products worldwide –international mergers & acquisition –new market access opportunities (Easter Europe, China and former USSR) 4 Previous training focus –marketing resource application; technology transfer; organizational configuration, not on addressing HR needs 4 New tasks & responsibilities –adaptive ability; cultural sensitivity –well-equipped; best people sent abroad.
Training Needs Analysis Type of Training Technical Training Management Training Domestic information Cross cultural training Language training Example Technology level, cultural and attitudinal constraints on technology transfer, leadership skills, handle responsibilties Organisational structure, spans of control, reporting relationships, communication structures,administrative procedures, government-business relationships, business environment, marketing issues, HRM issues, investment issues, ethnical considerations? Accommodation, schools, hospitals, medical and social services, shopping facilities and domestic services, issues related to vehicles, customs and procedures, insurance Information about other cultures, how to adjust Few words or phrases, basic understanding, needs of use of interpreters?
Components of Pre-departure Training Program 4 Cultural awareness training 4 Preliminary visits 4 Language instruction 4 Practical assistance
Cultural Awareness Programs 4 Beneficial to foster an appreciation of the host culture, 4 Various focuses according to country of assignment, duration, purpose of the transfer and the provider of such programs. 4 Contents of cultural awareness program –environmental briefing and cultural orientation –cultural assimilators; –language training; –sensitivity training; and –field experiences (Tung 1981)
Preliminary Visits 4 useful techniques in orienting international employees 4 provide expatriate and family members with a preview that allows them to assess their suitability for and interest in the assignment 4 serve to introduce candidates to the business context in the host location 4 encourage more informed pre-departure preparation 4 exposure to the expatriate community. 4 potential problem - part selection decision and part pre-departure training.
Language Training 4 The role of English as the language of world business –the importance of language training is often downplayed by those English-speaking countries 4 Host-country language skills and adjustment –the ability to speak a foreign language improves expatriates’ effectiveness and negotiating ability 4 Knowledge of the corporate language –impact of adopting corporate language upon HRM activities within the MNCs, e.g. control v. coordination, standardization of information and reporting system.
Wright & Wright (1994) The other speaker controls what is communicated and what is understood. The monolingual English speaker has less room to maneuver, no possibility of finding out more that he/she is given. His position forces him to be reactive rather than proactive in the relationship. What he says and understands is filtered through the other speaker’s competence, over which he has no control (p. 5)
Practical Assistance 4 Provides information that assists in relocation 4 Makes an important contribution toward the adaptation of expatriates and their family 4 Utilises relocation specialists to provide this area of assistance 4 May include language training or other types of local orientations.
T & D for HCNs and TCNs The shortage of ‘international managers’ is becoming an increasing problem for international firms. While the faster pace of internationalisation was cited as the primary reason for shortages, failure to recruit effectively, retain and develop host country managers is another key reason to explain shortages of international managers
Issues of HCN Training 4 The issue of ‘the expense of cheap labour’; 4 The level of HCN competence relating to training and cost of MNCs; 4 The issue of mode of operation v. HCN training –e.g. JV partner’s request of training unskilled labour. –Training as incentives to attract and retain staff 4 Local v. HQ training –technical training for operating employees in areas where certain skills and work practices are strategically essential 4 Satellite technology to deliver training.
T & D for HCNs and TCNs A number of factors make recruitment of HCN managers difficult, they are: –lack of knowledge of local labor markets; –ignorance of the local education systems and the status of qualifications –language and cultural problems at interviews –trying to transfer recruitment methods which work well at home to foreign countries
T & D for HCNs and TCNs Management training provided to HCNs and TCNs should address: –need to avoid the mistake of simply exporting Parent country T & D programs to other countries –the management training for host country and TCNs need to be linked to the strategic situation in each country as well as to the overall strategy of the firm –the need to utilise much further the practice of developing HCN managers through developmental transfers to corporate headquarters
International Training of HCNs 4 Facilitates specific firm-based training (e.g. technical, operative, managerial); 4 Builds a sense of corporate identity through developing informal networks; 4 Develops particular skills required in the most cost effective way (e.g. Ford - Capri); 4 Broadens the outlook of domestic (HQ) employees about the firm’s diversified international workteam; 4 Possibly transfer HCN’s specific knowledge and skills to HQ.
Methods for Developing a Global Workforce 4 A team of international managers should cover PCNs, TCNs and HCNs for effective global operation; 4 Developing a team with international experience through short-term assignments; 4 International job rotation is one of techniques used to develop multinational teams and international operators; 4 External training program using action learning; 4 International meetings in various locations served as a way to foster interaction and personal networks that help build a global team; 4 Emphasizes diversity for innovation, organizational learning and the transfer of knowledge.
‘The aim in a global business is to get the best ideas from everywhere. Each team puts up its best ideas and processes - constantly. That raises the bar. Our culture is designed around making a hero out of those who translate ideas from one place to another, who help somebody else. They get an award, they get praised and promoted.’ Jack Welch, CEO of GE
Effective Knowledge Transfer 4 Creation of global teams and networks of experts through the actual mobility of people; 4 Maintaining effective communication systems and databases that people can draw from; 4 Having a systematic evaluation of individual's experience upon completion of an international assignment and ensuring that where valuable knowledge has been acquired, this is built into the organizational routines and taught to others. Kamoche, 1997, p. 220