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CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN IHRM - The Article Reviews - Leadership / Evolving of Culture
 

CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN IHRM - The Article Reviews - Leadership / Evolving of Culture

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The article which is named “The Innovative Technique at Thomson” aims to explain how the employee engagement affects an organisation by providing the customer satisfaction. And it gives a survey ...

The article which is named “The Innovative Technique at Thomson” aims to explain how the employee engagement affects an organisation by providing the customer satisfaction. And it gives a survey example, which is named as “Vaarta”, for measuring and understanding the employee’s satisfactions, attitudes, motivations and opinions. It’s been claimed that especially in current economic recession all over the world the engagement of employees has become the most important issue for an organisation whether it is national or multinational.
The article which is named “International Human Resource Management: A new challenge” aims to explain how the medium size international organizations, which is trying to expand their trading activities, can fit the human resource management to the values and norms of different cultures. The author claims that generally international human resource management and expatriate management have being confused.

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    CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN IHRM - The Article Reviews - Leadership / Evolving of Culture CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN IHRM - The Article Reviews - Leadership / Evolving of Culture Document Transcript

    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMEN University of Wales (Kensington Collage of Business) MBA MODULE TITLE: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN IHRM MODULE CODE: MCIIHRM ASSINGMENT TITLE:THE ARTICLE REVIEWS – LEADERSHIP / EVOLVING OF CULTURE LECTURER NAME: NUALA OSULLIVAN KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMEN DATE OF SUBMISSION: 02/12/2010 0
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENPART - AThe review of article “The Innovative Technique at Thomson”INTRODUCTIONThe article which is named “The Innovative Technique at Thomson” aims to explain how theemployee engagement affects an organisation by providing the customer satisfaction. And it gives asurvey example, which is named as “Vaarta”, for measuring and understanding the employee’ssatisfactions, attitudes, motivations and opinions. It’s been claimed that especially in currenteconomic recession all over the world the engagement of employees has become the mostimportant issue for an organisation whether it is national or multinational.On 2009 during the economic recession, the leader printing company in India –Thomson PressCompany; which was established in 1967 and has exported children’s books to overseas publishers,assigned an external consultancy agency. Measuring its employees’ engagement by ensuring theconfidentiality of the process was the survey’s target. Identifying the strong and weak areas of thecompany to set new priorities would be the results of this survey. For the company which hasalready attached an importance to training its employees and operated an open door policy by itssenior managers, the aim of the survey has been finding out the necessary areas of improvement onwork conditions and reinforcing the employee engagement to continue the company’s leadership inprinting industry. For the company’s board, and also based upon the nature of the business world, itmeans enabling to continue paying dividend to stakeholders.The authors of this article, Agarwal, Chaudhary, and Dixit (2010), have explained the structure of anew initiative to make a contribution to business performance during the economic recession. Theauthors has used the chance that one of them –Dixit; was the human resource specialist of ThomsonPress Company during the survey. They have tried to sustain their ideas by giving the examples ofThomson Press Company practises.LITERATURE REVIEWThe article has built up its hypotheses on the importance of employee engagement on tough timesfor organisation such as economic recession. Treacy (2004) has claimed that if the organisation takescare of its employees, they will take care of the organisation’s customers, so on tough times thecustomer satisfaction will sustain company’s position in the market. It’s claimed that that’s a chainthat the employees impact the customers’ attitudes and behaviours, and the customer impact thecompany’s profitability by buying its products. When the company takes care to establish a companyculture that respects its employees, it will have the benefits of the loyal customers. The authors ofthis article have sustained this idea by giving the examples of TMC practices. For example, thetraining school; which has started in 1995, aims to educate printing professionals for requirement ofquality workforce. On the other hand, regular in-house training programs gain the motivation ofworkforce.According to Vazirani (2007) `employee engagement approaches` of an organisation can reinforcedthe ability to cope with recession and the established trust can be unlocked the commitment ofindividual staffs.It’s said that by Bono and Judge (2003) continuity of good delivering service during the economicrecession, in which huge cost savings decisions to be had, can just be able by having open culture,clear messages and stable leadership. Sharing the responsibility has provided the total success ofcompany. According to the authors of this article, it was an advantage that Thomson Press Companyhas already operated an open door policy by its senior managers to respect its’ employees. Theauthors claimed that the strategies, products, services, models etc. can be copied from competitors. 1
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENBut the loyal talented workforce will be one of the most important parts of the organisation andcannot be duplicated. The company always has proud of that the average stays of workers is lifetimefor the company. For the continuity of this employee loyalty, the company has always cared to placeeffective performance schemes, greater teaching and development projects, employee recognitionprogrammes and flexible working opportunities. The Company has believed that not to havedisenchanted staff and decreased productivity can only be able by placing the employeeengagement at the front line.At the end of the each working day the highest level of employee engagement can be sustained byidentifying the right improvement areas in customer satisfaction, business performance,organisational culture, and then matching them with the individual levels of staffs. (Bernthall andWellins 2001) Thomson Press Company has decided to do an employee engagement survey toidentify the right improvement areas. The objective of the survey is to creating a forum for the staffsto give effective feedbacks.The human resource department cannot individually establish the employee engagement, but it hasan important role to develop the organisational culture which makes the engagement a reality byimproving the managerial skills. Identifying the key points of employee respected culture,communicating effectively and well explaining the action plans must be the shared way. (Conger,1992) The human resource department of Thomson Press Company has linked all part of thecompany with the survey. It has been well explained that the goal of this survey was to obtainhonest feedback from all participants to understand the right improvement areas. It shouldn’t beforgotten that the participants want to ensure that the company has an interest in listening theiropinions and to ensure that their inputs are kept in confidential. (Conger and Kanugo, 1988) On theother hand according to Hoover (2005) for a well qualified working life it’s not so much importantwhat the business is but how the people in that business behave.Thomson has understood that this survey is not an event or a simply survey. It’s been a process thatwill be a catalyst for reconstruct the trust between the staffs and their line managers and thecompany. Arriving at a shared definition and interpreting it into an action plan will be one of themost important things in this process. (May, 2004) Acting quickly on survey results will show theemployees that the senior managers and the company well defined the improvement areas. It’shighlighted that if the company waits a time to take action it won’t be so effective. Because after atime, identified improvement areas can be changed.It can be ranked the hypotheses of this article as below:1. Employee engagement is very important for a company. The employee engagement impactbehaves and attitudes of customers. Especially during in the tough times such as economicrecession, if the organisation takes care of its employees, they will take care of the organisation’scustomers, so on tough times the customer satisfaction will sustain company’s position in themarket.2. The continuity of good delivering service during the economic recession, in which huge costsavings decisions to be had, can just be able by having open culture, clear messages and stableleadership. For enabling to have this position; the organisation must identify the improvement areasof employee engagement, customer satisfaction, business performance, organisational culture andmust match them with the individual levels of every staffs.3. The human resources department has a key role to identify the improvement areas and matchthem with the individual levels of staffs. But the department cannot individually establish it. HR isone of the most important parts of establishing the employee respected organisational culture. 2
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMEN4. To identify the improvement areas it is a good way to do an employee engagement survey. Theresults of the survey will provide to establish the employee respected organisational culture. Thegoal of the survey must be measuring and understanding the employee’s satisfactions, attitudes,motivations and opinions.5. The participants of the survey want to ensure that the company has an interest in listening of theiropinions and to ensure that their inputs are kept in confidential.6. It hasn’t been forgotten that the employee engagement survey is a process for reconstruct thetrust between the staffs and their line managers and the company. Arriving at a shared definitionand interpreting it into an action plan will be one of the most important things in this process. Theaction plan must be taken as quick as possible.RELEVANCEThe study attempts to explain the leadership aspect of Human Resource Management. The article isgoing on how the employee engagement effect the continuity of good delivering service of thecompany and how this engagement will be provided by strong leadership and open door policy.In the 21st century globalized world insists a strong leadership by identifying the improvement areas.There is a key role for Human Resource Management to provide this identifying to assist the strongleadership. Every company, whether national or multinational, needs to focus on this improvementareas to remain the continuity of its competitiveness and success.So this article’s view becomes very important and relevant in the Human Resources Managementperspective.CRITICAL REVIEWThe study seems well researched and generates its hypotheses based on its references. Having a liveexample is the advantage of this study. The authors can measure the impacts of their hypotheses onthis live example. The company, which was chosen by the authors, provide a good study area by itsbackground in employee engagement. And also the current economic recession all over the worldassists the necessity of this study. The company’s open door policy and the trust of the employees tothe company help the success of the survey process.Only one limitation of this study can be that the possible action plans based upon the existedemployee engagement survey has not been given. However the study highlighted that the actionplan must be taken quickly after the survey process, the authors has not been talking about neitherthe results of this survey nor the action plans which was taken.At the end of the study the article tries to open discussions for some several issues based upon thissurvey. It can be a key point that these discussions can be helpful for any other cases in HumanResources Management.CONCLUSIONThe employee engagement is a key point for any company in 21st century. Products, services,strategies, models etc. can be taken from competitors, but only thing that cannot be taken fromcompetitors is loyal talented employee. Among the decreasing loyalty of employee, having a lowstaff employee or lifetime employee stays is an intangible asset for an organisation. Theorganisations must save this asset by identifying the possible improvement areas and taking actionplans. 3
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENRECOMMENDATIONSThe outputs of this study are very important for leadership aspect. The examples of this study can beused for improving the employee engagement. 1. The results of this survey should be given in this study for becoming more helpful for readers and researchers. 2. The action plans which would be taken after this survey should be given in this study to show how the results impact the plans.Total word count for Part - A = 1801 4
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENREFERENCESAGARWAL, R., CHAUDHARY, M. and DIXIT, S., 2010. The Innovative Technique at Thomson. AmericanJournal of Economics & Business Administration, Vol 2. No. pp 189-193. Available at:<URL:http://www.scipub.org/fulltext/ajeba/ajeba22189-193.pdf>BERNTHAL, P.R. and WELLINS, R.S., 2001. Retaining Talent: A Benchmarking Study. DevelopmentDimensions International, Pittsburgh, PA. Available at:<URL: http://www.ddiworld.com/pdf/ddi_MeasuringEmployeeEngagement_wp.pdf>[Accessed: 10 November 2010]BONO, J.E. and JUDGE, T.A., 2003. Self-concordance at work: Toward understanding the motivationaleffects of transformational leaders. Acad. Manage. J., 46: 554-571. Available at:<URL:http://www.corporateheart.com/pdf/SelfConcordance%20at%20Work%20Motivational2003.pdf>[Accessed: 10 November 2010]CONGER, J.A., 1992. Learning to lead: The art of transforming managers into leaders. Jossey-Bass,San Francisco. Available at:<URL: http://www.saycocorporativo.com/saycoUK/BIJ/journal/Vol No1/Review_2.pdf>[Accessed: 10 November 2010]CONGER, J.A. and KANUGA, R., 1988. The empowerment process: Integrating theory and practice.Acad. Manage. Rev., 13: 471-482. Available at:<URL:http://www.jstor.org/pss/258093>[Accessed: 10 November 2010]MAY, E.L., 2004. Are people your priority? How to engage your work force: Healthcare Executive.Available at:<URL:http://resources.greatplacetowork.com/article/pdf/he_ja04_priority.pdf>[Accessed: 10 November 2010]TREACY, M., 2004. Employee engagement higher at double digit growth companies. HewittAssociates. Available at:<URL:http://www.hewittassociates.com/_MetaBasicCMAssetCache_/Assets/Articles/DDGEngagementfull.pdf>[Accessed: 10 November 2010]VAZIRANI, N., 2007. Employee Engagement: SIES College of Management Studies, Nerul.Available at:<URL:http://www.siescoms.edu/images/employee_engagement.pdf>[Accessed: 10 November 2010] 5
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENPART - BThe review of article “International Human Resource Management: A new Challenge”INTRODUCTIONThe article which is named “International Human Resource Management: A new challenge” aims toexplain how the medium size international organizations, which is trying to expand their tradingactivities, can fit the human resource management to the values and norms of different cultures.The author claims that generally international human resource management and expatriatemanagement have being confused.The author -Trudel, who has also been a fifteen years mobile international professional, has beentrying to reinforce the approaching of human resource management in a situation ofinternationalization of medium size companies. Trudel claims that great numbers of articles havefocused on the big size international companies in the context of international human resourcemanagement, but there have been a few studies about medium size organizations. The author hasgiven four approaches by focusing on medium size companies which follow an expansion strategy tocatch new opportunities in the rapidly growing emerging markets.The given four situations to understand the international human resource management process areamong from Canadian companies which have been employing less than 300 employees. It has beenhighlighted that these companies’ exportation values have been close quarter of the totalexportation values of Canada to US, EU markets or emerging markets such as BRIC -Brazil, Russia,India, China (Quebec Statistical Institute, 2010)LITERATURE REVIEWThe article has built up its hypotheses on how the human resource management can be adapted tothe values and norms of the different cultures. Gankema (2000) claims that the great number ofstudies are about major companies and they have only explained the practises of expatriatedemployees, the training methods of how to deal with different cultures in a different location or theproblems of the returned expatriated employees from abroad to home. It has been highlighted thatthe author’s study can be reinforced how to manage the diversified work force. Trudel has purposedto present four main structures for explaining the international context of human resourcemanagement. These are “international leadership”, “international operational capabilities”,“coordination of human resource management practises” and “international human resourcemanagement practises”.Trudel has underlined what must be the skills of top management team to explaining the“international leadership”. It has been said that the references come from top management team.So the top management team must have a globalised thinking, intercultural competency, corporatemission and preferably the members from different cultures. According to Laabs (1997) the highdegree of the competence of the top management team provides the employee confidence forfollowing them to realize the corporate mission of the organization. If the top managers have doinggood works also spending efficient times for critical activities such as judgement, good listening andcommunicating or creating future visions, the employees will easily follow them by respect.According to the researches of MacMillan (1987) and Sanchez-Arias (2004) being a role-play as achange representative by creating a future vision, knowing how to good listen and communicate,being progressive on the promotion of the vision in the context of internationalization,demonstrating the importance of the internationalization by all activities, doing activities to developthe long term international culture, hiring high-skilled employees, demonstrating the importance oftraining, being a coach by transferring the experiences, awareness of the importance of the 6
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENknowledge form international markets and keeping them up to date must be the base features of aninternational leader. The given example of Trudel is a leader who is not high educated or not havinga strong background in international markets. He recovers his shortages with being a goodcommunicator / listener and being in a perception for international business. He has attachedimportance to confidence, team work and being participate of the organisation.Progressive standardisation and adaptation for diversity provide to create the “internationaloperational capabilities” to efficiently manage the environmental diversity in different locations atthe same time. Trudel has emphasized that the standardisation mustn’t be confused with creatingbureaucratic boundaries which has blocked out the creativity of the employees. The standardisationof performance measurement system, information system, the sharing of sources, strategic planningetc. must be enough flexible to allow for diversity. Good communication channel can convince thestaffs to add value. There has been an important role for managers to transfer the values betweenthe organisation and employees. On the other hand the managers have to motivate the mobilizedstaffs to integrate her / his energies in the international perspective of the company. So themanagers who are mobilized have to have larger communication networks. And the company mustequip them with supports, assistance and incentives such as international compensation plans whichhave to have differences from domestic plans. This will encourage the other locals to be volunteersfor working this company. The given example of Trudel is a company which is growing 50% per yearover the last ten years. The company has an informal flexible structure which has created based onthe live experiences. For instance at the beginning of the internationalization, the company didn’thave a strategy to have overseas project managers, but now it has managed all its internationalactivities efficiently by locals.Creation of the relationship between recruiting, hiring, training, career planning, locational mobility,multicultural work groups and the capacity of managing the diversity has been very critic for theorganization. It can be able to have a managerial structure which has attached importance toproviding the “coordination of human resource management practices”. (Dowling et al, 1998) Theintegration of human resource department with the other departments provides the continuity ofinternational perspective to the company. The network between human resource department andthe other departments has assisted to have a pool of high-skilled individuals to selecting from andpreparing them for international tasks. The human resource management and its coordination musthave great importance for the top management. Dowling and Welch (1991) claim that thecoordination of human resource management practices are very important for the growinginternational companies to continue their activities efficiently. The given example of Trudel is acompany that its top management has placed the global human resource management in a greatimportance and has connected the department directly to the president. The company has beenemploying over 250 employees all over the world and there has been close relationship betweenfunctions. All human resource management activities and decisions have been thought at headquarters.The abilities such as able to fit to work in a different country with different cultures, strongrelationship between the functions of organization, not to have superior behaviours which avoid therelationship with the foreign colleagues have been as important as the technical abilities, and thehuman resource department must ensure about these abilities by involving in the hiring process ofan international task. This involving can only be able through the efficient international humanresource management perspective. It has been another important task for international humanresource management that planning the familiarization of the employee with the new environmentbefore an international task. Also the international human resource management practisesdemonstrate high effort to manage the repatriates who are participates of the organisation likeexpatriates. After returning from an international task to home, it’s essential to meet the expectedoffers. The career plans must be considered by the human resource department. At the example ofTrudel, the company has a careful selection process and before the international posting it meets all 7
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENthe necessities which are expected. The communication channels are provided. The regionalresponsible managers visit the site at least four times a year.RELEVANCEThe study attempts to explain the evolving of international culture aspect of Human ResourceManagement. The article is going on how to adapt the human resource management to the normsof different cultures in medium size growing international companies. The globalized world insists aninternational cultural perspective for human resource management to manage the multinationalwork force. There is a key role for human resource management to provide the expectations. Themixture of international leadership, international operational capabilities, the coordination ofhuman resource management practises and efficient international perspective of human resourcemanagement must be the main perspective of the human resource management process. The inputsof multinational work force must be assessed with consideration of these four pillars.So this article’s view becomes very important and relevant in the Human Resources Managementwith the context if international perspective.CRITICAL REVIEWThe article seems well researched and generates its hypotheses based on its references by havingactual examples for each pillars. The author can see the impacts of his hypotheses on these actualexamples. But the examples; except the first one –international leadership; are not clearly matchwith the hypotheses. It’s thought that especially the examples for “international operationalcapabilities” and “coordination of human resource management practises” are not sufficient toexplain the idea. Although their shortages in sampling; the companies which was chosen by theauthor provide a good study area by their backgrounds in international employing.It’s thought that another shortage of this study is the lack of the example of mixture of four models –international leadership, international operational capabilities, coordination of human resourcemanagement and efficient international human resource management practices, however theauthor opens a discussion about these four pillars.However it’s thought that at least one actual example must be given about the mixture of fourmodels which are the subject of this study, in the discussion part the author highlighted that amedium size international company must have an international leadership perspective, humanresource capabilities for efficient international operations, coordination between human resourcedepartment and other departments, following an international human resource strategy to besuccessful in international markets, well-structured communication channels.CONCLUSIONAdapting its structure to the new human resource managerial realities of internationalization is thekey point for an organization which is trying to expend its international trading activities in 21stcentury. Every organization can find its unique model during the internationalization. Even it isinternationalized the context of the international perspective of human resource management willbe vary. The company have to demonstrate the priority of international perspective by assisting ofactual examples. It’s not been forgotten that without internationalization of human resourcemanagement, it is not able to internationalize the company’s services or products. 8
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENRECOMMENDATIONSThe outputs of this study are very important for evolving of culture aspect. The four examples of thisstudy can be used for creating an international human resource perspective for internationalisingorganizations. However every company practises its unique model, at least one example should begiven for mixture of four models.Total word count for Part - B = 1776 9
    • KCB ID: 14508 – Tolga KOYMENREFERENCESDOWLING,P. J. and WELCH, D. E. (1991). The Strategic Adaptation Process in International HumanResource Management: A Case Study. Human Resource Planning. 14 (1), 61-69.GANKEMA,H.G. J., SNUIF, H. R. and ZMART, P. S. (2000). The Internationalization Process of Smalland Medium-Sized Enterprises: An Evaluation of Stage Theory. Journal of Small BusinessManagement, 38 (4), 15-27.LAABS, J. (1997). Global HR: Doing What’s Important First. Global Workforce, 2 (2), 14-5.MACMILLAN,I. C. (1987). New Business Development: A Challenge for Transformational Leadership,HR Management, 26 (4), 439-454.SANCHEZ-ARIAS, F. (2004). Five Roles of Leadership. Executive Excellence. 21 (7), 8.TRUDEL, J. (2009). International HRM: A new challenge. Portugese Journal of Management Studies.Vol. 14 No. 2 pp 149-161 Available at:<URL:http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=6&hid=13&sid=f141b619-475f-4617-bca7-873335aab383%40sessionmgr4>[Accessed: 26th October 2010]The official web site of QUEBEC STATISTICAL INSTITUTE. Available at:<URL:http://www.stat.gouv.qc.ca/default_an.htm>[Accessed: 26th October 2010] 10