The Five Imperatives of Managing Across Cultures
According to Branine (2011), there are five imperatives of managing effectively across cultures:
- Valuing diversity and equality as integral to organizational effectiveness
- Creating competitive advantage through flexible working practice and family friendly policies
- Understanding ethical and unethical behaviors in other countries
- Transforming the use of information and communications across borders
- Developing a sense of employee environmental awareness and well being
Write a 700- to 1,050-word paper that discuss in detail one of the imperatives of managing effectively across cultures. Include the following in your paper:
- The complexities of implementation of these distinct moves in the United States and one international labor market, such as England, Germany, Kenya, China, Jamaica West Indies, or United Arab Emirates.
- Compare the levels of progress made in the targeted locales.
- Draw conclusions about possible next steps in promoting progress.
Format your paper according to APA guidelines.
Reference minimum of two (2) peer-reviewed APA References
Branine, M. (2011). Managing across cultures: Concepts, policies and practices. Los Angeles, CA: Sage. ISBN: 9781849207294
Managing information technologies
Information technologies involving storing, transmitting, exchanging and retrieving information have changed the way people are managed throughout the world. The internet (world-wide) or the intranet (organization based) is simply an electronic device that makes the processing and transfer of information fast and easy. Through the use of this device, information flows between offices and across national borders through a network of computers. It is normally used to support a lot of applications such as the discovery of information (browsing and information retrieval), fast and inexpensive communication (email, instant messaging, blogs, skyping, information transfer) and collaboration (two or more people can work together or share common resources or servers). Computers provide the basic unit for storing, retrieving, processing, sending, receiving, generating and managing information (Turban et al., 1999). The information itself can be in the form of words, numbers, pictures, moving images, graphics and sound. Information is shared via satellite, television, mobile phones and computers.
The use of information technologies has made it possible for organizations to be more flexible and more efficient in times of economic hardship and increasing competition. For example, we have seen from the case study at the end of Part II of this volume how US multinational companies resorted to the use of video-conferencing to reduce the need for travelling. Also, a great example of the international use of the internet occurred when Philips celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1991: the president of the company used a televised world-wide conference to explain the company’s prospects to the entire workforce (The Economist, 1995). Other uses of the internet and intranet are for entertainment, education and electronic commerce. With the use of the internet every firm becomes international without having to open subsidiaries in other countries. A small company can easily sell its products or provide services throughout the world via the internet.
In short, the use of the internet has changed the way organizations operate and the way employers interact with their customers, suppliers and employees. The spread of information between the headquarters of a multinational company and their employees in different countries is more effective than ever before (Turban et al. 1999; Sparrow et al., 2004). Information flows instantly from one part of the world to another, and a communication network can be created within minutes if not seconds. Managers can have instant access to their employees’ personal and contract details, educational and training records, and information on appraisal, discipline, absences, etc.
The applications of information technologies in the management of human resources are significant, wide-ranging and increasingly important. For example:
- The use of the internet has made it easy for employers to advertise their job vacancies and for applicants to access them. Most organizations have online job applications and they even conduct interviews online or via video-conferencing. Since many people world-wide have access to the internet the reponses from applicants reflect a diversity of people with various backgrounds, expertises, experience and qualifications. According to Brewster et al. (2007: 101–2), the use of the internet allows international organizations to widen their pool of recruitment at relatively low cost, attract specific job applicants with a desired skills match, target sources of graduate recruitment such as MBA career centres, and ‘improve on traditional advertising approaches by targeting particular lifestyle or culture-fit groups (such as expatriates or people who consume services similar to those provided by the host firm)’.
- The application of information technologies has also become a useful tool for national and international organizations to train their employees. Companies use intranets and the internet extensively to educate and train their employees because in this way training costs are reduced and training programmes can reach as many people as possible, even if they are employed in different subsidiaries around the world. There are also a number of software packages that are designed for individual and group learning and for personal self-development in different disciplines.
- Moreover, the administration of the payroll for employees world-wide has been widely facilitated through the use of computer software and networking technologies. The transfer of cash by means of electronic transfers and other global networks has facilitated not just the way employees are paid, but also the way customers pay for the goods and the services they buy and the way employers pay their suppliers and their clients.
- Team-working can be enhanced by the use of advanced information and communication technologies. Information can be shared through the internet, issues can be discussed online, and decisions can be made or solutions to problems can be given through video-conferencing, blogging, etc. This IT-based process can result in greater creativity, mutual learning, more rapid response times, effective problemsolving, and so on. Virtual teams can be easily set up, giving instant access to information and immediate exchange of ideas and solutions to work-related performance and quality problems.
- The use of information and communication technologies can lead to significant reductions in the cost of travelling and associated expenditure on accommodation and subsistence, as well as saving time and effort. A further aspect of flexibility resulting from the use of IT is that multinational companies can relocate work and gain from lower labour and mobility costs (Taylor and McIntosh, 1998).
However, there are a number of political, social, economic and technological factors that affect the international applications of the internet across cultures. For example, not all governments support the use of the internet in all aspects of life. Many countries impose restrictions on internet access. There are also taxation, security and intellectual property issues that differ from one country to another with respect to the use of the internet for domestic and business purposes.
(Branine, 2011, p. 577)
Technical changes and flow of information
Technical changes have led to the introduction of more productive and flexible working arrangements. The use of electronic control systems has made production and distribution processes more efficient, sophisticated and economic than before. For example, the advent of the internet has facilitated growth of international trade, international communications and easy access to information worldwide. Electronic mailing and information systems as well as the computerization of flight and shipping services are examples of current developments in information technologies. Customers can learn more about the goods they consume and many manufacturers are better informed about the needs of their customers. The international mobility of information has been enhanced by the integration of data processing and telecommunications networks on a global scale. Information can flow easily across borders, making geographical barriers less relevant and reducing the cost of travelling. Moreover, as information can be transferred quickly, rapid innovations can be effected in different countries, reducing lead times and product life cycles and increasing competition and cooperation between geographically dispersed organizations.
The speed and accuracy of information transmission are changing the nature of the international manager’s job. Technology allows managers to access information and share it instantly. The internet is used increasingly by national and international companies for crucial HRM functions such as advertising job vacancies, contacting potential employees and online learning. The use of information technologies has led to an increasing demand for a workforce that is not just IT skilled but for also talented people with creative and innovative ideas as well as competency in languages.
(Branine, 2011, p. 15)