Apply cultural literacy in personal and professional environments.

Apply cultural literacy in personal and professional environments.

MT203M5-5: Apply cultural literacy in personal and professional environments.

Introduction: Cultural literacy is critically important when it comes to sending personnel overseas to live and work. If there are family members also moving overseas, their acclimation to the new environment may affect the employees ability to perform successfully abroad.

Read the scenario and then address the checklist items.

Scenario: Jorge, as the global team manager, was hired to manage some new global teams for AlternativeSource, Inc. (ASI), an alternative-energy company implementing wind, solar, and water-generated energy systems throughout the globe. Jorge had worked previously for a gas exploration company in North America, so he simply hired many of his previous companys employees who had worked for him at the gas exploration company. Jorge deployed the teams along with their families to work with Indian nationals and clients in India. Since India is such a large country, although there is some autonomy for the teams, all decisions were made by Jorge and then subsequently communicated with the teams.

After 5 months in the field, the teams are not performing well. The team members are frustrated by what they termed as internal conflicts and the clients lack of cooperation, and their families seem to be unhappy in the new environment. The ASI executive management team is beginning to ask questions not only regarding the teams performance but also regarding the hiring process used. ASI has an employee handbook saying that the company hires people based on abilities from a diverse pool of candidates that also represent their diversity of global clients.

After completing your chapter reading and reviewing the learning activities regarding culture and global human resource management (HRM), address the following checklist items.

Checklist:

Describe how the current practice of hiring the global teams in India might lead to team conflict, and how to improve the hiring process.
Describe how an HR department can assist managers and employees, and their families prepare for and work in an overseas work environment. Provide at least three specific examples as it relates to this scenario.
If you had been Jorge, how would you apply the three cultural adaptation skills from your reading in Chapter 16 “Managing Expatriates,” that would help the team members and their families be successful in adjusting to India?
Chapter 16 Cultural Adaption Skills
A successful expatriate manager must be sensitive to the host countrys cultural norms, flexible enough to adapt to those norms, and strong enough to survive the culture shock of living in another culture. In addition, if the manager has a family, the family members must be able to adapt to a new culture. Adaptation requires three kinds of skills:46

1.Ability to maintain a positive self-image and feeling of well-being.

2.Ability to foster relationships with the host-country nationals.

3.Ability to perceive and evaluate the host countrys environment accurately.

Some of the most important factors for expatriate adjustment, according to research, are the overseas work environment (including employees and culture), ability to communicate in the host countrys language, job characteristics (freedom, autonomy, and variety), opportunities for leisure activities, urban environment (pollution, traffic, beauty), worklife balance, living quarters, family life, local friendships, and contact with those in the country left behind.47 To assess candidates ability to adapt to a new environment, interviews should address topics such as the ones listed in Table 16.2. The interviewer should be certain to give candidates a clear and complete preview of the assignment and the host-country culture. This helps the candidate evaluate the assignment and consider it in terms of his or her family situation, so the employer does not violate the employees privacy.48 These principles apply whether the candidates for international assignments are host-country or third-country nationals.

RECENT ASSIGNMENTS

  • Apply cultural literacy in personal and professional environments.
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