Introduction Management in any corporation requires a strong management plan and involves diversity or one type or another. Organizations that become multinational corporations have an even greater challenge. These multinational corporations have to take into consideration factors such national cultures and subcultures, religious beliefs and traditions, labor laws, and local regulation. These are only a minute number of diversity issues a multinational corporation will face.
This paper will highlight several multinational corporations such as Exxon, Wells Fargo, Citi, Bank of America and Hewlett Packard and how they have created strong international management plans to overcome the numerous hurdles involved in cross cultural management to become successful corporations across the globe. Key Team Findings Cultural and language barriers differ from physical barriers because the aforementioned barriers can be eliminated. Additionally when employers place an emphasis on learning a language the organization can reduce the agency’s economy of scale.
Moreover when organizations prioritize the understanding of a host country’s language and culture communication will be enhanced. Motorola and Bank of America are two corporate conglomerates that understand fully the importance of addressing language and cultural barriers. Motorola’s Technology center in Italy is working diligently to produce and offer Mya Voice Platforms to allow consumers and organizations that are exploring the idea of relocation to communicate using the aforementioned technology to eliminate language barriers.
The technology and software will allow users the capability to exchange dialogue in either a text to text or language to language format. Motorola and the technology will transcend barriers that were once common in the global marketplace. In an effort to assist employees Bank of America has rolled out a training program that articulates the importance of understanding the cultures and customs of team members who work abroad. Bank of America has prepared a 40 minute video that helps American based employees understand the nuances associated with their Indian teammates.
All employees will be required to view the video in entirety. Bank of America understands fully that the organization is dealing with a global customer base, and that in order to be successful the organization will have to employ workers from all over the world. Both SC Johnson and Citi have embraced diversity and realize a major advantage of diversity is the enhancement of creativity, better decision making, and more effective and productive performance (Hodgetts, Luthans, & Doh, 2005).
Another important aspect for managing across cultures is that both organizations strategies are addressing the cultural similarities and differences in their varied markets (Hodgetts, Luthans, & Doh, 2005). This is apparent in the makeup of their employee base, with working hard to match the employees with their cultures in which they work and live. Another important aspect both companies offer is networking groups for the different cultural groups so people do not feel excluded, but included. “India is attractive to multinations, and especially to U.
S. and British firms” (Hodgetts, Luthans & Doh, 2005, p. 27). One advantage to conducting business in India is that many people are well educated, they are advanced in technology and many people can speak English. Additionally, many skilled workers can be found in India. Companies that expand into India have showed steady growth and can be an attractive option for investors (Hodgetts, Luthans & Doh, 2005). Systems India was able to restructure and expand a great deal from 1989 to 1994 due to the economic success of the company in that country.
When conducting business and operating a business in other countries, risk is always a factor Risk to culture was a factor when ExxonMobil began operations in Nigeria, but there was also economic risk. Some countries can not easily transition to a market driven economy (Hodgetts, Luthans & Doh, 2005). Additionally, the companies have to be aware of political pressures. Politics can play a part in the success of the new multinational company. Lastly, the company must be aware of the countries legal systems. Depending on the countries legal system, court cases can take five years to get through the legal system (Hodgetts, Luthans & Doh, 2005).
When a company has so many cultures working together, the company must be aggressive in creating a management plan that will encourage and build togetherness among all employees. Recognizing and understanding cultural differences allows management to create a strategic plan that will satisfy its employees. Culture affects day to day activities in the business world and “perhaps most important, culture affects how people think and behave,” which means Riordan must research and take the necessary steps to develop practices that will allow employees to embrace and accept multiculturalism, (Hodges, Luthans, & Doh, 2005, p. 94).
To be a successful company internationally, management must adapt to the environment in which it opens the doors of its business, and management should have an attitude where stereotypes and generalizations are avoided, (Hodges, Luthans, & Doh, 2005, p. 92). Although there will be challenges when a company is globalizing, opportunities are more readily available because investments and global trade grows, which brings wealth and jobs to many places around the globe. Understanding and respecting different cultures along with understanding what their clients want is what Dell and Wells Fargo does to ensure their company’s success.
Globalization affects most individuals daily from the moment one awakes until to bedtime. The appliances used to make toast or bagels to the body lotions one applies at night. Proctor and Gamble and Hewlett Packard are multicultural corporations who supplies products used daily. Organizations must be global in order to succeed. Multinational corporations are interested in expanding and increasing profit, however, it still makes mistakes in understanding other cultures of its customers. Proctor and Gamble and Hewlett Packard are multinational corporations with strategies to be successful and competitive in their markets.
The organizations must have policies, which reflect their multicultural workforce and customers. In comparing Air Liquide and Bacardi-Martini in Brazil the two companies each have the issue of locating and hiring qualified workers. The governments in both China and Brazil have recognized the importance of increasing the available of workers in order to continuing attracting multinational corporations to their regions of the world. In contrast, in China the MNC’s are generally are the initiator of in-house raining programs, whereas in Brazil the government agencies have taken a proactive approach to implementing national programs to train and equip workers with the needed skill sets MNC’s are needing and looking for. Company Synopses DeShawn Lewis – Xerox At Xerox the company has outlined their code of conducts in writing regarding what is expected from the Board of Directors. Xerox has a help-line that is accessible to all employees world-wide. This help-line is designed to help employees seek the understanding and guidance and raise issues concerning business standards and ethics. Xerox Corporation, pg. 1, 2009). Xerox Company is more than 80% independent in support of the Board of Directors. Xerox requires that all employees and Board of Directors read and understand the company’s policy. Xerox describes conflict of interest, corporate opportunities, confidentiality, protection and proper use of Company Assets, fair dealing, waivers of code of Business Conduct and Ethics, Encouraging the Reporting of any Illegal or Unethical Behavior, Failure to Comply: Compliance Procedures and compliance with laws, rules and regulations are all part of the online help code of conduct. These Corporate Governance Guidelines are reviewed by the Board, through the Corporate Governance Committee, on annual basis and are subject to modification from time to time by the Board acting by a majority of the independent directors as determined under these Guidelines”(Xerox Corporation, pg. 1 2009). Xerox has pledged to be a role model in business practices by creating a culture that leads by upholding the ethics in the workplace.
As stated by the chief staff Officer and chief ethics officer Hector Motroni, I get to work with every area of the company, including the business groups, corporate security, human resources, office of the general counsel and various experts to establish company standards and procedures that are continually refreshed and promoted within the Xerox population”(Xerox et al, 2009). CEO Anne Mulcahy takes ethical violations seriously and when investigations are conducted they are carefully conducted.
The accomplishment Xerox have faced are limited financial fraud reporting, weeding out managers who try to take advantage of their position and power, and protecting employees from feeling harassed. “One instance that really stands out in my mind (Hector Motroni) is an employee of an external agency who called with tears in his eyes and apprehension in his voice. He was unable to sleep, losing weight, experiencing physical issues knowing his employer was defrauding Xerox and our customers” (et, al).
Xerox has most employees believing that the ethics helpline will keep employees wanting to do what is best for the company and to keep the communication open between management and the employees. DeShawn Lewis – Kodak Eastman Kodak is a company that mirrors the business on quality and ethics. “Quality has been a hallmark of the company since it began. George Eastman said, “To make good goods requires experience and is a slow matter but when we get there, we get there to stay. In today’s Kodak, attention to quality extends beyond product performance. The goal is to exceed customers’ expectations in dialogue they have with the company, its product and its people. Kodak businesses track customer satisfaction and loyalty as a means to gauge quality, and each year goals are set to drive progress (Kodak, pg. 1, 2009). Kodak believes in a workforce that expects honesty, and accounting for the business. “As a result, Kodak is considered world class in terms of corporate governance.
In fact, in a recent study of more than 3,000 companies by an international governance rating agency, Kodak was among the 1% that received a perfect score”(Kodak, Pg. 1, 2009). Kodak was one of the first companies to offer benefits like pensions and profits sharing to employees. In 1912 Kodak introduced Wage dividend program. Kodak has continuously developed a diverse workforce. Kodak also introduced the Family Medical Leave Act in the 1980s. Kodak believes in providing the employees with the tools needed to succeed by making the employee feel valued.
Kodak has quality and ethics leading the way for the company to produce the best quality products. The employees has written in their code of ethics how employees are expected to treat each other, which would give the employees the sense that the company believes in values, honor and ethical behavior. Many of Kodak employees are invested in their communities. Kodak leadership supports community service as it reflects the values and behaviors of the employees who service the customers at Kodak and the communities the employees live and work in.
Jason Little – Motorola Communication barriers are of imperative importance when organizations are exploring the possibility of off shoring, and globalization. The primary barriers that need to be addressed immediately would include nonverbal communication like hand shakes, and the nodding of the head, the host countries culture, work ethic, and language. Over the past decade organizations have witnessed a culture that openly embraces the internet, and upgraded software that allows organizations the opportunity to engage consumers in the worldwide marketplace.
Motorola’s Technology center in Italy is working diligently to produce and offer Mya Voice Platforms to allow consumers and organizations that are exploring the idea of relocation to communicate using the aforementioned technology to eliminate language barriers. “The Voice Platform developed by Motorola is a group of fully integrated end to end voice enabled internet access solutions which includes hardware, software, development tools and a portfolio of applications and services (Chesta, 2002). “MNCs worldwide place a great deal of attention on the applicant’s ability to speak English without considering if the person has other necessary skills such as the ability to interact well with others and the technical knowledge demanded by the job (Hodgetts, Luthans, & Doh, 2006). ” The caveat associated with this new software lies in the technology’s ability to translate language from language to language or text to text. Moreover, the software has the availability to idiosyncrasies and translation problems that might be associated with the language.
This function is paramount for multinational corporations because one of the arguments presented in our readings emphasizes management’s frustrations with host country workers who can speak the corporation’s language but cannot effectively craft documents that are consistent with the corporation’s language. Although the technology is still in the infancy stage voice user interfaces will undoubtedly act as a catalyst that makes the transition for multinational companies less cumbersome when opening a satellite company abroad. Jason Little – Bank of America
Similar to other organizations that are operating globally, Bank of America has encountered considerable pressure to expand corporate operations into the global community. Furthermore, Bank of America manages and has direct oversight of a considerable base of client and business accounts in foreign countries. Bank of America realized the importance of engaging in proactive efforts to ensure diversity acceptance in the organization. Moreover Bank of America realized the imperative nature of emphasizing the need for organizational training and development for all members of their staff within the organization.
Cultural factors can undoubtedly affect business communication. According to readings “researchers found that nonnative speakers used exaggerated politeness, provided unnecessary professional and personal information, and made inappropriate requests of the other party” (Hodgetts, Luthans, & Doh, 2006). In order to mitigate misconceptions about the heritage and culture of their teammates in India Bank of America produced a video that assists workers in the United States with understanding the Indian Culture and some of the nuances associated with their culture.
The video presentation will give the American worker insight into the culture which will enhance day to day interactions with their teammates in India. Bank of America also hired a consultant directly from India to give the employees overview of India’s culture. Bank of America’s goal is to create an organizational culture that is founded upon diversity and inclusion within the corporation globally. Bank of America has also mandated the training to all the organizations employees. Each employee will participate and view the presentation.
Bank of America understands fully that the organization is dealing with a global customer base, and that in order to be successful the organization will have to employ workers from all over the world. Bank of America’s program will assist employees in understanding the unique business cultures abroad. Sharon Powell – SC Johnson SC Johnson may not be a household name but many of their products are. For more than 120 years they have been making products people use everyday such as Shout®, Ziploc® Bags, and Glade® Air Freshener and Candles.
Not only has SC Johnson been in business for over a century they have expanded from their Wisconsin headquarters to include 12,000 global employees in more than 70 countries worldwide (SCJohnson, 2009). This success is not only based on a product line that consumers demand but on the diversity of their workforce. Long before most companies were going global, SC Johnson’s founder had foresight to establish international operations in Great Britain in 1914, Australia in 1917, and Canada in 1920 (SCJohnson, 2009).
Today have employees in locations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, France, Germany, Greece, and Russia, to name a few. SC Johnson has been a company that has embraced diversity and knows it’s a major factor in their success. SC Johnson has guidelines around the world of their employees to immerse themselves into the cultures and communities in which they do business, recruit and employ. SC Johnson required senior management to demonstrate leadership in the community by holding at least one board-level membership with a major local community nonprofit organization.
They are also required to promote and coordinate at least one significant employee volunteer effort in the community each year. SC Johnson feels these steps result in stronger communities everywhere they do business (SCJohnson, 2009). SC Johnson has helped remodel a sports complex in Chile, contributed to a burn and trauma unit in Philippines, and helped enrich schools in Ecuador and Colombia (SCJohnson, 2009). These are not only good deeds for the communities in which they do business they are ways for SC Johnson to learn local customs and cultural norms, which enables them to relate to employees whom live in these cultures.
In addition it allows people of these cultures to build relationships with the company, which in many cultures and countries is an important factor. SC Johnson welcomes diversity and promotes business interactions that value and respect diversity, stimulate creativity. As a company they are committed to recruit, retain and promote employees with a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences. Having a diverse workforce is one thing, successfully managing a diverse workforce is another, and SC Johnson is aware of this.
They have created a Diversity Advisory Team which is a resource for the company in identifying and meeting the development needs of the entire organization (SCJohnson, 2009). The Diversity Advisory Team heads diversity councils designed to ensure and inclusive, engaging work environment. In addition to some traditional diversity councils they have recently launched support programs such as: Parents of Teens; Parents of Special Needs Children; Elder Care Givers; Single Parents and Mature Workers (RPNews, 2009).
SC Johnson has embraced that fact that they need to understand the cultural dynamics to plan their strategy, to locate facilities and suppliers worldwide, to design and market appropriate products and services, as well manage cross-cultural interaction throughout the organization – from senior executives to the shop floor (Hodgetts, Luthans, & Doh, 2005). Sharon Powell – Citi City Bank of New York (now Citibank) opened their doors in 1812 and quickly expanded both nationally and internationally through mergers, acquisitions, and new branches.
Today Citi is a leading global financial services company. It services approximately 200 million customers and does business in more than 140 countries. Citi has two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. Citi offers their customers a diverse array of financial products; they have 350,000 employees across six continents in more than 140 countries (Citigroup, 2009). With 350,000 employees Citi has a very diverse workforce, 98% percent of their employees are native to the locations where they work.
Their goal is to have a workforce that reflects the same diversity at all levels and their employee populations to be similar in composition to that in their local operating communities. Citi boast to being one of the most diverse organizations in the world, and this diversity has been a source of strength for the organization (Citigroup, 2009). Citi is proud of their diversity and know the importance of it. On their website that is visible to their current and prospective clients they boast, “most of our Relationship Managers share your culture, grew up in your country and speak your language” (Citigroup, 2009).
Knowing diversity is a main source of their strength Citi has made it a priority to foster a culture where the best people work, their promoted on their merits, and where value and respect for each employee is demanded, regardless of differences (Citigroup, 2009). One way Citi effectively manages their diversity is with a Diversity Operating Council which is composed of senior diversity and human resources leaders from core businesses and regions.
The Diversity Operating Council provided support and accountability; they regularly review progress against their diversity strategy, shares best practices across businesses, aligns diversity policies globally, and develops and executes global initiatives. In 2007, 109 diversity reviews were conducted and presented to the Board (Citigroup, 2009). Like many organizations with diversity Citi offers training to all their employees on topics such as “Championing Diversity, “Valuing Diversity and Inclusion at Citi,” and “Leadership Through the Lens of Diversity. Citi also started employee networking groups such as African Heritage, Asian Pacific Heritage, Hispanic Heritage, and Roots (Citigroup, 2009). In an effort to keep their employee base consistent with their client base, Citi continually measures their employees. Recently in an effort to reaffirm their commitment to the countries in which they operate as well the relationships with their employees there were several new appointment of Chairman and CEO’s in Asia Pacific, Europe, Middle East and Africa (Citigroup, 2009).
Citi is also hiring consulting and training services to help relocate, retrain, and regain employees. In 1997 Citi hired Motorola University Consulting and Training Service to teach Six Sigma defect reduction to management and their employees. This training taught senior management many tools that helped with labor shortages or lack of skilled labor with streamlining training for existing employees (Rucker, 1999). Nichole Hough – Systems India Ltd. Systems India Ltd. is part of the parent company of Systems Corporation of USA and is one of the oldest multinational companies in the world (Nag, Ganesh & Pathak, 2001).
The company started between 1867 and 1872, when the company “laid the foundation of the Indo-US Telegraph line, from London to Dhaka, which ultimately brought India close to Europe” (Nag, Ganesh & Pathak, 2001, p. 9). At the time, the achievement was considered one the greatest technological advancements of its time. Through the years, Systems India Ltd, went through a great deal of restructuring. In 1989, the company had four manufacturing factories. Then, in 1990, the company divided the six product divisions into strategic business units (Nag, Ganesh, & Pathak, 2001).
Additional restructuring was conducted in 1991 and 1994 and the company grew to include 10 product divisions (Nag, Ganesh & Pathak, 2001). The company was changing with the changing times. With these changes being made to the company, cultural changes were needed as well. The change in “culture had grown over several years of continuous mutual understanding between employees and management” (Nah, Ganesh & Pathak, p. 11). The company understood that to keep the understanding for the long term, they needed to maintain a good industrial relation.
By understanding the culture, they were able to create an environment where the employees and management understood each other and felt the importance of the company succeeding. Due to the continuous nurturing of the culture, when the company made changes they were able to without interruptions. Riordian Manufacturing is a company that is also restructuring by opening a facility in China. Riordan can be as successful as Systems Corporation by understanding the many cultures in the company, maintaining good industrial relations and creating an environment where employees and management understand each other.
This can be quite a challenge for Riordan due to the great deal of cultures the company has to work with. Another important factor for Riordan to consider is that they must continuously nurture the changes of the culture they are in. Continuous nurturing and understanding are keys to Riordan Manufacturing’s success. Nichole Hough – ExxonMobil “ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil and gas company” (About Us, 2009). Today, ExxonMobil operates in most countries and is best known as Exxon, Esso and Mobil. ExxonMobil, 2009). The products that the company produces help provide valuable resources, such as power and transportation. The company is currently the leader in providing oil and gas resources (ExxonMobil, 2009). With ExxonMobil operating in so many countries, the company must be mindful of the countries culture. Not only does the company need to understand the culture of the people working for them, but they must also understand the culture of their customers and how their products and services affect that culture. The emergence of the oil industry has inevitably had associated costs and benefits for host communities” (Idemudia, 2007, p. 376). When ExxonMobil began operations in Nigeria, the company found that 83% of the communities believed that the cost was more than the benefit (Idemudia, 2007). This data showed that only 17% of the people surveyed believed that Exxon was providing a benefit. The majority of the people in Nigeria believed that the oil industry was more of a burden than a blessing.
There were many reasons for negative perception of the oil industry. One reason was due to oil spills, delays and broken promises by the company (Idemudia, 2007). The communities wanted modern-facilities with the ability to maintain their traditions and culture. They wanted to be able to feed their families by fishing and farming, but the oil spills were polluting the waters where they fished and the soil where they farmed. The people understood the needs for roads and electricity, but also wanted to keep the tradition of their ancestors.
The oil company was not going to be able to employee everyone, so the people of the country still needed the valuable resources of the land. Their land not only provided food, it also held a cultural, emotional and spiritual value that they felt was being destroyed (Idemudia, 2007). Riordan Manufacturing, with its expansion into China, must consider the impact of its products on the country they are operating in. Additionally, they must consider how their products or resources they are using to provide these products are affecting the culture of the company.
What is good for one country is not necessarily good for another. Selena Winbush – Wells Fargo Wells Fargo is a financial service institution that provides many services such as banking, insurance, investments, mortgages, and personal finance. These five services are provided “to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,200 stores, the internet and other distribution channels across North America and elsewhere internationally,” (CRM Today, 2008). Since Wells Fargo has such a diverse group of customers, the company values making and keeping an inclusive environment.
This means that Wells Fargo “hires and retains team members who are diverse in age, education, ethnic origin, lifestyle, ability, race, religion, and sexual orientation,” (Wells Fargo, 2009). The company believes that diversity is so important to its success that the company has business line diversity councils who advise the company’s managers on the company policy, program, culture, and the best practices of leadership. Riordan Manufacturing is a diverse global organization that wants to create a work environment that is culturally integrated and sensitive.
Riordan understands the types of employees and customers it has so implementing a management plan will keep cultural and production problems to a minimum. Along with implementing a management plan, Riordan could follows the lead of Wells Fargo and create a corporate diversity council that deals only with diversity. This would allow the company to have a team deal with specific cultural issues and advise and teach all employees appropriateness in dealing with one another from one culture to the next. Selena Winbush – Dell Dell Inc. s a company that develops, manufactures, and sells computers and competes in the globally competitive computer industry. Michael Dell founded the company in Austin, Texas in 1984. The company now employs more that 76,500 people all over the world in over 30 countries and is one of the largest sellers of personal computers. Dell has used globalization, “the process of social, political, economic, cultural, and technological integration among countries around the world,” as a means to become one of the largest PC sellers, (Hodges, Luthans, & Doh, 2005, p. 7).
In becoming an international company, like other many companies, Dell has had both opportunities and faced challenges managing a multicultural company. Management talked to employees and customers to find out what they liked, did not like, and how they felt about different things within the company. Getting this information helped the company because knowing what people want helps the company better serve the individuals, which in turn makes the company successful. Keeping its employees happy and satisfied makes for happy customers, which is a must when a company wants to be fficient, effective, and profitable. “Benefits of globalization are evident in lower prices, greater availability of goods, better jobs, and access to technology,” (Hodges, Luthans, & Doh, 2005, p. 9). Dell has realized this and found that globalization has helped “to serve business customers with faster innovation and greater responsiveness,” (Dell. com, 2009). Moving abroad has helped the company to improve by broading the company’s portfolio and by introducing the company to many people in more places. Riordan Manufacturing faces challenges dealing with such a diverse employment population.
Talking to its employees and customers would benefit them as well. Keeping open lines of communication between all employees would help Riordan to continue to expand and become even more successful. Finding out what its customers want and need will help the company to give them what they want and in turn increase profitability. Vicki Williams – Hewlett Packard Two engineers started Hewlett-Packard in 1939. Hewlett-Packard is a global organization serving more than 170 countries. Hewlett-Packard is an international manufacturer of measurement and computation products and systems recognized for excellence in quality and support.
The company’s products and services are used in industry, business, engineering, science, medicine and education in 93 countries. Hewlett-Packard was the first foreign high-tech company to start business in China in the mid 1980s. Hewlett-Packard is known for its management of people in a fast changing environment. The goal of the CEO’s is to see continue improvement in the organization and its innovations. The strategy of Hewlett Packard is to have structures and processes that will promote the organizations and its program and growth. In order to be successful Hewlett-Packard must be a diverse organization. As companies go global and diversity increases, organizations find it more crucial than ever to train and promote understanding and acceptance of all cultures, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations. ” (Johnson 2004). Hewlett-Packard believes in diversity since it started in a garage in 1939. Hewlett Packard recognizes that its customers are global and diverse and its workforce should match the demographic of the customers. Hewlett Packard provides tools kits for its managers and recruiters for assistance in recruiting and hiring the best and still maintaining a diverse workforce.
Vickie Williams – Proctor and Gamble Procter and Gamble (P&G) is one of the world’s biggest nondurable consumer goods makers. Procter and Gamble is a multinational consumer-product company that operates in nearly 80 countries with more than 300 brands. According to Cecil Johnson, “Globalization is one of the four fundamental facts of what McNamee calls the new normal, his way of distinguishing between the economic realities of today and tomorrow, and the way such things used to be. ” (Johnson 2007).
China is considered the new frontier for much of international business and Proctor and Gamble is dominating the cosmetics and toiletries sector. The organization is selling its products to Proctor and Gamble has made errors in offering its products international without researching and understanding the culture of its potential customers. Two examples of which Proctor and Gamble failed to research or understand culture of its customers was discovered. Proctor and Gamble entered the Japanese market in 1973. Proctor and Gamble was offering American products with American advertising.
In the beginning of Proctor and Gamble failed to research or consider the Japanese culture. Proctor and Gamble was not successful because of its failure to recognize or consider the culture in its advertising of the products offered. When Proctor and Gamble changed its marketing strategy and began to under the Japanese culture, it was able to attract customers. The American culture is vastly different from the Japanese culture. The advertisement based on American acceptance can be offensive to the Japanese culture that values harmony and quality product performance versus the cost of items.
According to Orest Protch, Proctor and Gamble introduced Tide to the Middle Eastern Countries and had zero sales due the products performance it was due to the advertisement. Proctor and Gamble advertised on billboards due to the region’s literary skills. The organization invested millions. The advertisement showed dirty laundry, placing laundry into a washing machine with Tide and the removal of clean laundry. Research failed to realize was the culture read left to right and was seeing the product in reverse. The individual probable perceived that the organization was selling dirty clothing (Protch, 2002).
Proctor and Gamble has a plant in Guangzhou and plans on expanding its production facility by transforming the Xiqing District facility into the largest nondurable consumer goods production base globally. Saundra Taylor -Air Liquide Air Liquide the world leader in the production of gases operates in over 75 countries and employs over 43,000 people. The company has operated in China since 1916 and currently has 60 facilities (Air Liquide, 2009). Finding qualified personnel when going international is a challenge; similar to Riordan, one of the key issues facing Air Liquide has been staffing their facilities.
The number of foreign businesses in China has increased at a higher rate than the number of qualified candidates and the demand for qualified personnel exceeds the available supply (Gross, 2002). In an article entitled, “Recruiting & Human Resource Issues in China,” the writer concludes that the global trend is that companies are choosing to use local residents rather than exporting US employees. As a result, China has raised the standards of higher education and implemented better training facilities to raise the quality of skilled labor.
Ames Gross the writer of the article also notes in order to assist the MNC’s overcome the challenge of finding qualified personnel, the Chinese government has recently instituted changes in efforts to overcome the shortage. MNC’s implementing a regiocentric management style as defined by Hodgetts, Luthans and Doh is the philosophy of a firm blending their interests with those of its subsidiaries on a regional basis would be the practical strategy to use when addressing the issue of staffing (Chapter 5, Page 128).
As a solution, Air Liquide like many other multinational corporations in cooperation with the host countries have established formal in-house training program (Gross, 2002). These programs not only assist the MNC’s in fulfilling their staffing needs but also assist in staff retention as well. Likewise, having the understanding of what is important to the Chinese people how they perceive foreign companies, the cultural peculiarities, mannerisms and customs makes the challenge of staffing an issue that can be resolved in a manner that not only benefits the MNC’s but the host country as well.
Saundra Taylor – Bacardi-Limited While competition is fierce and retaining market share is a constant battle for manufacturers of alcoholic beverages in Brazil finding qualified personnel is yet another issue effecting multinational corporations. Generally, the unskilled workers are able to perform simple routines but for more complex procedures require formal training. Brazilian firms do invest time and resources in efforts to increase the availability of qualified employees, the majority of training is primarily focused on basic skills not addressed in formal education system.
Depending on which resource is cited, the average completed years of education is 4. 3 years for most of the Brazilian population over the age of 15. Only 8% of the labor force has technical educational qualifications (Site Sources, 2009). Bacardi Limited the largest privately held spirits company currently employs 6,000 people globally and has 31 production facilities around the world. The company was founded in 1862 by Don Facundo Bacardi Masso in Santiago, Cuba. Interesting side fact, in the first distillery in Cuba there was a family of bats.
The bat was and continues to be perceived as a sign of good fortune as a result the bat continues to don the Bacardi label (Novel Guide). Multinational Corporations doing business in Brazil find the cultural differences of a people to be highly social, very formal in dress similar to the European countries, prefer to get acquainted before discussing business and find the use of first names offensive (Maria Brazil, 2009). Taking into account the differences, the nature of the alcoholic manufacturing industry ensuring a readily supply of qualified employees is a critical concern.
While the total employees in the company is relativity small in comparison to the larger MNC’s operating in Brazil having a knowledgeable, and trainable workforce is important for Bacardi-Martini to met the corporate strategies and goals. In a report from a survey of 1,715 industrial firms with operations in Brazil, companies stated they could not find the skilled workers they needed (New York Times). As a result Brazilian companies have ventured into training and the education business, teaching basic literacy and arithmetic skills workers.
Many companies are increasing the amount of on-the-job training in efforts to have a readily supply of workers with emphasis being placed on the training of engineers and professional (New York Times). While multinational corporations expand into the global markets finding qualified employees presents a challenge whether in China, India or Brazil. How MNC’s resolve the issue improves their opportunities for sustainable growth. Conclusion Multinational corporations experience many challenges and hurdles when dealing with different countries and their cultures.
Not only does a company have to consider the culture of the employees, companies need to consider the culture of the people that they are providing goods and services to and their needs. Some cultural barriers can be eliminated, while others need further research. Cultures continually change and companies need to monitor continually their plans to keep their organizations culturally sensitive. The experiences of Motorola, Bank of America, SC Johnson, Citi, Systems India Ltd. , ExxonMobil, Wells Fargo, Dell, Hewlett Packard, Proctor and Gamble, Bacardi and Air Liquide, show that understanding culture can be challenging.
However, the companies learned from their experiences and are successful companies today. References Air Liquide (2009). Retrieved July 20, 2009 from http://www. ca. airliquide. com/ Bacardi (2009). Retrieved July 20, 2009 from http://www. bacardilimited. com/fact_sheet. html. Brownstein, R. , Flynn, T. , & McCarthy, M. 2004. The Audit Committee Risk and Regulation, 1e. The McGraw-Hill Companies. Chesta, C. (2006). Globalization of Voice Enabled Internet Access Solutions. Retrieved from the World Wide Web July 18, 2009: http://www. springerlink. com/content/pa9fbdjb27mupcrb/ Chew, D. H. , & Gillan, S.
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