International Human Resource ManagementCross-Cultural TrainingIntroductionGlobalization increases the need for HRM to evolve and expand to support the human resources need of international organizations. Since effective workforce management in a global scale is critical to the success of international businesses, IHRM should implement strategies that can reduce stress caused by competition and global staffing needs. These include selecting the appropriate recruitment options and training required by expatriates. Cross-cultural training is one solution being use to reduce the impact of cultural shock and enhance the performance of organizations’ international assignee or expatriates. However, although it is popular among multinational organizations, it is not clear if such approach is applicable to every culture and effective in its actual implementation.
The following section is a literature review of IHRM and cross-cultural training and development. It include an investigation of contemporary issues surrounding IHRM highlighting the different ideas presented by various authors, cross-cultural training requirements and implementation issues, and concerns that needs further research. Literature ReviewInternational Human Resource Management or IHRM can be viewed as an expansion of common HRM in small organizations. According to Dowling et al. , (2008), HRM are activities generally being undertaken by an organization to ensure effective use of its human resources.
It is a process of sourcing, allocating, and making use human resources effectively particularly in international organizations (Bhattacharyya 2010, p. 240). For Tayeb (2005), HRM can be viewed as both utilitarian instrumentalism, a driving force behind an organization’s strategic objectives and human development policies integrated with business objectives (p. 6). HRM activities may include planning, staffing, monitoring and performance assessment, implementing training and development, providing appropriate compensation and benefits, and industrial relations (p. 2).
When a local organization goes international, some of these HRM activities expand into a more complex form that includes broader activities in procurement, allocation, and utilization of human resources. For instance, since an international organization will be dealing with different categories of employees such host-country (HCNs), parent country (PCNs), and third country nationals (TCNs), HR activities will have to deal with expanded procurement, allocation, and utilization in all three categories. IBM for example, will have to deal with their Australian employees in their Australian (HCNs) or send their Singaporean employees to Japan as TCNs.
In other words, there is interplay among human resource activities, employee types, and the country in which the organization operates (Dowling et al. 2008, p. 3). In the age of globalization, managing workforce in the global scale is a critical aspect of international business particularly in areas associated with strategic international human resource management (Stahl & Bjorkman 2006, p. 15). This is because every organizations operating in a global scale has to compete aggressively for new markets, products, and services thus must manage its global workforce effectively (Caligiuri et al. , 2010, p. 2).
At the minimum, they have to deal with cultural differences in hiring, consider and implement employment practices in multicultural setting, and train employees differently. For instance, all members of the organization should be able to work with other people so different from themselves in terms of language, culture, motivation, and education. They may also need to provide diversity training and awareness programme to ensure that all employees understand each other. These include management ability to organize and motivate diverse employees with different cultural upbringing. Train employees in effective cross-cultural relationship building and negotiation strategies, and develop best practices in multicultural setting (Yasgoor et al.
2008, p. 172).