Greenway’s hotels are budget hotels that provide comfortable accommodations for customers. They are situated in downtown locations that allow them to be more accessible to potential clients. There are more than sixty branches of the company in the United Kingdom. The company plans to own 300 hotels across Europe, but the management needs to decide what cultural differences should be taken into account and how such differences will correspond with its HR practices.
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The change in the marketing framework and customer communication principles must not be viewed as an attempt to sneak the Greenhouse Hotel’s services into the target market under the guise of something different and appealing to the target customers. Instead, it should be considered an opportunity to make the environment of the British hospitality industry and, particularly, the opportunities provided by the company in question available to the representatives of other cultures. Making their experience as pleasant and memorable as possible is, therefore, the priority of the organization that must guide the further decision-making process. At the same time, it is important to bear in mind that the needs of all stakeholders, including staff members, need to be taken into account. Thus, it will be crucial to maintain a high motivation rate high among the personnel.
Furthermore, it is crucial that the company should focus on promoting the principles of multiculturalism as the primary principle of communicating with customers. Although focusing on the specifics of German culture is essential to the overall progress in the target market, it is important to bear in mind that the German population consists of a range of people representing other cultures. Therefore, the needs of all stakeholders must be met individually.
Approach to Resourcing Management Teams
In order to resource management teams successfully, Greenway Hotels may consider taking the steps that will increase staff satisfaction rates. For instance, the provision of training courses that will update the employees’ skills and knowledge, therefore increasing their competency levels, should be viewed as a possibility. Furthermore, as the company plans to use its staff from the UK to manage the business in Germany, where they plan to open new hotels, it is necessary for the company to understand the cultural differences between these countries. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory is useful for evaluating the differences between Germany and the UK; the theory includes such dimensions as uncertainty avoidance index, long-term orientation vs. short-term orientation, individualism vs. collectivism, and others (Hofstede, 2011).
Thus, citizens of the UK are prone to emphasize the achievement of the individual, while citizens of Germany put an emphasis on group achievements. Moreover, Germans also tend to prefer the deductive approach to the inductive one, both in thinking and planning. As to indulgence, UK citizens like to enjoy life and have a concentrated balance of work and entertainment in their life. German citizens, however, often tend to experience stress during work; their culture could be labeled as restrained in its nature. It should be noted, however, that overgeneralization and stereotypic approaches should be avoided, and one should be aware that exceptions to the norms exist (Brewster, Sparrow, Vernon, & Houldsworth, 2011). As to work goals, opportunity to learn is more expected by German workers, while job security is slightly more significant for the UK citizens. Germans also find working conditions important; interpersonal relationships are important for both countries, although not as much as other goals (Glendon, Clarke, & McKenna, 2016).
Furthermore, one must pay due attention to the language barrier and the associated issues. There is no need to stress that communication with customers is an essential and one of the primary steps toward succeeding in the target market. The inability of the employees to converse directly with clients is likely to result in a drastic failure of the organization and the prospective customers giving preference to less efficient yet more communicative organizations. Therefore, it is imperative to create educational opportunities for the staff members. Language courses should be viewed as the primary means of improving the communication process. In order to design the program, the company may have to reconsider its current budget and finance some of its projects to a lesser degree than planned in order to make sure that every staff member should receive the necessary training. The courses will last approximately two weeks because the staff members only need the basic business German language skills to converse with the customers successfully. During the courses, the staff members will learn the essential German vocabulary and the basic sentence structuring principles.
Furthermore, the issue of leadership needs to be addressed. In an environment that requires a drastic change in the customer communication strategy and a rapid acquisition of the skills associated with a high-quality communication process, the staff members are likely to feel disoriented and, worse yet, uninspired. The drop in motivation that may follow the increase in the number of requirements and the quality standards may affect the overall productivity of the company. Apart from a reduction in quality, which is the exact opposite of the intended outcome, the reduction in the enthusiasm rates among the employees may trigger an inevitable rise in staff turnover rates. The effects of the identified outcome are quite predictable. With the current focus on providing employees with necessary training, the firm will need to invest extensively in every new member, which will ultimately result in the organization suffering significant losses and being unable to cover the expenses.
Therefore, it will be crucial to incorporate the principles of the transformative leadership, the charismatic, the situational, and the transactional, into a single framework that will serve as the foundation for the decision-making as far as the management- and HR-related choices are concerned.
The transformational leadership will create the role model that the employees will be able to follow. Thus, the prerequisites for promoting change in the target environment can be created. In the context of the German market, the principles of direct communication with clients, i.e., complete clarity and transparency, should be viewed as the primary areas to consider. Furthermore, it will be necessary to focus on the quality issues. Specifically, the DMAIC framework as the tool for promoting change by identifying the current rate of quality issues and deploying the tools that will help reduce them within the required time frame (i.e., two weeks) must be viewed as a necessity (Pyzdek & Keller, 2014). The charismatic leadership approach, in its turn, will enable staff members to follow the role model created by the company. As a result, the decision-making process will be based on the ethical principles and the values upheld by the Greenway Hotel Organization. Finally, the transactional leadership strategy will become the foundation for designing an elaborate motivation tool based on the principle of positive reinforcement.
To control the compliance with the new ethical standards and values, the company will use the DMAIC tool mentioned above; particularly, the Control phase will facilitate a safe and efficient observation process. It is assumed that the assessment of the staff’s efficacy should be carried out by collecting feedback from customers (e.g., with the help of survey forms, online feedbacks, etc.) and a detailed analysis of the staff’ performance rates. For the latter process, a quantitative analysis with the use of the ANOVA test or a similar tool will have to be incorporated into the framework of the organization (Pyzdek & Keller, 2014).
The further supervision of the staff’s compliance with the quality standards can be carried out with the help of the tools such as flowcharts and the Cause and Effect Diagram (CAD). Whereas the flowchart will help determine the point at which a specific problem emerged, the CAD tool will serve as the foil for isolating the factors that may have caused it in the first place (Jex & Britt, 2014). It should be borne in mind that the tools must be used in tandem; otherwise, they will fail to serve the purpose for which they are intended to be used. To be more accurate, the combination of the devices mentioned above will help create the framework for both a detailed analysis of the quality management and an elaborate forecast that the firm will be able to use in its further decision-making process. Particularly, the choice of the strategies in the domains of marketing, customer relationships, logistics, and other areas, will be shaped significantly by the results of the analysis that will be carried out with the tools mentioned above. Specifically, the flowchart will allow improving the quality management process because it will help determine the exact point at which a specific problem emerged. Furthermore, by isolating the factors that were affecting the production process at the specified point in time, the chart will help determine what steps will need to be taken to address the problem. The CAD device, in its turn, will serve as the foundation for arranging the elements of the corporate mechanism so that it could become a single entity.
Cultural Differences between the UK and Germany: Strategies and Ideas
When promoting its services to the target audience, the firm should not succumb to the typical prejudices about the German culture. Instead, a careful balance between the authentic air of the British culture and the options for German visitors should be viewed as a sensible strategy. One might argue that there is no need for the company to become immersed in the German culture in order to penetrate the target market. While it is necessary to know the essential characteristics of the target customers to penetrate the target market successfully, there is no obvious need to acquire the same characteristics as the ostensible customers possess. Indeed, preserving the unique air of the Britishness will help the organization become more distinctively noticeable in the target environment among the German organizations of the same ilk.
While there is a grain of truth in the statement mentioned above, and it is important to remain unique, Greenway Hotels will have to focus on blending into the environment of the German market so that the company could not be seen as hostile by the target audience. For instance, there is a need to keep an open mind about the directness of the German people, which usually takes aback typical representatives of the British culture. In other words, when getting a message across to the German population, the organization will have to be more direct with its message. Although obtrusiveness must not be considered admissible, Greenway Hotels will have to be more persistent in its marketing campaign, as well as the overall promotion process. As a result, there is a propensity among German people to be irresponsive toward the so-called “phatic” language (Katan, 2015), i.e., the token pieces of the information that do not convey the extra sense and serve the sole purpose of filling the void. Therefore, in order to cater to the needs of the German population successfully, Greenway Hotels will have to condense promotion-related information to a set of crucial statements and several side notes that will help shed light on some of the important data.
With the information above in mind, one will have to make the process of rebranding evident to the German population so it could experience the Greenway Hotels services with the help of both traditional and modern media. Although admittedly challenging, the identified process is bound to help the organization have a better understanding of its target audience and, therefore, develop the ability to cater to its needs in a more successful manner. First and perhaps most obvious, the issue regarding the use of the brand image needs to be considered. As stressed above, the differences in the cultures imply that similar visual elements are going to be perceived in different ways by the German and the British public.
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Afterward, the essential message must be condensed to a short yet meaningful phrase that will become the motto of the organization in the environment of the German market. Finally, the problem associated with the language needs to be addressed. As stressed above, very few people in the organization actually speak German, let alone are proficient in the nuances of the language. Therefore, there is a tangible threat of a misunderstanding appearing as a result of a misuse of a certain word. In order to avoid the confusion, a possible awkwardness, or, worse yet, an embarrassing misconception due to the language issues, Greenhouse Hotel should hire a professional interpreter who will help render the company’s message in a palatable and easily understandable phrase.
Long-term Strategic Approach: Choosing Between Ethnocentrism and Multinationalism
When considering the framework that Greenway Hotels can use as its foundation for building a connection with the essential stakeholders, including customers, partners, suppliers, etc., it should adopt the principles of multiculturalism and diversity. Thus, the needs of the German customers will be met successfully, while the corporation will retain its integrity and follow the corporate principles that it views as essential. The ethnocentric approach, in its turn, does not appear sensible because it does not allow taking all stakeholders into account.
One must give credit to where it belongs, though, and mention the benefits of ethnocentrism as the tool of entering a very specific market. However, a closer look at the ethnic characteristics of the German population will show that the target audience is, in fact, far from being composed of German people entirely. The population of the specified state is represented by a variety of ethnicities, among which Germans make up a dominant part, yet they do not impede other cultures from evolving and gaining more influence in the German media, economy, politics, and other domains of life. According to the latest statistical data provided by the Central Intelligence Agency (2016), the population of Germany comprises ethnic German people (91.5%), Turkish (2.4%), and others (6.1%), which include, but are not restricted to, “Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Spanish” (Central Intelligence Agency, 2016, para. 79). Therefore, targeting the German culture precisely would be a sensible move, yet it would imply that the globalization process will be hampered significantly in the company.
Apart from the need to cater to a very diverse demographic of the German hospitality and tourism market, the firm will also have to consider the opportunities that the identified approach will open in front of it once it enters the realm of the global economy environment. Whereas ethnocentrism is most likely to help market the product to a very specific audience within a reasonably small amount of time, the focus on multiculturalism and diversity is bound to propel the organization to the top of the global market. Thus, it has to be preferred when choosing the marketing approach.
That being said, the specifics of the German culture must also be incorporated into the branding and marketing strategies to be designed so that the firm could become a part of the German market as well. As stressed above, there is a need to make the message clearer and avoid misunderstandings at all costs so that the company could gain the trust of the German demographics.
While pointing out to the differences in the characteristics of the German and the British customer are essential to make the necessary changes to the marketing model adopted by the organization, the similarities between the behavioral specifics of each ethnicity are also to be borne in mind; thus, Greenway Hotels will have the reference points to be used to navigate the target environment by driving parallels between the British the German customers. Therefore, the fact that both audiences approve of the idea of e-markets and e-commerce as a concept needs to be mentioned. According to the report produced by ATG, “86 percent of German, U.K., and Benelux consumers surveyed say their experiences are ‘good’ or ‘very good’” (European consumer views of e-commerce: A consumer research study of buying behavior and trends, 2011) as far as the use of e-commerce is concerned.
Conclusion: A Perfect Way to Start a Multinational Company
Becoming a global company and entering into new markets implies changing not only the strategies of communicating to the essential stakeholders, including customers, partners, suppliers, etc., but also altering the approaches to management and leadership. Particularly, the way in which the company communicates with its customers, as well as the principles that it is guided by when making essential decisions, needs to be revisited. As long as Greenway Hotels’ managers focus on meeting the needs of the primary stakeholders (including both customers and employees), promote high quality standards, and supervise the staff’s performance properly, the company will be doing well in not only the German market but also in the context of the global community.
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