Internationalization and globalization has created challenges for human resource practitioners worldwide. Human resource management is a fundamental concept in management of organizations and businesses.
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All businesses should have a human capital department if they are to develop. However, due to globalization and internationalization, workers from different cultures meet, and this presents a challenge (Jackson, 2002).
Human resource managers must have a global vision to manage staff properly. Global vision enables a manager to develop a team that competes internationally.
Human resource management relate directly to management of people to assist an organization to attain its objectives and goals (Jackson, 2002).
Culture plays a pivotal role in human resource management from the selection of candidates, recruitment, evaluation, interviews and employment. The differences in culture make organizations have a work force that has people with different work values, behaviours and attitudes (Mooij, 2010).
The challenge is more complicated since managers may have certain beliefs and assumptions on how they should manage their staff. In many cases, the cultural backgrounds of managers influence the assumptions and beliefs that they hold (Mooij, 2010).
This further shows the impact of culture in human resources management. Thus, human resources management is likely to be susceptible to cultural diversity since cultural bearers, to handle other cultural bearers, devise the practices.
Therefore, human resources practitioners must accommodate cultural diversities when they design human resources activities. They must be aware of cultural diversities to be effective in the management of people.
They must appreciate cultural differences in their work force and design management practices and policies that take differences in culture into consideration.
In this paper, I will provide an argument that support the belief that human resources managers must be aware of cultural differences to be effective in the management of people.
Role of Human Resources and Training Managers in Culturally Diverse Environment
The traditional roles of human resources managers are selection, recruitment, evaluation and employment of people. However, with economic growth, globalization and the need for high competitive abilities, the roles of human resources managers have undergone a transformation.
Human resources managers must take into consideration that an organization’s talent is likely to be the source of continuous competitive advantage hence survival, customer satisfaction, and profitability.
A modern human resource manager must focus on long-term goals and objectives of the organization. To achieve this, one of the roles of modern human resources managers is to enable participative management of an organization (Kapoor, 2011).
Participative management provides employees with responsibilities, authority and accountability in the work that they do. Human resource managers give employees tools that they use to improve their output and impact positively on the bottom-line.
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This method ensures that the needs of employees are known, and it improves communication between employees and management. Through participatory management, employees are able to solve their issues, and they are empowered (Kapoor, 2011).
Hence, in this management method, cultural differences are taken into consideration. Workers of different cultural backgrounds can work together without conflicts in ideas.
They are able to make decisions that do not affect others but at the same time contribute immensely to the bottom-line. Therefore, I fully agree with the statement.
The other role of a human resources manager is to be a strategic business partner and change agent. A human resources manager is to lead and assist an organization to formulate the overall strategy of the organization.
Therefore, a human resources manager has to align human resource practices, activities, initiatives and policies with the strategy that the organization has adopted. Appropriate formulation and skilful implementation of human resources strategy are essential in the elimination of risk in an organization (Kapoor, 2011).
Hence, a human resource manager has to contribute in development and accomplishment of the total organization’s business preparations and intentions. Managers must acquire workers with different talents.
Additionally, organizations must develop leaders who are able to promote growth and effectively manage a culturally diverse team.
Human resources managers must represent diverse cultures so that the general structure of the decision assembly body of an organization replicates the diverse composition of the market. Hence, I partly agree with the statement.
Creation of partnership with middle level and frontline managers is a key role of human resources managers. Frontline and middle level managers play a significant role in attainment of organization’s objectives (Kapoor, 2011).
Additionally, they have a significant impact in the performance of employees. They ensure that there is command and control in an organization. There exists a positive correlation between the emotions and sensitivity of workers and their relationship with their line managers with job satisfaction, loyalty and commitment.
Hence, due to globalization and cultural diversity in the workplace, human resources managers must ensure that a positive relationship exists between line managers and workers.
Human resources managers must ensure that culturally informed discrimination does not exist as it may lead to decline in employee performance. Therefore, I fully agree with the statement.
Human resources managers are also employees’ advocates and champions of globalization. They play a significant role in organizational success via their knowledge on and about advocacy. Their advocacy role includes expertise in the creation of a work environment that makes employees motivated, excited and high performers.
Motivation makes employees do their work because they enjoy the work. Additionally, advocacy makes human resources managers encourage discipline among workers. Discipline includes policies, systems and practices that encourage accountability among workers (Lynn, Beth, Michelle, Karen, Don, Amy & Gangaram, 2008).
The combination of employees’ motivation and discipline leads to workers excitement about their work. It also leads to workers being accountable for their actions and highly rewarded for their contribution. As champions of globalization, human resources managers recognize the benefits of cultural diversity in an organization.
Hence, a human resource manager should implement organizational strategies that are sensitive to certain cultural influences. Thus, I fully agree with the statement.
As organizations undergo changes, staff and managers must learn new leadership and management skills. Workers from different backgrounds face different challenges and can be motivated differently.
The challenge that training managers have is the determination and development of skills that managers must have to encourage growth of an organization. Hence, training managers have to determine the skills that employees require to perform optimally.
They have to determine the entry level and training requirement for all positions in an organization. In the determination of required skills and training of staff, training managers must consider cultural diversity.
This should inform the leadership and management style that can be adopted in a culturally diverse organization.
Training managers must recognize the impact of cultural differences when they develop training modules. They must learn how staff and managers can take advantage of cultural diversity in an organization.
Hence, it is their role to develop strategies that can be used to manage cultural diversity (Lynn, Beth, Michelle, Karen, Don, Amy & Gangaram, 2008). They have to determine the extent to which differences in culture are advantageous or disadvantageous to an organization.
Hence, they can teach three leadership and management styles based on merits and demerits of diversity of an organization’s workforce. Managers can be trained to overlook cultural diversity and its effects in a business.
In this case, training managers inform managers that cultural diversity is irrelevant in management of the organization. Alternatively, training managers can teach line managers how to minimize cultural differences in an organization.
In this leadership style, workers from different cultural backgrounds are likely to be made to follow the behaviour patterns of the dominant culture in the organization. Finally, training managers can teach line managers to manage cultural differences (Stahl & Mendenhall, 2005).
Through the adoption of a synergetic approach, employees and managers minimize problems that could arise due to cultural differences through management of the diversity.
The role of training managers in teaching cultural differences management methods make me agree partly with the statement.
Additionally, managers have to maximize the benefits that cultural diversity can bring into the organization. The management of cultural diversity in an organization is the best option that training managers should encourage.
Cultural diversity has many significant benefits and, therefore, employees, managers, human resources and training managers must encourage others to be aware of cultural diversity.
Role of Cultural Diversity in Business
Culture plays a crucial role in promotion of organizations’ competitiveness in a market. The world is a diverse place and, therefore, brings different opportunities to businesses.
The awareness of cultural diversity matters a lot to both workers and client base of any organization. Hence, a business has to be aware of cultural diversity to be competitive in the future (Stahl & Mendenhall, 2005).
Human resources managers must appreciate the role that culture plays in business. In this way, their actions, methods and strategies can be effective.
Currently, promotion programs are geared towards different ethnic groups. Different cultural groups demand different products. The products that people of one culture demand can be different from products that another group of people in a different place demands.
Hence, a company can benefit immensely from a culturally diverse workforce. A culturally diverse team can assist a company to determine the promotion strategy that can be used to target a specific ethnic group.
This means that human resources practitioners must manage cultural diversity in the workplace to respond to and capitalize on cultural diversity in the world. This is vital since a promotion strategy that can work in one place may not be appropriate in another place.
The cultural diversity in team members can strengthen the bonds formed between customers and clients. This further strengthens the promotion strategies that an organization develops. Hence, I fully agree with the statement.
Culture also plays a critical role in customer acquisition. Globalization has made organizations operate in a culturally diverse world since people move from one region to another. Notably, movements of people result into culturally diverse markets.
Hence, organizations must be culturally competent to acquire clients. Human resources managers must, therefore, be aware of the role that cultural diversity plays in acquisition of customers.
A culturally diverse workforce enables an organization determine the needs, beliefs and perceptions that customers of a particular cultural background hold (Stahl & Mendenhall, 2005).
A culturally diverse team can work respectfully and effectively with customers without conflicts being caused. IBM, for example, employs people of different cultural backgrounds to promote cultural competence (HCA Online, 2009). Therefore, I fully agree with the statement.
Cultural diversity at the work place is also beneficial in business negotiations and partnership formation. Cultural differences in negotiation processes can result into problems.
Negotiation practices differ from one culture to another. The problems that can result include misrepresentation and misinformation. However, due to globalization, organizations must negotiate to make mergers, form distribution channels and increase customer base among other reasons (Stahl & Mendenhall, 2005).
An organization that does not have a culturally diverse work force can find international negotiations to be a complicated process. In contrast, a culturally diverse organization has a work force that has required skills necessary to succeed in negotiations with a team from another country (Chandrakumara & Sparrow, 2004).
Hence, a human resources manager that is aware of the importance of cultural diversity can assist an organization to develop a culturally competent workforce. Such a team can then assist the organization in development of negotiations necessary for growth. Therefore, I fully agree with the statement.
Advantages of Cultural Awareness
Based on the arguments presented, it is evident that cultural diversity at the work place is vital in organizations. Hence, human resources managers who are aware of the positive impacts of cultural diversity present numerous advantages to their organizations.
Awareness of the importance of cultural diversity impacts positively in the selection of workers, performance management, compensation and benefits and development of skills.
A human resources manager who is aware of the importance of cultural diversity can create a work force that has all the required set of skills. The manager can select employees of different cultural backgrounds to meet the needs of an organization like in IBM.
Thus, cultural awareness assists a manager to select the best candidates required for a given position in an organization (Saharaconsulting, 2010).
Hence, the manager can select workers who can assist in development of promotion strategies that target specific ethnic groups or who can make successful negotiations with people from different cultural backgrounds. Consequently, I fully agree with the statement.
Another advantage that a manager who is aware of the importance of cultural diversity is that he can improve the performance of workers. Cultural diversity brings together people of different backgrounds, experiences and talents.
They can propose different solutions to a problem based on their cultural beliefs, operations and judgments (Saharaconsulting, 2010). An integrated solution for every problem can then be selected. This can result into improved performance in a workforce, as dependable solutions are always made available.
Therefore, cultural awareness assists a manager to manage the performance of employees of an organization. For that reason, I fully agree with the statement.
Additionally, a human resources manager who appreciates the importance of cultural differences can make appropriate appraisal mechanisms. A manager can develop performance appraisal strategies that note that excellent performance is culture-bound.
Performance point of reference in individualistic cultures leads to appraisal systems that focus on workers’ productivity. On the other hand, loyalty to an organization can be the basis for appraisal of employees who come from collectivist cultures (Aycan, 2005).
Hence, a manager who is aware of the importance of cultural diversity can develop appropriate appraisal strategies. Hence, I partly agree with the statement.
Moreover, a human resources manager who is aware the benefits of cultural diversity can develop a training and development program that can lead to organization’s growth.
Training and development practices influences organization’s growth and survival capabilities. However, culture has influence in training and development activities that can be adopted. Cultures that emphasize on excellent performance and quality require numerous training and development activities.
The training method that managers usually develop for workers from such backgrounds is based on the belief that the employees have limited capacities.
In contrast, training and development activities for individuals from collectivist cultures aim to promote loyalty and commitment to an organization (Jackson, 2002).
A training and development manager and the human resources manager can then develop effective training activities based on this knowledge. However, I partly agree with the statement.
Finally, cultural awareness also assists a human resources practitioner to enable an organization to draw and maintain employees. A human resources manager who recognizes the impact of diversity in an organization makes employees of different backgrounds feel appreciated and included in the organization (Saharaconsulting, 2010).
This increases loyalty and commitment among workers. Language and negotiation skills are retained in the organization, and this propels the organization to compete globally. Furthermore, attraction and retention of workers of diverse cultural backgrounds assists an organization to improve client base.
Therefore, I fully agree with the statement. IBM is an example of a company in which the human capital department recognises the importance of cultural diversity. The company promotes creativity, performance and growth through cultural diversity.
Cultural Convergence and Divergence
Cultural convergence is movement of all vital aspects of global and local societies. The movement aims to reduce tensions that exist between groups of individuals from different cultural backgrounds.
Cultural convergence aims to encourage people from different cultures to be aware of how other cultures can assist them to grow (Jenkins, 2006). In cultural convergence, institutional frameworks converge under same force of industrial logic.
This is despite the differences in ideological, political and cultural origins. Toyota is a company that can be used to show the existence of cultural convergence. The convergence of technology and systems of trade in Toyota creates an environment that is similar for all Toyota employees.
The company has different production points in the world. However, all employees of Toyota must receive the right information at the appropriate time. Hence, the company aligned its business processes with technology.
On the other hand, cultural divergence is the belief that cultural differences persist everywhere. Hence, developments that occur do not lead into complete removal of differences between groups of different cultural backgrounds (Jenkins, 2006).
IBM is a company that can be used to explain the concept of cultural divergence. IBM’s policy is to hire individuals who have different talents, personality and cultural backgrounds. Moreover, the company decided to create cultural awareness and acceptance through the development of corporate values.
These values include respect to people and antidiscrimination. Through these values, IBM hopes to tap knowledge from different people, have different perspectives and generate innovative ideas. At the same time, the company uses advanced technology in its business operations.
However, cultural differences in the company persist (HCA Online, 2009). Moreover, the work force in IBM is aged, and there is likely existence of talent gap.
Theoretical Perspectives: Integration of Academics Theory and Access-and-Legitimacy Theory
Theories can be used to support the argument that cultural awareness can enable a human resources manager to be effective. Integration of academics theory or integration-and-learning theory proposes that insights, experiences and skills that workers developed as members of different cultural backgrounds have a positive impact in an organization (Robin & David, 2001).
An organization can redefine its market, strategies, products and business practices based on knowledge that workers from different cultural groups have developed. This theory explains the link between cultural diversity and work processes.
The ways through which people experience and do their work relates to cultural diversity and adaptation. This theory can assist a human resources manager to recognize the importance of cultural diversity in an organization.
The theory states that workers of different cultural backgrounds can spend time to explore different viewpoints and come up with a comprehensive solution to any problem.
Moreover, the theory notes that adaptation occurs, and people from different cultural backgrounds are able to work together without cultural identity based division. Consequently, I fully agree with the statement.
The second theory that notes why human resources managers must be aware of cultural diversity is the Access-and-legitimacy theory. In this theory, cultural diversity at the workplace is based on the observation that an organization’s markets are culturally diverse.
Therefore, it is appropriate for an organization to match the diversity in the market with its workforce (Robin & David, 2001). This should assist the organization to gain access and legitimacy in the markets that it exploits.
According to this perspective, organizations can use cultural diversity to connect with culturally diverse markets. Hence, a human resources manager should be aware of the role that cultural diversity in an organization plays in exploitation of diverse markets.
Awareness of the role that cultural diversity play makes the human resources manager to be effective. Access-and-legitimacy theory explains the importance of cultural diversity in business negotiations, sales promotions and entry into new markets.
A company that seeks to make sales in a black neighbourhood is likely to use black employees as sales people in the neighbourhood. Hence, I fully agree with the statement.
These two theories have further explained the importance of cultural diversity at the workplace. Since human resources managers are the officials who select and recruit workers, it is vital that they be aware of the importance of cultural diversity at the work place.
They must recognize the role that cultural diversity plays in customer acquisition, market exploitation and development of skills. Hence, I fully agree that human resources managers must be aware of cultural diversity to be effective in their roles.
Cultural diversity at the workplace has numerous challenges. However, internationalization and globalization has resulted into the rise of culturally diverse workforces in different organizations.
This paper sought to determine whether cultural diversity awareness makes human resources managers be effective. Consequently, the discussions presented in the paper have shown the pivotal roles that cultural diversity plays in business.
Cultural diversity is essential in business negotiations, sales promotions and market exploitation. Additionally, the paper focused on advantages that a company can receive in case a human resources manager is aware of cultural diversity.
Awareness of diversity assists a manager to select the right candidates, monitor performance differently, attract, and retain workers. Finally, the paper presented theoretical support for the need for human resources managers to be aware of cultural diversity.
Based on these arguments, it is clear that cultural diversity in the work force is advantageous for businesses. Hence, I agree with the statement.
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