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Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India: HR Management and Communication Issues Proposal Essay

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Updated: Mar 7th, 2022

Summary of the Honda Case

The case under analysis reveals the problem of shaping effective human resource management polices for managers and employees to communicate in a culturally diverse environment. At this point, the scenario is focused on the failure to eliminate conflict at Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI), a subsidiary company of the Honda Motor Company Limited (HMCL) located in Tokyo, Japan.

In particular, inability of supervisors to meet the needs of their employees, as well as aggressive human resource management polices, prevented the employees from creating trade unions. As a result, reluctance to meet the needs of a culturally diverse environment led to significant damages to the respectable image of the company.

Because of inappropriate cross-cultural management, the company suffered a significant production decline and faced a rigorous opposition of the employees. Despite the strictly established global policy of managing people, which is based on individual differences, mutual trust, respect, and equality, HMSI was more focused on other global trends of production, namely high quality and manufacture of world class products at the expense of employee’s stressful working conditions and negligence of their rights.

With regard to the above presented situation, specific emphasis should be placed on the analysis of culture noise phenomenon that became the major reason of discontent and friction between the employees and their managers. In addition, analysis of cross-cultural strategies along with conflict management is indispensible to working out efficient solutions.

Analysis of Theories and Lectures With Regard to the Key Data in the Case Study

The company that acts on the international arena should take into consideration cultural and social peculiarities of employees involved into the production. The human resource management trends, therefore, should rely on both general and individual perceptions of qualities and traits that a person should posses while managing in a culturally diverse environment.

Otherwise, there is a high probability of emerging conflicts between managers and their subordinates due to miscommunication. Judging from the case, negligence of cultural, psychological and social needs of an employee can lead to serious confrontations, or even loss of a valuable worker. The main problem of the company’s managers lies in distorting the information and providing false statement concerning employee’s responsibilities and duties.

Hence, the Indian managers did not make it possible for employees to meet with top managers and express their complaints about the working conditions. An emphasis on seniority prevented from established the global policy of equality, respect for individuals, and mutual trust.

Cultural noise is one the primary reasons for inappropriate communication between managers and their subordinates. In particular, the phenomenon identifies the common problems that domestic team experience, such as deficiency in relevant knowledge and skills, absence of clarity regarding team goals, and misalignment of team objectives. Hence, team can immediately fail until they start cultivate fruitful relations.

As a result, there is a serious challenge that domestic leaders face while meeting global business perspectives. The creation of culture noise negatively affects proper delivery of a message from a sender (usually a global message) to a receiver (domestic manager, or an employee). Ambiguity in presenting message, therefore, is predetermined by cultural differences.

In our case, the cultural gap exists between Indian and Japanese managers whose vision on human resource managers differs significantly.

In particular, Indian manager focus on exceptional quality of the products and neglect individual needs and concerns of their workers. In contrast, Japanese managers view fruitful management and cooperation in meeting the needs of individuals and cultivating trust at the core of manufacturing world class products.

Proposal of Solutions

Addressing Cross Cultural Management

Efficiency of cross-cultural management in an organization depends on the extent to which the policy of trust and respect is considered. Though HMSI followed the global human resources practice of appreciating individual differences, it still failed to adhere to the principle of respect and equality among the employees.

In order to suppress the policy of excess seniority, a vertical management strategy should be implemented for top managers in Japan to keep abreast of the policies that local managers follow with regard to employees. Introducing transparency and shared decision making can promote welfare of employees and increase the company’s productivity.

The role of a local manager, therefore, is confined to encouraging direct communication between workers and senior managers at a global level. They should strictly adhere to the world class standards and place emphasis on welfare of each individual working in the company.

Settling Conflicts within the Context of Japan and India

Within the concept of freedom and equality, Indian workers should be encouraged to present their decisions and concerns when it comes to the production process and working conditions. In this respect, training program for frontline managers in India should be implemented so as to practice and advance their negotiation skills.

In particular, they should be able to render clear messages to guarantee the message will not be distorted because of culturally predetermined environments understanding this message differently. In this respect, the importance of words, body language, and tone of voice is ensured for it influences the way employees perceive the overall idea.

The Impact of Culture Noise and Implications for Managers to Act in Future

Cultural discrepancies serve as filters between the sender of a message and its receiver. A global orientation should come to the forth, as well as constant monitoring of local manager’s work. In particular, there should be a person who will be able to take control of quality of following the global philosophy established by HMCL.

To eliminate the problem of trust in global business teams, a survey should be conducted among both employers and employees to define the extent to which workers feel support and trust on the part of their managers. The consequences of culture noise can also be eliminated by handling the language and geographic barriers.

The presence of a multi-national leadership is much more efficient in approaching culturally and emotional sensitive environment and developing interpersonal skills. With these aspects in mind, a consistent framework of managing conflict situation can be created that would allow the company to avoid the frictions and aggressive confrontations as it happened in July 2005.

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IvyPanda. "Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India: HR Management and Communication Issues." March 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/proposal-honda-case/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India: HR Management and Communication Issues." March 7, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/proposal-honda-case/.

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