This paper is an assessment of Russell Hobbs, which is one of the UK’s top goods manufacturing brands. The paper asserts manufacturing and organization structures of the company.
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The company – Russell Hobbs is aiming to expand to a new market of UAE, which is a highly competitive and diversified market.
Analysing the internal business position of Russell Hobbs, this report has provided a complete business plan for the company to expand its business to a new market segment.
The plan incorporates Russell Hobbs’s possible action plan related to the workforce, market and business management in view of the UAE market. It is an action plan for Russell Hobbs for moving into a new market of UAE.
Russell Hobbs is one of the successful electronic goods manufacturing companies in the UK. The company owns one of the UK’s top business brands and stands at a leading position in the electronic goods manufacturing industry.
This paper is a business assessment and analysis of Russell Hobbs, its structure and operational system, and also includes an analysis of its corporate business culture.
The purpose of the paper is to provide Russell Hobbs a human resource plan as the company aims to enter a new international market of UAE using its current manpower setting. Planning of the business and its human resource requirements are, therefore, main objectives of this report.
The first section of the report will analyse the current state of the business and the second section will provide the preliminary human resource strategy for Russell Hobbs to be followed in the UAE.
This will include recruitment, selection, socialization, performance management, communication, reward, and training management of Russell Hobbs’s staff.
Russell Hobbs History
When it comes to quality, style, and innovation Russell Hobbs is very popular brand. The company Russell Hobbs was founded in Britain in the year 1952 by Bill Russell and his co-partner Peter Hobbs (Russell Hobbs, 2013).
The owners had a vision of quality, precision, and timely delivery, which they maintained throughout the company’s journey over the years. In the electronic goods’ manufacturing market, Russell Hobbs faced tough competition conditions to fulfil consumers’ expectations and demand.
It has been more than fifty years that Russell Hobs has maintained its historic culture of prestige and focus on maintaining customer orientation (Russell Hobbs, 2013).
At present, Russell Hobbs aims to maintain its historic objective that is to offer real value to its customers through its technical innovation.
In this quest, Russell Hobbs is on an expansion move to extend its product line which includes kettles, toasters, cleaning, cooking and garment care equipment (Russell Hobbs, 2013).
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In the context of United Arab Emirates, which is considered as a place of customer novelty, diversity and orientation, Russell Hobbs can be viewed as a company that can make a great impact on this competitive market (Communicaid, 2013).
The company holds a strong brand name, identity, and recognition which could assist it to expand to the UAE market that always welcomes new ideas and business conceptions (Emirates, 2012).
Russell Hobbs-Manufacturing Structure in the UAE Context
Russell Hobbs as an international business organization practices a diversified and decentralized organizational structure. Each department of the company is interlinked, which makes the company’s decision and information flow to be coordinated and collaborated (Aquinas, 2009).
The same structure and culture of the organization is proposed for adaption in the UAE, which is a competitive market and requires the same competency approach by the organization.
Here is a list of the company’s departments with their brief descriptions in relation to the UAE market (Stein, 2010).
Human resource department will be the central core department of Russell Hobbs. This department will deal with the organization of the work force (Hiriyappa, 2009). This department will organize the work force in accordance to the UAE’s market system.
This department needs people from the management side having experiences in the workforce management (Hiriyappa, 2009).
The finance department will manage all finance operations. Effective cost and time management are primary objectives of Russell Hobbs’s finance department in the UAE. Employees from financial management backgrounds are needed for this department.
They must have qualifications in accounting and cost management to qualify for this department (Punnett, 2012).
Planning and Operations
This would be another department that will be control tactics of work force management in the UAE. Measuring and assessing business staff’s operations will be the responsibility of the P&O department.
Planning and operations requires administrative people who have a tactical mind-set (Perkins & Arvinen-Muondo, 2013).
IT and Communications Engineering
This department of Russell Hobbs will work as the technical department in the UAE. It will be responsible of the company’s inbound and outbound IT operations. Designing tactics for cross cultural communication will also be dealt by the IT department.
IT and communications require technical people. People having experiences in network and communication management will be right suited for this department (Punnett, 2012).
Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing department will deal with the promotion and advertisement operation for UAE. To lift up Russell Hobbs in the UAE market context will be the task of the sales and marketing department.
For Russell Hobbs, effective promotion of its products in the UAE market is essential and for this purpose intelligent and creative marketers are considered primary.
Employees, who successfully understand the UAE market context can bring new ideas for promoted and will be effectively suited to this department (Aquinas, 2009).
Manufacturing and Production
This department will be directly involved in the manufacturing and distribution of the finished goods. Adapting principles of lean management will underpin the manufacturing department in UAE. Engineering staff is needed for this department.
People holding certifications in production planning, project management, and industrial engineering will be appropriately fit for this operational department (Aquinas, 2009).
Research and Development
R & D will strengthen the roots of the business in the UAE as this department will comprehensively analyse the market situation and conditions including the market perception and market responsiveness on a regular basis.
R & D will provide input to other departments of Russell Hobbs and thereby, giving a direction to the company for the new market. Russell Hobbs will appoint most experienced people in R&D as this is the department where the company’s core competency originates (Aquinas, 2009).
Russell Hobbs Organization Structure (UAE)
Plan for Recruitment and Induction
By examining the UAE’s employment culture, it can be said that the country holds a culture of collectivism and individualism with more power gap in the corporate settings.
The culture of the country promotes employees to work in a collective manner encouraging the trend of synergetic team work and coordination (Gatewood et al., 2008).
Employees receiving high income benefits and rewards from corporations are found to be more satisfied in their work places. They are more loyal and have longer stay in their respective organizations (Gatewood et al., 2008).
Assessing the UAE’s recruitment trend, it can be said that an electronic goods manufacturer company like Russell Hobbs requires a competent recruitment strategy. A multi-directional induction plan is needed in the UAE’s context.
Keeping a view of the UAE employment conditions, Russell Hobbs is proposed a comprehensive recruitment induction plan. This plan is based on four major steps;
- making appointment,
- primary assessment,
- final assessment
Making appointment stage will refer to job selection. The company will disclose available jobs in the local UAE job portals (newspapers, websites). After short listing 500 candidates as per the company’s requirement in the target country will be selected.
These candidates will then be transferred to the next stage of selection; the assessment. Both primary and final assessments will be made to find the final best possible candidates for the organization (Adekola & Sergi, 2012).
Induction stage will introduce new employees of the company to its culture. Russell Hobbs’s culture, which is comprised of diversity and innovation, will be introduced to the new employees.
UAE employees, who are career oriented, will be invited to Russell Hobbs’ culture of inspiration, determination, and glory. Once the induction stage is concluded, Russell Hobbs will have the right candidates with required skills, knowledge and expertise (Hiriyappa, 2009).
UK and UAE – the Cultural Difference
Before deploying the proposed induction plan, Russell Hobbs will have to identify cultural differences between the UK and UAE. In the business context, UK is a competitive market whereas UAE upholds a culture of oligopoly (Grapeshisha, 2013).
In this way, UK openly invites new businesses with their new ideas, practices and norms whereas UAE as an oligopolistic market takes time to adjust to new businesses and their inceptions.
Furthermore, it is hard to find professionals in the UAE’s local population as highly qualified professionals mostly have international backgrounds (WBC, 2012). There are students who have come to UAE for higher degrees or individuals seeking employment in the UAE.
This international workforce is being highly productive in the country as it is working in both private and public sectors (Hills & Atkins, 2013). According to UAE Census (2010), UAE is a diversified country.
It is a cross-cultural society with 8.2 million people from various countries. Comparatively, UAE is more diversified than UK as it is geographically smaller than UK and holds a large population of international citizens (Grapeshisha, 2013).
UAE is a significantly diversified country. There is a majority of 48% comprising of Arabs, Iranians, Indians, Pakistanis, Philippines, Europeans, and Americans residing in the country. This is the reason that the culture of UAE is considered as a blend of multiple ethnicities, races, and traditions (Riel, 2008).
Cultural Awareness Training
As demonstrated above UAE is an intercultural society. However, it is also considered as a society based on stereotypes and Emiratisation (government support to employees for economic and national development) (Quappe & Cantatore, 2007).
Russell Hobbs understanding culture, norms and practices of UAE will have to organize effective cultural awareness programs (Holt & Media, 2013).
The organization will have to make its employees familiar with the culture of the new country as this is how they can proceed well and can be adjusted to the UAE work system. Awareness is important as this is what will open up the minds of Russell Hobbs’ work force (Riel, 2008).
Stereotypes and Emiratis
In the UAE’s work culture there are both negative and positive stereotypes who exist parallel. Negative stereotypes are hindrance creators for career oriented people and positive stereotypes are encouragers of good will, team work, and coordination (Abdulla, 2010).
What is needed by Russell Hobbs’s Emirati employees is that they get aware of the negative stereotypes. The employees should familiarize and develop themselves the norms of self-motivation, determination and passion (Alsaloom, 2012).
They should grow with innovativeness and team work as these are norms that can enable employees to reach higher positions.
In UAE, it is hard to avoid negative stereotypes as they are all over the country, but if employees are purposive and hold clear career objectives, then they would not be bothered by the stereotypes’ presence.
This basic awareness, which is depicting the relationship between Emiratis and stereotypes, will definitely assist the company’s employees to get prepared for UAE (Embrace Arabia, 2008).
For any international organization such as Russell Hobbs, which is moving to a new market, it is important that the organization provides essential training to its employees about the environment of the new market (Kwintessential, 2013).
Intercultural training of employees is important in this respect (Embrace Arabia, 2008). It is important to implement before Russell Hobbs moves to the new competitive market of UAE.
There are four major segments which Russell Hobbs needs to cover for its employees’ effective intercultural development and preparedness. These segments are unfolded as follows:
Negotiations and Understanding in UAE
Trust is one of the major factors that exists in the UAE work dynamics. It is trust that brings good interpersonal relationship in the organizations. The same factor of trust is to be maintained by Russell Hobbs’s employees.
The workforce should organize itself on the basis of sincerity, trust and coordination. These are valuable norms considered in the UAE working environment. Patience is another factor, which is considered important in the UAE.
Both managers and subordinates of the company have to be patient in order to work with outsiders (Kwintessential, 2013). It is through business patience and work patience that the company can reach to the point of negotiation in Abu Dhabi or UAE.
Similarly, people in UAE are not convinced by flowery acceptations or bad news. They strongly require collective wisdom, evidence or thoughtfulness to get hold onto a certain decision.
The same prospective attitude is to be kept by the company’s managers and employees. It must be a part of the intercultural training of the company’s employees (Kwintessential, 2013).
Employee Decision Making in UAE
In UAE, corporate decisions belong to stakeholders and therefore, managers are limited in risk taking or decision making.
Furthermore, managers need to be trusted by their subordinates as this is how synergy can be promoted in the organization for encouraging collective performance (Adekola & Sergi, 2012).
Team coordination is important in the UAE’s work setting as this is how the pace of the organization can be accelerated.
Russell Hobbs must assert these important notions to the new employees. If employees are successful in retaining these intercultural norms, then they are on the right track for success (Primecz et al., 2011).
Work Priorities in UAE
It is the trend of the UAE manufacturers that they do not exceed deadlines. Failure in meeting deadlines are less appreciated by businesses and clients. In this way, work discipline is important in UAE. Managers will have to organize their subordinates to achieve timely delivery of products.
Managers will have to make their subordinates proactive and performance oriented. In UAE, on-time completion of projects means success for Russell Hobbs and its workforce (Embrace Arabia, 2008).
The above incorporation of the intercultural training will assist Russell Hobbs’s employees in UAE. It will guide their actions, thoughts, ideas and projections respectively.
These training thoughts are essential and therefore, expected to be adapted by its workforce in the sufficient manner (Hills & Atkins, 2013).
Initial Staff Training
Russell Hobbs being an innovative and creative organization aims to implement an effective staffing system. The organizational system of the company is such that employees are fully backed up and supported. The staff must be provided initial training to get adjusted to the new work environment.
The objective here is to meet the company’s mission, which focuses on quality and customer satisfaction. To achieve this aim, Russell Hobbs has set initial training program, which will introduce employees to the organization system (Kwintessential, 2013).
By familiarizing the system, employees will find a better way to start off in a new organization and business environment. The following are few of the segments of Russell Hobbs’s staff training:
For team leadership, it is important that each individual is provided with a certain level responsibility for his or her position. When employees feel responsible in their current positions, they work more effectively and collectively to achieve desired results.
By promoting this one unit concept, Russell Hobbs can set a direction for its employees (Communicaid, 2013).
This idea should be a part of the organization’s training process because it prepares employees for their new work environment and their association with the organization’s systems and traditions (Communicaid, 2013).
Team Coordination and Assistance
At the operational level, Russell Hobbs’ employees’ views have to be kept aligned with corporate objectives. It is the managers’ job to ensure that they coordinate and integrate values and ideas across the organization.
For employees’ effective training, team coordination is one significant element that should be organized (Adekola & Sergi, 2012).
If team coordination can be achieved then it implies that half of the Russell Hobbs’s vision is met and achieved, which is bringing a healthy work environment (Adekola & Sergi, 2012).
Staff Technical Training
For employees’ skill development, it is important that they are provided product’s basic knowledge. Knowledge of Russell Hobbs’s toasters, kettles and cooking house wares is important to be provided to all staff members.
The technical staff members who may include engineers, IT professionals, networkers and operators are to be provided with the technical knowledge of Russell Hobbs’s manufacturing and distribution processes.
This will make them aware of how the company manufactures and distributes its products to customers. Educating the staff is important and it will take place in working environment of the company (Holt & Media, 2013).
To improve employees’ personal level skills Russell Hobbs will organize training sessions. These training sessions will identify employees’ training needs, their ideas and skills in order to fit with the UAE’s market perspective (Perkins & Arvinen-Muondo, 2013).
In the training process, communication is an important element to be considered for staff members. Communication patterns of UAE will be taught to the staff and this will enable them in order to survive and perform well in the UAE employment market.
Improving employees’ interpersonal skills including speech, language, and delivery will be a part of the communication training session. Apart from all, members who will need additional training will be provided supplementary training programs (Hiriyappa, 2009).
Building the Work Environment
It is the trend of the UAE employment market that employees are provided with best work environments. This is to keep the motivation alive in the workforce enabling it to experience high stimulation and deliver highest performance (Punnett, 2012).
The same idea will be replicated by the Russell Hobbs in UAE. The staff will be given a positive work environment. To increase the cycle of motivation, the organization will bring various entertainment facilities for employees.
They will be provided access to massage rooms, sports complex, and horseshoe pits that could contribute to high level of employees’ self-esteem and motivation (Punnett, 2012).
In the UAE context, rewards and bonuses are most significant (Gatewood et al., 2008). Russell Hobbs aims to employ 500 employees and offer them the best rewards and bonus policies. The company will also offer competitive wages and healthcare insurances.
The analysis made in this report formulates an understanding that UAE is a diversified society. It is a market based on intense competition where effective intercultural management is needed.
Russell Hobbs being a successful international business organization holds the strength to make an entry into the UAE market.
The organization has a vision to employ a larger work force of 500 people in UAE to support its new operations and innovative business strategies. This report makes the following recommendations for the organization that is planning to expand to the UAE market:
- For aligning the new workforce with the organizational values and making them as the part of its system, it is important that employees are given cultural training. They should be given awareness of stereotyping, which is a cultural norm in the UAE business practices.
- The managers at Russell Hobbs should make their subordinates familiarize with the UAE culture, which is based on collectivism, individualism and power distance respectively.
- To form an efficient work force, it is important that employees are given technical knowledge. The knowledge related to Russell Hobbs product lines, manufacturing procedures, and distribution is important to be provided to the workforce.
- For Russell Hobbs, it is important that it continues its innovation in UAE which has been the main factor behind its success and glory over the years. To compete against the UAE’s oligopoly it is necessary that Russell Hobbs retains its core competencies, which are customer orientation, high quality conformance and strategic market management.
Russell Hobbs, which is one of the successful UK goods manufacturers, is about to enter UAE market. The company holds a potential to move to the Arab market, which is one of the competitive and diversified markets.
The organization needs to deploy an efficient workforce, which is important for the target market and meeting requirements of its practices, norms and ideas. The culture of UAE needs to be understood by Russell Hobbs.
If the workforce adjusts to the multicultural environment of UAE then there are better chances for the organization to sustain and even succeed or compete. This has been the objective of this paper as it has provided the organization with plans and tactics to step into the UAE marketplace.
The paper has proposed a workforce management plan along with the business tactics to be applied in the UAE context.
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