Summary of assessment
Weight towards final grade Length
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Anticipated Return Date Header Sheet number Portfolio 1:
Case Study 50
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Portfolio 1: Case Study (due 29th August, 2019) Genius MNC – Global Technology Solutions Company Background
Genius MNC is a US multi-national company with its headquarters and HR function in California. It is a leading organisation in the area of Information Technology. Genius was established in the year 1989 and has about 50,000 employees, of which approximately 30,000 are employed in the US and the rest abroad. The first foreign subsidiary of Genius was established in 1999 in Germany and ten years later subsidiaries were established in Bangalore (India), Helsinki (Finland) and later on in Eastern Europe, Brazil and China. Today, Genius has subsidiaries around the globe in the areas of IT manufacturing, IT sales and IT development.
Sales for Genius IT products have fallen in recent times and the new CEO, Mr. Azan, is determined to turn around the company’s fortunes and increase sales by 10 within two years (2018). He is also determined to improve intercultural relations within and between the subsidiaries and between the head office employees and subsidiary employees.
A recently commissioned HR management report identified cross cultural management issues as Genius’s main problem affecting employee performance and subsidiary productivity. At your meeting with the global human resource manager, Mrs. Bolt, you (a Genius junior executive employee) learn about Genius’ plans to transfer US based HRM policies to the subsidiaries, to integrate employee knowledge, to improve intercultural relations and to increase employee performance and subsidiary productivity.
Mrs. Bolt gives you the HR management report at this meeting which contains the commissioned consultancy’s observations of key cross-cultural management issues in three countries (below)
As an overview, the following extract from the HR management report focuses on three key cross cultural management themes observed in the Berlin and Bangalore subsidiaries and the headquarters in California. It reads:
Genius California is the headquarter of Genius MNC. Genius California engages in strategy, development and sales activities in the information technology area. It employs about 2000 employees of which 250 employees are expatriates, many of whom are IT experts from India.
In terms of preferred leadership styles and culture, California uses distributed leadership to empower its workforce. This does not always translate well for the expatriate employees.
However, the policy of empowering and facilitating employees’ work has led to a large number of innovations and growth for the company. Genius California is what one would call a “flat” company, with fewer number of middle managers and an upper management that is hands-on and accessible. This short hierarchy cultivates a more open atmosphere for employees to integrate and express their opinions and new ideas. Managers emphasize people moving forward together through open communication and honesty, with open discussion at team meetings. Employees are recognized for small and big initiatives and mistakes are viewed as opportunities for learning. This approach leads to a fearless office culture, where people are willing to take risks.
Business negotiations and intercultural communication in Genius California is very American. The employees and managers tend to be competitive in their approach to negotiations. They begin with an unrealistic offer, with an aim to achieve higher that the realistic outcome. They are energetic, confident, and persistent; they focus on areas of disagreement (not commonality) and enjoy arguing their positions. At the end of a negotiation, they like to achieve closure and certainty rather than open-endedness or fuzziness.
At Genius California, people endeavour to make productive use of their time. Managers encourage employees to schedule their calendars to block time for their individual goals and activities. The work week at Genius California generally starts off with low energy on Monday, then work energy peaks on Tuesday and Wednesday, and slowly reduces by Thursday and Friday and into the weekend. As a result of this work energy cycle, employees use Monday for planning their week and setting goals; Tuesday and Wednesday to focus on creative tasks whilst they are at their most productive and energetic stage; Thursday to catch-up with team meetings and one-to-one meetings, and Friday for finishing off reports and other clerical tasks. Employees guard their time fiercely to ensure that they don’t spend their work week tied up in meetings or dealing with other peoples’ priorities. Meetings are typically short
With the ramified changes, every organization needs to expand its business internationally to survive in the long run. However, while expanding business on the international level, many companies face issues related to cross-culture, conflict in leadership management and international business policies. This essay gives the key understanding of the cross-cultural management theory, international business theory, and international human resources management theory. In this essay, discussion of the influence of the national cultural differences on the influence of the management of the employees at foreign subsidiaries of the Genius Company has been given. This essay focuses on the evaluation of the implication of cross-cultural competencies of expatriate managers and leaders.
Genius Company has been operating its business on an international level and following different cross-culture policies and leadership style to operate its business. Hofstede's cultural theory divulges the framework for the cross-cultural factors which influence the HRM policies and how these factors and value influence the behavior of the employees at a different workplace. It is a widely used approach to classify and compare national culture based on the values, belief, and perception of the employees in a particular nation. In California, business negotiation and inter culture communication is very American and people up there are more indulged in using their time more productively. There is less hierarchy gap between the employees and higher authority. The type of culture maintained in the Genius Company in California promotes the innovation and creation in the process and always push employees to take themselves out of comfort zone. As per the Hofstede's cultural theory, the company follows uncertainty avoidance (UAI) in its cultural program where employees are promoted to take the risk without uncertainty. The weekly work system has also been set in the California workplace where people are motivated to focus on innovative and creative work idea at the time when they are completely into work (Ugrin, Pearson, & Nickle, 2018). The human resources management policies formed in California is more employee-oriented and kept open for them. The HRM policies are designed to mitigate the procedural issues and fear of taking is a risk is also eliminated in California headquarter of Genius company by reducing the job uncertainty. While, on the other hand, in Germany, the workplace is highly culturally. All the managers of the team possess the generalist management competencies. The HRM policies set for the employees are more oriented towards them and employees are asked to participate in the decision making the process. This HRM policies not only help employees to motivate in their work but also align their growth with organizational development. As given in the case, the company follows, and long term orientation vs. short term orientation (LTO) given by Hofstede’s cultural theory in its IHRM policies. However, standardized HRM policies and practice is low Germany and customized as per the changing business factors and values, belief, the culture of employees. In the case of a business unit in India, Genius has been facing the issue of intercommunication and negotiation due to its high complexities. The business unit in India is less standardized and less focused is given to the international HRM policies (Pika, et al. 2019). There is a complex hierarchy level work structure and strong policies considering discipline, obedient and time-bound work which leads to the complex set of local HRM policies for the employees in Genius India. In this subsidiary of Genius company, there is Indulgence vs. restraint dimension culture factor is given more weighted. Hofstede’s cultural theory in its IHRM policies has given that societal norms give to citizens in fulfilling their human desires are the prime factors in the HRM policies formulation in India.
As considering the measuring and managing the culture given in Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and implication of the culture on the structure, behavior, values, and expectation, it has been found that California has been given less power distance. It has flat organizational pyramids, less centralized business structure, small wage differentiation and equality in the jobs. On the other hand, India has been given 90 ratings for its tall organizational pyramids, supervisory personnel and restricted organizational culture (Nakayama, & Wan, 2019). Nonetheless, Germany, there is an average power distance maintained due to its stable IHRM policies for the process. The masculinity rating of Germany is high as compared to other countries. It has high security in the jobs and more employees are rewarded in the workplace for their workout. There is the least restriction on the employees and the free workplace is promoted to motivate the innovation and creation in the workplace (Lachner, Nguyen, & Butzz 2018). On the other hand, the rating gives to India for masculinity is way too low due to its more restricted workplace.
The more attention is given to time and work output than employee's satisfaction. The rating given for masculinity in California is low due to the less restricted work program and alignment of the employees' growth with the organizational development. The rating given for the individualism associated with the workplace in California is high due to the implication of the company towards the employee's growth. Job security and promotions are allocated to the employees for their job satisfaction and motivation. It is also found that in case of Germany, the HRM policies framed are more employed oriented and they are promoted to take the risk without uncertainty or risk (Bakir, Blodgett, Vitell, & Rose,2015). There is found low individualism in the IHRM policies. In the case of the workplace in India, there is way too high individualism rating due to the self-interest defend. Employees are always imposed warning and issues for their non-effective work. The rating given in managing the culture given in Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and implication of the culture on the structure, behavior, values, and expectation for the uncertainty and avoidance in California is low as there are less structured rules, fewer written regulations and policies and employees are promoted to take risk in their innovative and creative work. In the case of Germany, the rating given for uncertainty and avoidance is also too low due to its employees oriented business policies and IHRM program. This shows that the company operates its business more freely and promote its employees (Huang, & Crotts, 2019). On the other hand, uncertainty and avoidance rating in India is quite high as employees are penalized for their less return. They are not allowed to do anything without taking the prior permission from their higher authority. There is more structuring activities, written rules, less willingness to take the risk and more realistic behavior in their work program.
Genius Company has international business functions in different countries. However, it has been facing issues related to structure, behavior, values, and expectation while operating its business in different countries. The rating given for the different segment of the countries is based on the factors influencing the business functioning of Genuis Company in these different countries. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and implication of the culture on the structure, behavior, values, and expectation in context with the power distance, masculinity, individualism, and uncertainty avoidance are considered (Brouthers, Marshall, & Keig, 2016). It is analyzed that Genius Company has kept liberal IHRM policies for its employees and uses distributed leadership style to empower and facilitate employees for the work which leads to innovation and creation at the workplace. Due to the east restriction on the employees and free workplace is promoted to motivate the innovation and creation in the workplace. There is flat organizational culture and structure and all the employees are promoted to deliver the best outcomes. There is found less power distance in the subsidiary unit of USA. The business negotiation and intercultural communication are very open they are always ready to take the difficult target to achieve the set goals and objective (Mazanec, Crotts, Gursoy, & Lu, 2015). In case of Germany, power distance rating is also low as there is strong organizational culture and workplace is highly culturally. Nonetheless, the working experience of the employees is productive, amicable and consultative. In case of the subsidiary of Genius in India, the power distance is quite high due to the working restriction based on the written rules and regulation. All employees are time-oriented and least like to take the risk in their work cycle.
The rating given for masculinity for the subsidiaries of Genius Company in California is low as all the employees are considered equal and they tend to be more competitive. In case masculinity for the subsidiaries of Genius Company in Germany, it is quite high. The authority is given to the engineers and high-status employees in the organization. Managers possess generalist management competencies (Bhawuk, 2011). In case of India, the rating given for masculinity is also high. There is a tall hierarchy of work and all the employees work as per the instruction of their line managers.
The individualism rating in California is high as managers encourage employees to do job as per their factors. In case of Germany, there is low individualism as the HRM policies framed are more promoted to take the risk without uncertainty or risk. In case of India, there is way too high individualism rating due to the self-interest defend. All the employees working in the process are dependent upon the line managers for their work (Meeuwesen, van den Brink-Muinen, & Hofstede, 2009). The rating for the uncertainty and avoidance in California is low as IHRM policies are more employees oriented, fewer written regulations and policies. In the case of Germany, the rating given for uncertainty and avoidance is also too low as all the work is handled by management and participation, motivation, team orientation, and delegation are promoted. The uncertainty and avoidance rating in India is quite high as an adaption to the changes is quite complicated in the Indian work process.
With the increasing business expansion, there have been several business changes and companies are now more inclined to adopt the IHRM policies and organizational culture in their HRM framework. However, in context with the Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and implication of the culture on the structure, behavior, values, and expectation, the USA is more divergent and converging with the business subsidiary in Germany. It has been found that the business policies and implication of the culture on the structure, behavior, values, and expectation is way too liberal. It focuses on the alignment of the employee's growth with organizational development. On the other hand, the subsidiary unit of Genius Company is diverging with the implication of the culture on the structure, behavior, values, and expectation of IHRM policies suggested in the USA. These differences have been found due to the internal and external factors affecting the business process and employee's values, belief and perception, The organizational culture of the Indian based subsidiary unit of Genius company is more focused on time-based output and least efforts are made to promote the innovation and creation in the work program (Deephouse, Newburry, & Soleimani, 2016). Nonetheless, all the employees of Indian based branch have fear of uncertainty and job risk.
After assessing the case study and considering the measuring and managing the culture given in Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and implication of the culture on the structure, behavior, values, and expectation, it could be inferred that there are several other internal and external factors which may impact the organizational culture and IHRM policies. These policies are designed based on values, belief and cultural factors of the particular country. The divergent and convergent of one country's policies and organizational culture is based on the stakeholder's perception and values.