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Cross-Culture Staffing Training

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Cross-Culture Staffing Training

Abstract

Cross-cultural staffing training (CCST) is a novel concept of great relevance in the contemporary world. The scheme operates on important principles that align with the current business environment. This study explores the concept of the Cross-cultural staffing training with the intention of quantifying the feasibility of the strategy and proposing strategic recommendations that would enable organizations’ benefit from the scheme. Consequently, the paper initially reviews relevant literature in order to establish the rationale behind the strategy that is followed by a deductive discussion that proposes effective strategies for promoting the strategy and improving the performance of the model.

 

Introduction

Cross-cultural staffing training is indispensable in the modern world that is characterized with high degrees of globalization. It is apparent that with the internationalization of events, competing successfully in the global market place is challenging. Intercultural management training becomes essential, as the level of global competence increases. Increased international trade and movement of people due to improved global relations affirm the vital role of cross-cultural training. This training would enable employees interact effectively with associates from different customs and ones speaking different languages. Cross-cultural competence is essential because with internationalization of activities, people are likely to work in diverse cultures. This training ensures that individuals who are going global are provided with skills that are tailored to their new environment. McDermott (2001) observes that following the increased rivalry for the talented global employees, organizations are acknowledging that establishing a cross-cultural environment in the workplace is a strategic approach for long-term success. Consequently, cross-cultural training is presently a fundamental aspect of staff development because organizations need to ensure that their workers have the best communication skills. Through educating staff under cross-cultural scheme that utilizes elements such as cross-cultural team development and communication course, organizations are becoming highly competitive in the international market. The highlighted beneficial elements of cross-cultural training affirm the significance of exploring the topic to enhance its awareness.

Literature Review

The relevance of the idea of CCST in management has prompted various scholars into examining the subject. Primarily, cross-cultural is a broad discipline that includes a variety of training programs. Selmer (2000) defines cross-cultural training as any intervention that target improving an individual’s capability of coping with work in foreign environment. Studies affirm that the prime determinant of expatriates’ productivity is their skills in adjusting themselves to function properly in the host cultures.  Kim & Nembhard (2010) study highlights that CCST enhances adjustment by enabling individuals develop their self-efficacy. This minimizes the perceived uncertainly characterizing the cross-cultural interactions enabling one thrive well in diverse environments. Furthermore, the strategy prepares expatriates for more challenging interpersonal relations and work-related activities when they interact with persons from different cultures. The scholars argue that CCST is a strategic tool for improving corporate culture and procedures because it promotes learning through induction of foreign civilizations in the organizations (Kim & Nembhard, 2010).

Various studies have identified numerous reasons for embracing CCST in an organization. Selmer (2000) argues that expatriates employees face serious problems when they move to work in a foreign environment. These employees are confronted with challenges such as insufficient transfer of managerial practices and adjustment problems. The study identifies that these stressors have a straightforward effect on the expatriates’ decision of leaving the host country before accomplishing their foreign assignment. For instance, scholars have highlighted that about 30% of the expatriates assigned foreign assignments terminate them early mainly because of their poor performance or their inability to settle into the new environment. Further studies indicate that even the expatriates who remain in the host country for the entire time of their assignment are less productive (Kim & Nembhard, 2010). Their low productivity is attributable to the delayed start-up time, poor relations, lost opportunities and other cultural related challenges. Scholars are convinced that CCST is effective in addressing important factors that determine the success of failure of employees (Lee, 2005). Evidently, CCST’s scheme empowers employees with mechanisms for adapting to physical and cultural differences. The model is also vital in developing an intercultural personality and improving employees’ communication habits. The need and significance of CCST emanates from such considerations. Kim & Nembhard (2010) argues that strategic cross cultural education schemes enable employees to rapidly adjust to the foreign culture by gradually developing  proficiency, familiarity and comfort about the expected habit, values and assumptions in the new culture. The significance of empowering individuals with the skills for coping with diverse environment is indisputable because cultures vary extensively.

According to Idrees, Javed, & Ahmed (2011), cross-cultural training provide an effective approach of exposing individuals to the facts and information regarding their own cultures, mentalities, preconceptions and international views. The training also enhances self-confidence in the persons and teams by empowering them with the knowledge of control. Furthermore, CCST enables individuals learn about other cultures by eliminating barriers of communication that promotes harmonious relationships and dialogue. A constructive consequence of cross-cultural education entails making people visualizes their roles within the workplace from an informed perspective. This is because the approach enhances self-analysis that makes people identify their weakness. Furthermore, self-evaluation motivates individuals into developing their strengths and performance (Lan-Ying, 2003).

According to Kim & Nembhard (2010), individuals with knowledge of the effect of culture or ones informed about the concealed factors influencing people’s behaviors are able to handle others with sensitivity. Particularly, intercultural training develops individuals who have high levels of understanding because they are able to analyze situation from diverse perspectives. Lee (2005) supports this position by noting that intercultural education is essential in developing a situation of mutual understands between individuals by describing the common ground. Individuals who need to succeed in international corporate world should prioritize the need of developing their intercultural skills. Studies highlight that professionals with the intercultural awareness have a competitive edge over others particularly when contesting for positions in transnational firms that have a huge multi-cultural personnel base (Selmer, 2000).

Ching-Hsiang & Hung-Wen (2008) study acknowledges the vital role of cross-cultural training by claiming that the experience provided by this scheme ensures that individuals are capable of managing psychological challenges when working in new environments. The study emphasizes that CCST equips individual with vital knowledge that enables them cope with behavioral, intellectual and emotional effects of culture shock. Particularly, cross-cultural education develops adaptable individuals by teaching international skills. Consequently, individuals can utilize such skills in managing multi-novel situations that challenge their daily activities. Lee (2005) summarizes the significance of intercultural training by stating that the general objective of the plan entails improving employees’ chances of success on the foreign setups by empowering them with the knowledge, expertise and attitudes essential for cross-cultural adjustment and interactions with the host nationals.

Idrees, Javed, & Ahmed (2011) proposes a strategy for designing effective cross-cultural training programs by noting that such schemes should utilize various theoretical frameworks. The scholar highlights the need of utilizing concepts from models such as social learning theory, culture shock model, U-curve adjustment theory and sequential concept of adjustment in the development of CCT plans. According to Ching-Hsiang & Hung-Wen (2008), application of the basic concepts of social learning theory in the intercultural training strategies, provide individuals with the opportunity of examining employee’s inappropriate habits in the host country and utilize them in formulating personality development strategies. Other studies indicate that the U curve theory provide vital information for planning by presenting an individual’s adjustment as a function of time. Consequently, the theory has the potential of illustrating various experiences that faces the employee at different times within the process of accomplishing his or her assignment. This is essential because trainers can utilize this information in designing CCST plan in accordance with the phases of adjustment. Lan-Ying (2003) validates the significance of utilizing concepts of culture shock model by observing that the strategy would enable designers of the CCST programs adjust training content to make them address challenges emanating with the culture shock. This would be essential in reducing levels of psychological distress in the employees and empower them with coping skills for handling physiological and emotional effects of culture shock.

Main thesis

The literature reviewed in the previous section highlights vital concepts regarding the idea of cross-cultural training. The studies tend to endorse the significance and the need of intercultural education. Various scholars are confident that the model is effective in developing skilled and versatile workforce that has high capability of handling diverse situations. Initially, it is evident that culture differences may affect employees’ activities considerably. This is because difficulties in adjusting to the new environment may affect an expatriate psychologically and emotionally. Culture can lead to conflicts between individuals because of differences in religion, values, family obligations, customs, degree of formality and personal grooming (McDermott, 2001). It is indisputable that conflicts are certainly likely to affect employees’ performance negatively. An ideal work environment is characterized with efficient communication and interactions. This is because individuals will always need to work with others in order to execute their duties successfully. If culture has a significant effect on employees’ success, then cross-cultural staffing becomes an integral strategy of surviving in a multi-cultural environment.

The strategic observation that the cross-cultural training scheme should be based on theoretical framework is well informed. As studies affirms, aligning training programs with these models would promote formulation of customized strategies capable of responding to major challenges that emanates with diverse cultures . The complex environment experienced in the international market and relations means that calculative strategies are essential in empowering employees. This is also essential because inducing a change in cultural-based habits, beliefs and perspectives is challenging (Lan-Ying, 2003).

It is apparent that developing individuals to enable them thrive in contrasting cultural settings is the only effective way of surviving in the contemporary world. This is because differences in cultures ought to persist, but the globalization rate is likely to continue increasing (Parnell, 2006). This scenario affirms the urgent need of employees who have multicultural knowledge. In this context, cross-cultural training prevails as an effective management strategy for present and future business settings. This means that no any international organization can manage to distance itself from the concept of cross-cultural staffing training. Consequently, the strategy ought to remain relevant in management especially in matters of international dimension.

Recommendations

The report proposes the adoption of the subsequent recommendations in order to foster the concept of cross-cultural staffing training within organizations.

  • Initially, organizations should prioritize the need of ensuring that their employees have pursued Cross-cultural education by investing on the strategy. This should include obtaining essential tools that would promote the development of staff and presenting commitment towards establishment of a culturally diverse environment.
  • Secondly, Cross–cultural training schemes should incorporate theoretical models such us social learning theory, culture shock model and U-curve adjustment theory to enhance their efficiency.
  • Furthermore, CCST models should emphasize strategies for working in diverse teams. Particularly, the model should empower staff with the knowledge and strategies for addressing issue and challenges that characterize a culturally diverse work environment.
  • Lastly, organizations should establish environment that develop employees with the expertise that is essential in offering customer services in a various settings. This should include supporting frontier staff in daily relations and communication with individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse origins.

Discussion

Empowering employees through cross-cultural training is likely to result to increased productivity of the employees and the entire organization. This is because the strategy ought to lead to the establishment of a staff that has exceptional skills for surviving in diverse environments. Furthermore, the approach will improve employees’ tolerance enabling them address the detrimental effect of aspects such as culture shock. This is because the frontline staff will understand how culture affects their daily activities especially when working in an international setting. Furthermore, the employees will be in a position of identifying barriers hindering access to services due to cultural and language distress. The strategy would make  employees understand the significance of including culture into the examination of business frameworks and the probable negative effects for failing to address particular cultural concerns. Consequently, the strategy has the potential of improving employee’s evaluation skills by integrating cultural aspect in practice frameworks.

The proposal for utilizing theoretical models when designing Cross-cultural training schemes is calculative. However, further studies should examine these models in correlation with the individual’s habits when introducesd to a foreign environment. This would develop knowledge of effective strategies for integrating theoretical models in CCST programs that would increase their efficiency. Furthermore, future studies should emphasize on establishing factors that has the potential of hindering individuals from developing intercultural expertise.

 

references

Ching-Hsiang L. & Hung-Wen L. (2008). A proposed model of expatriates in multinational corporations. Cross Cultural Management, 15(2), 176-193. doi: 10.1108/13527600810870615

Idrees, F., Javed, B., & Ahmed, F. (2011). Evaluation of expatriates performance and their training on international assignments. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 3(5), 335-351. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/904424075?accountid=45049

Kim, S., & Nembhard, D. A. (2010). Cross-Trained Staffing Levels With Heterogeneous Learning/Forgetting. IEEE Transactions On Engineering Management, 57(4), 560-574. doi:10.1109/TEM.2010.2048905

Lee, W. L. (2005). The factors influencing expatriates. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 6(2), 273-278. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/222876750?accountid=45049

Lan-Ying, H. (2003). Attitudes toward the management of international assignments- a comparative study. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 3(1), 336-336. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/222853947?accountid=45049

McDermott, M. (2001). Staffing the Reference Desk Improving Service Through Cross-Training and Other Programs. Legal Reference Services Quarterly, 19(1/2), 207-219

Parnell, J. A. (2006). Generic strategies after two decades: A reconceptualization of competitive strategy. Management Decision, 44, 1139-1154. doi:10.1108/00251740610690667

Selmer, J. (2000). A quantitative needs assessment technique for cross-cultural work adjustment training. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 11(3), 269-281. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/234903835?accountid=45049

 

 

 

 

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