The identification of problems or rather challenges among organizations and business across the globe is a prerequisite towards providing lasting solutions to these problems. This is as a result of the fact that globalization has created a competitive environment business which requires businesses and organizations to identify their problems and provide concrete solutions in order to remain relevant as well as make an impact in their industry of operation. Note that the societies across the globe have been growing towards becoming one global village. With this in mind, challenges have emerged on the way businesses and organizations need to structure themselves in order to satisfy customers from different cultural, social and political backgrounds. More so, the integration of technology from different societies has also posed as a serious challenge towards the management of businesses and organizations. In consistent with this, some of the challenges that businesses and organizations face across the globe are personality problems with their employees, organizational problems and cultural clashes.
Nature of Problems Identified from the Case Study
One of the organizations that have continued to face these challenges is RosAmTrust. In reference to the case study which focused on a day of its Human Resource manager, Aleksei Ustinov, whose experience in a day brings out a perfect picture of the challenges that organizations and businesses go through. To begin with, Aleksei as a Human Resource Manager faces the challenge of cultural clashes. To begin, having had an opportunity to train for several week at an American university, Aleksei was exposed to a different business culture which focused on providing details of problems and then offering solutions, not only in the short-run but also in the long-run. Furthermore, this was coupled by development of a specific vision which outlined the direction of the business and organization. According to Br%u0103tianu (2008, p.20), visionary companies display a powerful drive for progress that enables them to change and adapt without compromising their cherished core ideals. Whereas American organizations appreciated the development of strategic visions, most countries across the globe are yet to embrace the culture of developing strategic vision as a way of increasing excellence as well as position the organization to make an impact in its line of industry, both now and in future.
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In addition to this, accepting change is a culture which is cultivated. Note that organizations without such kinds of organizational cultural values cannot embrace change easily even when this change is necessary. Ke & Wei (2008, p.429) assert that organizational culture is defined typically in terms of the way people think, which has a direct influence on the ways in which they behave. Essentially, the case study elucidates a scenario of cultural clashes in the sense that the organizational culture at RosAmTrust did not support or rather embrace change which was critical to its success. As a result, when Aleksei tries to introduce change from what he had learned while studied in the United States, he is resisted by the top management.
Additionally, there is also an element of cultural clashes in the way RosAmTrust manages time as a resource and in the way different cultures such as the American manages time. In reference Stockdale & Crosby (2004, p.89), in the Anglo-American subculture, punctuality is part of the typical work script. Therefore, the meeting between the management and the American experts reveals that there is a need to deal with punctuality as a culture in this company. The case study shows that the meeting between the management of RosAnTrust and the American was delayed as a result of lack of an interpreter, something which could have been sorted out long before these Americans arrived since the management understood way in time that that the first interpreter was not able to attend this meeting.
Stereotypes were also other issues that Aleksei needed to deal with in this company. Note that Aleksei was addressed by Konstantin Bobrov, his colleague on the same level of management in RosAmTrust more as a junior rather than an employee on the same level. To Konstantin Bobrov, Aleksei had no experience and as a result, he could not work with him unless he had worked for more than 20 years. According to Hofstede (2009, p.16), there were assumptions which were particularly wrong in regard to some aspect of the society, yet they have been adopted as correct by the society. Furthermore, lack of an appropriate conflict handling system was also an important issue which was supposed to be addressed by Aleksei.
Similarly, there are organizations problems which are clearly visible from this case study. To begin with, as an organization, there is need to lay down structures that accommodate change or at least conduct further research and studies on any when it is proposed. RosAmTrust did not have structures which could accommodate change and as a result, this remained as another area which needs to be dealt with by Aleksei. In addition, defining roles and duties in different departments was also a challenge which was encountered by the Human Resource Manager. Roles define the behaviors, duties and responsibilities of each position (Marutollo 1990, p.7). In reference to RosAmTrust’s case, its organizational structure did not define the roles and responsibilities which were supposed to be carried out by each employee. Therefore, such cases as the manager hiring employees instead of the Human Resource Manager were common in this company. Therefore, this was also a problem which Aleksei needed to deal with.
Apart from organizational structure and cultural clashes, the other problem which Aleksei needed to address regarded personality. To begin with, his colleague Konstantin Bobrov was a temperamental person who did not accept advice from other people, especially when the person was less experienced or not an employee of the company. Instead, he reacted with anger and dismisses Aleksei without even listening to his ideas. This is compounded by the fact that Bobrov refused to work with Aleksei until he had worked for more than 20 years. Apart from this, it is worth to note that personality traits vary from one culture to the other.
According to McCrae (2002), the scientific way of characterizing the personality profile of a culture would be by measuring traits in a representative sample of the culture. Therefore, in his considerations of personality traits, Alksei needs to consider personality traits of people from different cultural backgrounds. In addition to factoring the cultural backgrounds of people in dealing with their personality traits, age was also a factor consider. In this regard, age, especially from adolescence to mid-adulthood, tends to make individuals better adjusted, more altruistic, and better organized, but also less enthusiastic and less open to new experience (McCrae 2002). On the other hand, one of the ways of examining or rather analyzing personality traits would be the Five Factor Model or rather the big five theory and the Disc Theory Model. For instance, in this scenario, one of the personalities which lacked among the characters who are mentioned in the case study is lack of agreeableness, whereby the employees of this company could be trusted.
Aleksei Ustinov’s Case
There are various factors which have been observed from the case study of Aleksei Ustinov and his day of work at RosAmTrust. Therefore, whereas the issues which have arisen in this case study may be ignored and left to the top management for them to resolve them, this would be jeopardizing the work of Aleksei. Therefore, he has the responsibility of taking action to guarantee his peaceful stay at this company, since inaction means that he would continue to face the unnecessary challenges which he is facing at the moment. There are two important areas which needs his immediate attention. These are; his personal development and the future of the company.
Aleksei Ustinov’s Personal Development
The Human Resource Manager is one of the key individuals in a business or organizations. To begin with, it is important to understand that the development of appropriate talent which will give the organization the ability to move and make an impact in a particular industry depends heavily on him or her. In line with this, personal development of the human resource manager is an important step towards acquiring vital skills, knowledge and experience which are necessary in accomplishing the task of talent search. One of the most important step towards this is acquisition of appropriate training, knowledge and skills.
In reference to Aleksei’s case, the first step towards establishing himself as a successful human resource manager would be to take up course at a renowned college or university on human resource management. Note that whereas Aleksei has been trained in management development program, this does not guarantee that he would be successful as a human resource manager since the approach which is taken by management development training program is totally different with human resource management course. McKenzie & Traynor (2001, p.44) affirm that current emphasis in management development focuses on individual redevelopment and the needs of the management personnel rather than just those at lower levels. On the other hand, human resource management is an approach to labor management which treats labor as a valued asset rather than a variable cost and which consequently counsels investment in the labor resource through training and development and through measures designed to attract and retain a committed workforce (Armstrong 2006, p.31).
Apart from focusing on acquiring more knowledge and skills by taking up a human resource management course, Aleksei has the responsibility of gaining an insight on how to manage people from different social, cultural political and economic backgrounds, especially the employees. Briscoe, Schuler & Claus (2008, p.76) argue that more than any other aspect of business experience, our knowledge and understanding of culture affects the outcome of business venture. Therefore, a deeper insight into the understanding of cultural backgrounds and values would remain as an important aspect towards creating a winning team in this organization. This would be compounded by skills and knowledge on different motivational approaches as they used in motivating employees. Note that without motivation, the work of a human resource manager together with an excellent organizational structure would amount to nothing. Therefore, having acquired the above skills, knowledge and experience, Aleksei would be position to work effectively as a human resource manager.
Future of the Company
The future of RosAmTrust as a company in Russia would depend on speedy and appropriate actions which are taken to turn around the company towards a different direction. In this respect, one of the issues that would need to be addressed is the organizational design and structure. To begin with, Aleksei would have to propose to the management to renew its organizational structure by defining the duties, roles and responsibilities of every department and job position. As a Human Resource Manager, Aleksei was tasked with the responsibility of defining and the roles of every position in the company as well as ensuring that the position was delivering according to the expectation.
From the case study, it is evident that the organizational design and structure of this company had problems which were supposed to be dealt with as fast as possible as a way of reorganizing the company and positioning it to meet its target in the market. For instance, Ron, who was a marketing manager spilled over in his roles and duties and in this case, he had diverted as far as identifying a prospective employee, and goes as far as interviewing her. However, Shapira & International Research Group on R&D Management (1995, p.91) reiterate that a clear structure of roles must be designed and maintained by the management.
In addition to pushing forth for an implementation of an organizational design and structure which will be used to define roles, duties and responsibilities, there is also a need to focus on introducing organizational rules and regulations which will assist this company to lay down an outline on how employees should work, and their safety measures which need to be observed and consequences which results from disobedience of these rules and regulations. Dierkes (2003, p.599), rules are basic elements of organizations. These rules and regulations would need to be customized to come up with organizational values which are long-lasting. These values can be embedded in the company’s strategy towards emerging as a market leader in its line of operation. These would eliminate cases such as failure to use protective garments when operating machines thus exposing one to the danger of being injured and as result expose the company to legal litigation for failure to provide a safe working environment. More importantly, Gilliland, Steiner & Skarlicki (2003, p.20) argue that the content of an organizational change as the types of values predominant in a firm influence the likelihood that change will be viewed positively.
In addition to this, Aleksei should focus on introducing conflict resolution guidelines in the Human Resource Department to ensure that every conflict which arises in the organization is dealt with before getting out of hand. Currently, Aleksei, as a Human Resource Manager faces challenges when dealing with conflicts since there is no specified or outline process of conflict management in RosAmTrust organizational structure. Dana (2001, p.137) asserts that there are four specific mediation tools: managerial mediation, self-mediation, team mediation, and preventive mediation, which are utilized in different environments to ensure that a peaceful working environment is maintained.
When Aleksei succeeds in instituting the above organizational environment, there would be need for him to finally organize training of different departments in order to assist the organization to position itself as a market mover. In reference to Mills et al. (2006, p.282), having an organizational design strategy that has adequate resources, effective control systems, role clarity, and leadership is necessary, but not sufficient to imply team efficacy. Instead, training is paramount to enlighten the management as well employees on how to operate in the new organizational environment. As a result, the company would build a foundation that is strong enough to help it face future challenges in this industry.
Advice to the US Manager of the Russian Company
The US Manager of the Russian company also needs to understand a few issues concerning the management of this company. To begin with, this company is setup in a Russian culture which is totally different from the American culture. As a result of this, the Russian companies have a character that portrays a lack of efficiency which is a core value among the American firms. Therefore, to help ease this problem, the US manager of the Russian company should organize trainings for this company’s management, a factor that would enable the leaders of this company to learn skills which will enhance their deliver of service based on efficiency as a framework. In other words, the US manager for this Russian company would need to carry out cross-cultural training to enhance the cultural relationship between employees from the two nations. Similarly, every American who is send on a foreign assignment would need to be trained in order to avert conflicts which might arise as a result of lack of understanding between the cultures. According to Punnett (2009, p.243), cross-cultural training helps expatriates adjust to the new culture and to the foreign assignment.
In addition to cross-cultural training, the US manager of the Russian company would need to focus on finding employees who have multilingual skills. This would minimize the misunderstandings which arise as a result of language barriers. Hartel, Zerbe & Ashkanasy (2006, p.176) reiterate that although English is becoming the international negotiation language, it is not used in the same way by everyone, and this can create a barrier to communication. When these issues are considered in detail, the US Manager of the Russian Company would be able to manage it effectively.
National Culture and Organizational Culture
There is a relationship between national culture and organizational culture which have been identified in the past and which affects the way people work. To begin with, it is important to understand that people from different parts of the globe work differently from each other. In this regard, one cannot fail to observe the fact that people in Asia work differently from people in the United States. Similarly, the way people from Africa work are different from the way people in Europe work. Keeley (2001, p.22) observed that organizational culture is strongly shaped by the national culture despite the fact that variations in a given national culture as well as the influences of other factors such as charismatic leaders often lead to differences in organizational culture.
Therefore, people from different national culture would have a different approach towards the culture of the organization. In this regard, organizational cultures in different nations varied greatly as these cultures were influenced by the national culture in which such organization was located. For instance, the case study gives a scenario of cross-cultural differences which arose between the Americans and the Russians on punctuality: Russians in this case are portrayed to lack time consciousness as compared to the Americans who are time conscious. It is important to understand that irrespective of the fact that the influences of national culture on organizational culture are important aspects of organizational behavior, they have often been ignored (Driskill & Brenton 2005, p.29). Therefore, the management of businesses and organizations need to observe these issues when consideration cross-cultural operations.
There are also different constraints that culture imposes on motivation and performance management in organizations across the globe. To begin with, the perceptions of different performance and motivational actions are some of the factors that have been found to shed more light on the constraints that are imposed on motivation and performance as a result cultural differences. For instance, in a Russian culture, when wages are too low, the performance and the motivation of the employees would be relatively low. To them, the workplace environment does not really matter.
Therefore, enhancing the workplace may not necessarily result in improved performance and heightened motivation when wages are kept at a relatively low rate. On the other hand, if one raised the wages of workers in the United States and maintained a poor working environment, the workers were likely to perform poor and loose their motivation. These cultural aspects have been found to challenge the management of businesses and organizations, with the management being required to possess a relative understanding of different cultures before implementing any motivational or performance strategy, lest they fail completely.
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