Cross-cultural training is essential when companies opt to send employees to foreign countries to accomplish company's objectives. Sending employees without training them on the diverse culture they will encounter is a bad decision, which can lead to accumulation of losses. In addition, the approach used by the company to train their employees, also plays a role in the success of the employee in the foreign country. Different studies have provided different views concerning the major cross-cultural training approaches, but this paper supports the use of the experiential approach. This approach gives the employee an opportunity to work with the micro-culture of the host country, in an effort to prepare the employees effectively.
Regardless of the approach used, cross-cultural training is effective in preparing the employees for overseas assignments. There are various reasons or motives as to why companies send employee to foreign countries. The resolution to move to an overseas country is voluntary, which means that companies should not force their employee to move. Family has also proven to be a significant issue, but companies prefer when their employees move with their families. The company should always support the employee when abroad, both psychologically and financially. Doing this will increase the chances of success of the employee in the foreign country.
People have their own motives of moving to overseas countries. While some find motivation in work, others find motivation in love or adventures. Nonetheless, this paper will investigate the intent of sending employees to foreign countries. Therefore, the paper will provide information on cross-cultural training. Globalization is contributing to the reduction of the globe in size, and this has made international assignments important. This has further made it easier for movement across borders, which has made companies sufficient. Internationalization has made other firms to own companies in foreign countries (Ko, Yang, & Jung, 2011). Owing to this, firms are constantly sending employees to foreign countries, and this is why cross-cultural training is essential.
Because of cultural variations including levels of expertise, firms need to send employees from the parent country or into the host country. Some of the grounds behind this are to fill a position, develop management and develop organization. Prior to sending the employees, it is important to train them. The idea of preparing and supporting the employees for international jobs is training and development. It is essential to identify that failure of companies doing this; the employee is susceptible to fail in the given assignment. Then again, it is also crucial to think about the needs of the family in the training approach (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2008).
This is because many employees have families, and many employees may opt to eject such assignments because of family. Family is a significant factor as it can influence the assignment given. Therefore, addressing the issue of family will give the company a strategic approach to globalization, and subsequent success. Sending employees to foreign countries is a strategic move, which helps the company in its effort to gain internationalization. The employees also represent a possible competitive edge for success of global businesses. The research suggests that in most instances, the foreign assignments are challenging (Mendenhall et al., 2004).
Unfortunately, there have been many cases of employees failing to achieve the company's objectives, which further cause tremendous losses for the company. Even so, companies are not showing any signs of slowing down mainly because of the pursuit to increase foreign revenues, and employees are welcoming the abroad assignments, mainly due to the advantages involved with the foreign experience. Once companies aim to enter the global market, it has to avoid using the domestic strategies because they will not auger well in the global market. This means that companies should capitalize on the international opportunity to gain an understanding of what entails success when sending employees to foreign countries.
Business Strategy and Needs
Sending employees to foreign countries is a strategic move, which aims at meeting the firm's needs in various contexts. Founded in 1905, company A is a multinational company based in Michigan, USA. It is the fifth largest company dealing in technological products in the globe with around 200,000 employees working in over 90 plants and facilities globally. Furthermore, the company now encompasses 8 more brands, and every brand originates from different countries with different cultures. In this context, the company needs to open a design center in Japan in an effort to manufacture products based on local preferences. In Japan, the company will be able to ship the product to other countries.
It is not the first time the company is sending employees to foreign assignments to help in the development of products. Over the years, more than 200 employees have gone on foreign assignments, and currently, there are 50 employees on foreign assignments. Currently, the firm has improvised a personal computer, which can perform as a normal computer, but it is going for half the price of the ordinary computer. There is a motive to guard the technology behind this computer, and this is why the company is sending an employee to Japan. In Japan, the demand for the product is significant, and can help the company reach other markets in Europe.
Country Analysis: Hofstede Approach
Japan and USA
In relation to power distance, power values are high in Japan when compared to USA. Even though it is impossible to show the country that has experienced a shift in values, there has been an achievement in the trend towards convergence. The U.S. values have always been individualistic, whereas Japan is always collectivist. Therefore, it is apparent that in the union between the U.S. And Japan concerning individualism, collectivism has occurred. The factor of masculinity shows that there has been divergence in values between the U.S. And Japan. In this case, Japan has become more feminine, when compared to U.S.A. Values concerning uncertainty shows a higher figure in Japan than the U.S.A., which suggests that Japan has become more risk adverse, and the U.S.A. has become more risk seeking. Japan has become more pragmatic than U.S.A, which suggests a shift of values in Japan. Lastly, U.S.A. shows high indulgence rates when compared to Japan. This shows that the U.S.A. has values of indulgence, and Japan shows a lower score showing restraint (The Hofstede Centre, n.d.).
Source: (The Hofstede Centre, n.d.).
Job Analysis and Description
The job required in Japan is that of a computer programmer/developer. The employee will be responsible for converting normal computer programs to detailed instructions for coding into the computer language. In addition, the employee will develop and write computer programs, which will be in a position to store, locate, and retrieve particular documents, data, and information. This will involve the coding of an operating system for a new computer technology. In the creation of the new PC, the employee offered substantial assistance. The job entails correction of errors by making proper changes, and re-evaluating the developed program to make sure that it provided correct results. In addition, the job requires the employee to compile and write documentation of program development. The job also requires consistent consultations with the managerial, engineering, and technical staff to ascertain program intent verify problems and offer recommendations for change.
Cross-Cultural Training Strategy
Cross-cultural training aims at assisting employees living and working in the overseas country. It enhances the cross-cultural adjustment and strengthens their capacity to comprehend and appreciate different cultural settings. Cross-cultural training further aims at managing the personal and professional change, managing cultural variations, and helping employees manage their roles in different cultural setting. There are several approaches to cross-cultural training and they include the cognitive approach, the affective approach, and the experiential approach. The cognitive approach involves the learning of information from a lecture-type approach. The affective approach involves learning using methods, which increase the affective responses from the trainee and results to cultural insights. Lastly, the experiential approach involves the learning of techniques, which provide realistic simulations to the employee or trainee, and this includes evaluation centers or field simulations (Ko, Yang, & Jung, 2011).
This approach is the most effective when it comes to learning different cultures. It involves the reaction of the trainee to the information-acquiring approach. The reason of choosing this approach is that it provides realistic simulations, for example, evaluation centers and field simulations. The experience gained in the field, with people from cultures of the country can work well in achieving the objective of cross-cultural training. In addition, this approach will allow the employee to apply theory into practice. The company will dedicate resources to ensure that the employee does not find a challenging working environment in Japan (Caligiuri et al., 2001).
The employee will be able develop skills, which will enhance performance for positive interactions with the local staff. The approach, further, makes the employee to be…