international emphasis on education, including the study of languages and foreign cultures, is today still very limited and biased, creating a gap between the job skills and competencies acquired during studies and the international component increasingly present in every work environment, where the young graduate will have to travel or relate to foreign clients, suppliers and several stakeholders. De Wit, Jaramillo, and Knight (2005) report that the development of advanced communication, new technology, increased labor mobility, market economy and trade liberalization, increased private investment, decreased support of higher education, and the development of lifelong learning, are all key drivers for universities to have to internationalize their curricula. They also add that on the government side, the only attention given to this need is for educational programs preparing for government departments, and not for business and the industry at large. Therefore, it is evident that with an increasing global environment, the gap between university curricula and employment needs will also increase.
II. Research Questions
Research questions include the following stated questions:
(1) What are the competencies that multinational employers expect young MBA graduates to have acquired in their university education prior to securing a post in their International Human Resource Department?
(2) What is the degree of priority of these competencies?
(3) To what extent are new recruits successful during their first year?
(4) Where do competencies acquired in MBA programs in International Human Resources match company's expectations?
The hypotheses in this study include those as follows:
(1) Competences required are both technical and behavioral (exposure to different cultures, knowledge of HR practices in an international context, fluency in different languages, excellent communication skills, and flexibility and ability to tend to be more on the soft skills than technical skills)
(2) Soft skills are more a priority as opposed to technical skills
(3) New recruits are not prepared as they should be or as is expected in their first year
(4) Competencies are manifest more in theory than in practice.
IV. Qualitative and Quantitative -- Mixed Methods
The methodology chosen for this research study is one of a qualitative nature and one that is conducted through surveys/questionnaires distributed to human resources personnel in multinational corporations that seek to gain information concerning their view on the necessary skills and knowledge that new hire need to work in their corporations and the competencies and readiness of new employees and recruits.
This type methodology was chosen by the AARP Human Resource Survey of 1003 human resources directors of companies with 20 or more employees in the attempt to understand what these employers seek in new recruits as well as their beliefs and expectations of new recruits in regards to the recruits competencies and skills. Respondents were required to meet the following characteristics:
(1) Head, manager or high-level human resources executive;
(2) Been with the organization at least six months;
(3) Respondent worked at headquarters, a subsidiary headquarters of the company's sole location;
(4) had a high degree of influence over recruiting and workforce planning;
(5) Had a high degree of knowledge and/or decision-making responsibility for training and development programs for employees. (Perron, 2011)
Weights were assigned to the survey/questionnaire responses upon the basis of the number of employees of the organization for which the respondents to survey/questionnaires represented and these weights were assigned as follows:
Number of Employees Population Sample Weighted Sample
5-99-58.0% 25.0% 58.1%
100-499 30.1% 25.0% 30.1%
500-999 5.4% 25.0% 5.4%
1000+ 6.4% 25.0% 6.4%
The same type of approach was taken and reported in the work of Pattameak (2011) which explored the expectation of employers hiring new recruits in tourism and hospitality. Reported is the objective of examining the needs of new recruits entering the tourism organization in terms of their preparation to be effective in their work roles in the tourism industry. In all walks of life the role of the worker is of primary importance in terms of how the worker conceives their role and in terms of the expectations of the employer organization. Some roles require precision in a specifically orchestrated process while other roles demand such as require creativity and ingenuity. While there is great diversity in the roles new recruits fill across the vastness of business, political, social, and economic operations what does not differ from one organization to the next is the need to understand expectations of human resources personnel and the actual offerings of new recruits to the organizational structure. Toward this end Pattameak (2011) reports a study that ensued and was reported in the work entitled "The 8th SMEs in a Global Economy Conference 2011:" Rising to the Global Challenge: Entrepreneurship and SMEs development in Asia" (Pattameak, 2011, p.1) The reason why this is important to understand is highlighted in the work of (Pattameak, 2011, p.1) who makes the following statement:
"As a consequence, employer's expectations can lead to predictions about service quality, which can also influence the evaluation of service quality (Rust and Oliver, 1994). As Bettman (1979) refers to past experience as one basis for forecasting future service performance, consumers might predict the likelihood of poor service by reflecting on service received in the past and projecting that same rate of failure on future performance." (Pattameak, 2011, p.1)
This is precisely the type of phenomenon that qualitative research is appropriate in examining It is additionally reported that the study methodology utilized in the study reported by Pattmeak (2011) was characterized by a focus on the "expectation and perception of the tourism and hospitality's employers of vocational college graduates. This study applies the quantitative research method by using a survey as the specific method for gathering data. The target population of this study is 92 employers of 3-5 star hotels in Thailand that have employed vocational tourism and hospitality graduates in the academic year 2011." (Perron, 2011, p.1) It is reported as well that the sampling in the study was taken from employees and specifically human resources managers, front desk clerks, housekeepers, concierge, and room service as well as tour operators." (Perron, 2011, p.1) Two key variable utilized in the study are reported as having been: (1) employees expectation; and (3) employees perception for analysis of the functional and psychological image dimensions. (Perron, 2011, p.1) Following collection of data from the survey/questionnaire, the data were "coded, stored, and analyzed through use of the States Program for the Social (SPSS) version "…to interpret the data of means, frequency, percentage, and standard division." (Perron, 2011, p.1 ) Use of both the qualitative and quantitative study methodology results in what is known as a mixed methods study. This type of methodology is one that is appropriate in examining the issue of HR organizational expectations of new recruits in the company.
The work of Bartlett and Horwitz (2005) also report a study that examined the perception of Human Resources personnel on recruit readiness and specifically for the IT industry. The study reported by Dobbins involved data being collected from HR executives and IT employees to discover the "differences in their perceptions toward the influence of industry-sponsored credentials on employee recruitment." Grounded theory research is reported to involve "the generation of innovative theory derived from data collected in an investigation of 'real-life' situations relevant to the research problem." (Gasson, nd, p.80) Grounded theory may use quantitative or qualitative methods of study. (Day, 1999) The grounded theory approach is designed to develop and integrate a set of ideas and hypotheses in an integrated theory that accounts for behavior in any substantive area." (Glaser and Strauss, 1967, Glasser, 1978, 1992; Strauss 1987; Straus and Corbin, 1998, Lowe, 1996 cited in: Glasson, nd, p.81) Borgatti (nd) writes "The grounded theory approach, particularly the way Strauss develops it, consists of a set of steps whose careful execution is thought to "guarantee" a good theory…