International Training and Development Essay

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International Training and Development

International training and management development are amongst the well-known themes of business management structures. The remarkable work of different researchers on the significance and implementation of these theories is used by Multinational Enterprises (MNE's) to some extent. However, MNE's have failed to adopt the entire essence of this theme and only bits and pieces of this culture have been implemented. This paper is a representation of the conjectures on this subject and the way they have been implemented in practical world. Using the existing research work, this paper highlights the difference between the applications and philosophies of this in academic and practical world. No matter how hard one tries to bridge the gap between the two, a crack always increases the distance. International training and management development is an important tool to deal with the side effects of globalization. As companies extend their boundaries outside their homeland, the need to maintain consistency within the organization also increases. The workforce employed by these companies includes people from diverse range of cultures. In the competitive environment of today, an organization's workforce is its backbone. Therefore, effective training and development of these employees is essential to an organization's survival. This paper highlights the reasons behind ineffective training and development techniques in MNE's.

Introduction

Globalization reduced the economic barriers between nations, thus creating a route for companies to extend their boundaries and exploit opportunities outside their homeland. These companies became corporate giants with branches and subsidiaries throughout the world further enhancing their business. The creation of Multinational Enterprises started in 1990s, and this spurred the interest in International Human Resource Management (IHRM). Globalization resulted in organizations having an assorted workforce. Effective training of employees was necessary to maintain consistency within the organization and to ensure that goals of employees and organization are synchronized. This was a key to the success of international business. Companies operating in the global industry are likely to be more concerned about effective human resource management as compared to the local ones. At this point, prior work of numerous researchers is worth mentioning as they divided the concept of IHRM into three parts, "what, how and by whom." They argued that for MNE's the first step is to integrate the organizational strategy (what), even before the effective execution (How) of this strategy and the development of managers (by whom) to deal with international issues are recognized (Thang and Quang, 2007, p. 139-49).

Although different researchers have studied this topic, we do not have sufficient material on the practical implementation of IHRM strategies and the related issues. This is one of the barriers towards the success of international businesses, accompanied by the inefficiency of organizations to prepare the managers for all kinds of problems faced by global industry. The lack of international managers in organizations can be justified by the fact that organizations are still unaware about the importance of HRM strategies and the problems that come as a package deal with a diverse workforce. Furthermore, the research work on IHRM is mostly confined to the Western world. As a result, we do not have adequate material on the international training and management development of MNE's operating in other economies (Shen and Darby, 2004, p. 342-62). This article talks about the different concepts of international training and management development with respect to MNE's. Along with the literature available on this topic, the instigator has discussed the various issues related to International training and management development, initiating with international training and its different approaches and then moving on to international development (McSweeney, 2009, p. 933-57).

Definition and explanation of key terms

International training: there is no clear definition of international training available; however for this study it will be defined as all training procedures that an employee goes through before he is transferred to work in a foreign environment or structure.

International development: International development has no standardized definition as well; it is mostly used to encompass all those harmonized efforts that lead to human development in an intricate and culturally diverse structure. It can include all aspects from macro (foreign affairs, governance) to micro (healthcare, education) management. An important aspect of international development is that it deals with the rules and regulations that were structured after World War II and hence is focused on improving conditions that prior colonies had to survive in from poverty to human rights.

MNEs: this is a company that franchises globally and has manufacture industry, service centers and production activities outside the home country i.e. The country where the parent company was originally formed.

HRM: Human resource management can be simply defined as the strategies and management policies that are implemented to administer the activities and performance of the company's employees or human capital.

IHRM: International human resource management mainly deals with the management and administration of the needs and demands of those employees that are working in the foreign franchises of the company. This can have a wider range than HRM as it can incorporate dealings with cultural, economic and governance issues (amongst others) of the host country i.e. The country where the company has franchised.

Importance of international training and development

As companies extend their boundaries and start operating in different cultures and economies, they become prone to the daily improvements in technology and the barriers to success. This highlights the need for organizations to be more flexible to accept the different challenges on their way, and that the availability of an effectively trained workforce with internationally oriented managers is a prerequisite of success in global industry. This point has been further proved by later researchers who acknowledged the adverse relation between the harshness of company's training program and the failure rate of MNE's. The more strict the training program, the lower are the chances that it will be doomed. Researchers have focused on the problems faced by employees in foreign countries and based on this research conclusions have been made that cultural differences should be given priority and dealt with at an early stage. According to these studies, cultural training will help managers and employees to blend in the new environment and reduce the awkwardness. The researchers identified a connection between the expectations of employees and provision of international training. Cultural training should be relevant and pertain to the differences between the cultures concerned in the scenario for it to be effective. Only then it can meet the expectations of employees (Caligiuri et al., 2001, p. 357-72).

The concept of International management development resembles that of a tree with various branches, each branch pointing towards a problem to be addressed. The different branches include establishment, nurturing and advancement of international managers, all pointing towards the related problems which includes international management development schemes, promotion criteria, different approaches to international management development and factors affecting its implementation. International management development is essential to maintain a well trained diverse workforce which is the backbone of MNE's'; therefore, as mentioned earlier, it is a prerequisite of organization's success in the global industry. It synchronizes different cultures and enhances progress in international operations. This is evident by the work of Bartlett and Ghoshal (2000, p. 132-42) who identified that international managers can improve the connections between different branches and subsidiaries of an organization, thus promoting effective communication. Therefore, management development is the joint that connects the different bones of an organization. Other studies further highlight the crucial nature of international management development stating that it is the most complicated and difficult task for MNE's to form and maintain a battalion of well trained managers who can survive the attacks of the changing environment.

International training provision

The notion of international training is new and complicated for developing countries, therefore, the progress rates in these economies is slow. For example, China is amongst the countries that took an initiative to go global. However, it fails to arrange cultural awareness and training programs for employees migrating to different places. Few Chinese companies try to organize a counseling session for employees, but as was the case with some European firms, the session lasts for not more than 3-4 days and therefore fails to serve its intended purpose. Developing nations are far behind the stable nations when it comes to international business as they are not fully aware of the consequences and challenges waiting for them ahead (McSweeney, 2009, p. 933-57). This is evident from the practices of Chinese companies at the time of relocation of employees. Research states that employees are not given adequate time to mentally prepare themselves for the migration. As there is no formal documented policy regarding the pre-departure and post arrival training of expatriates, the decision about whether there is a need for training is left with the local managers (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80).

Reasons for not providing adequate training

Western Multinational Enterprises have their own justifications for not carrying out international training of employees. One of the major reasons is that they are unaware about the significance of training.…[continue]

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