Ireland And Foreign Management: A Positive Collaboration Research Proposal

Length: 5 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Economics Type: Research Proposal Paper: #40251241 Related Topics: Foreign Countries, Foreign Policy, Economists, International Management
Excerpt from Research Proposal :

International Managers in Ireland

This is a research proposal into the question of how international managers working in Ireland have impacted the workforce and the culture of Ireland. Among the international managers (reflected by the available literature) that work and have worked in Ireland there are a number of IT companies from the United States -- and their managers have had an impact on the economy, the workforce, and hence, the culture of Ireland.

It is worth presenting the fact that Ireland today is enjoying an economic surge -- unemployment is down and there are signs that prosperity will continue to be on the upswing -- as it pulls completely out of its recent recession doldrums . In large part these optimistic economic aspects are thanks to recent foreign investments in Ireland. Along with foreign firms come foreign managers, and this paper will cover issues related to how managers from international firms are accepted, how well they function within the Irish workforce, and how they interact with the Irish culture.

In the book Ireland on the World Stage, the authors point out that not too many years ago "…Ireland was an inward-looking, inefficient, economic basket case," and its population was being depleted through emigration (Crotty, et al., 2014). But today, due to its membership in the EU, and because of an "internationalized economy," Ireland is a very attractive location for "further foreign investment" and among the investors in Ireland the U.S. has become "a major conduit" for technological innovation (Crotty). Along with the U.S. investments are U.S.-trained managers,

Literature Review -- Foreign Investments adds Jobs

The newest figures showing the number of foreign-owned businesses investing in Ireland are encouraging for the Irish economy and for those job-seekers still on the outside hoping to get in. The Irish Examiner reports that there was a 43% rise in foreign firms investing in Ireland during the first six months of 2014. About 40% of those firms investing in Ireland are doing so for the first time, and the investments during the first six months of 2014 should result in "8,000 jobs," which is a thousand more than were created during the first six months of 2013, the Irish Examiner reports.

As of August, 2014, the unemployment rate in Ireland dipped to 11.5%, the lowest rate since the fourth quarter in 2009, and slightly lower than the average unemployment rate in euro, which stands at 11.8% (Kennedy, 2014). The report, based on data from the Central Statistics Office, shows that about 4,300 jobs were added in the second quarter of 2014; moreover, many of the jobs that have been added are full-time, whereas during the recovery from the global recession many of the jobs were indeed part time (Kennedy, p. 2).

Literature Review -- Foreign Investment in Ireland

Most of the foreign investment into Ireland since the 1990s -- investments which Ireland has welcomed following many years of depending on UK investments -- have helped Ireland's wish for "major success" in business growth (Crotty, 74). The U.S. technology firms and the managers from those firms have helped Ireland develop a "high-growth, export-oriented sector and has led to a shift towards more high-skilled production" -- and a shift away from "dependence on the UK" (Crotty, 74). Ireland has indeed become a "major conduit of U.S. technological innovation into Europe" since the 1990s, Crotty continues, and that fact has led to Ireland becoming a "major location for…information technology and pharmaceuticals" (74).

This in turn has led to "spill-over" positive effects into the domestic economy of Ireland, in terms of technological know-how being taught to young Irish staff by foreign managers who arrived first in the 1960s and 1970s, Crotty explains on page 75.

While America accounts for about 70% of Ireland's foreign direct investment (FDI), it was also America and other foreign investments that kept the Irish recession from becoming worse than it was, according to The Economist....

...

The Irish Development Agency (IDA) reports that while the FDI dropped from 23.9% of Irish GDP in 2009, to a very low 10.5% in 2011, it rebounded (by 2012) to 19.4% (The Economist). Foreign companies operating in Ireland employ an estimated 270,000 people, and those foreign companies, with foreign managers, pay out €17 billion annually in wages to Irish workers and the foreign companies generate exports valued at €122 billion.

Many Irish workers prefer American managers' style of leadership

In the book The Culture of an Information Economy: Influences and Impacts in the Republic of Ireland, the author uses direct feedback from Irish workers as to why they prefer managers from American companies. This gives a reader some direct response from people on the front lines of American technology companies working in Ireland. For example, "Liam" explains why he prefers the "management style found in the American IT firms" over the more traditional firms in Ireland and the UK (Trauth, 2001):

The American work ethic at present in Ireland is a "…reflection of what the Irish work ethic would have been" if Ireland hadn't been a colony of England (Trauth, 2001). Liam explains that years ago many workers from farms went directly into technology, "and they were fantastic," he recalls. They didn't even want to go home at night, but after awhile (working under British-own companies in Ireland) the hierarchical influence "came more to bear on them" and they adopted negative attitudes, which were "normal" under British influences (Trauth, 273). .

"Declan" expresses support for the American style of management in Ireland. That is because by their nature, Irish workers find "…being told what to do absolutely contradictory to their wishes" (Trauth, 274). However, the American manager typically promotes a discussion of the company's goals, and that is "very attractive" to Irish workers, Declan explains (Trauth, 274). After a year or so working under the supervision of an American manager -- and you "discover…that management are prepared to actually listen to what you consider reasoned objection," and as a result of listening, those managers "actually change the way they're doing things, this is like manna from heaven," Declan admitted (Trauth, 274).

Research Aims, Objectives, and Questions to be addressed

Among the objectives to be pursued in this project is to gain an understanding of how big an impact foreign managers have had in Ireland. What was the economic situation prior to the time when Ireland was beginning to solicit foreign investment? The Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) -- published in July, 2014 -- reflects that over 18,000 jobs have been created in the last three years (www.enterprise.gov). How was that carried out and how did foreign managers dovetail with the push to bring in foreign investments? What part did foreign managers play in the growth of business in Ireland? "We are already succeeding in rebuilding our economy," according to Richard Bruton, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in Ireland (2014). If that is true, what role did managers from foreign corporations play in that success story?

Solid research needs to be conducted into the FDI policies of Ireland; for example, what tax breaks and other inducements does Ireland utilize to attract foreign investment, which of course comes with foreign managers? Why would a foreign manager wish to leave Australia, or the EU, or America, to come to Ireland and work with Irish employees?

How do foreign managers fit in to the culture of Ireland? Do foreign managers live within the neighborhoods that surround the facilities where the foreign managers work -- or do foreign managers tend to live in isolated housing where they can mingle and interact with others from their native countries? These are just examples of questions to be addressed in order to fully explore the over-arching issue that is being pursued?

Research Methodology

A portion of the research that needs to be conducted can be accomplished through a thorough review of the available literature. Through the use of Google Books, and of university and college libraries, there are appropriate reference materials. But there are newspapers in Ireland that also need to be researched in search of pertinent information, and databases in university online libraries are available, with peer-reviewed articles that can provide background into the questions relating to the dynamics of international managers working and living in Ireland.

A far more in-depth method of research would be to interview Irish workers who have interacted with foreign managers. Not one, not a few, but up to thirty or forty Irish workers involved in facilities where foreign managers are at work need to be interviewed. The interviews must be consistent across the board, with well-thought-out questions based on scholarly research into how such interviews are conducted.

Moreover, foreign managers should be interviewed as well. What has been their experience thus far in Ireland? How cooperative are Irish workers and how quickly to Irish workers get a grasp of the management style embraced by foreign managers? What has gone wrong, what has been right, and how is the success measured vis-a-vis foreign managers' effectiveness in…

Sources Used in Documents:

Bibliography

Bruton, Richard. 2014. 'Policy Statement on Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland.' Retrieved November 5, 2014, from http://www.enterprise.gov.ie.

Crotty, William, and Schmitt, David E. 2014. Ireland on the World Stage. Routledge, Florence, Kentucky.

Irish Examiner. 2014. 'IDA reports 43% rise in foreign firms investing here.' Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.irishexaminer.com.

Kennedy, Eoin Burke. 2014. 'Unemployment hits five-year low of 11.5%'. Irish Times. Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.irishtimes.com.
The Economist. 2012. 'The kindness of strangers.' Retrieved November 3, 2014, from http://www.economist.com.


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