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The article under critical review is authored by By Jean M. Trudel of the Department of Management, Faculty of Administration, University of Sherbrooke, Canada. The title of the article is International Human resources management: A new challenge. Jean M. Trudel is an associate professor.
Multinational organisations are major drivers of the World economy at this time, they go to great lengths in order pursue expansion and also reach new opportunities for their products. Smaller businesses now seek opportunities to widen their reach and develop beyond their natural boundaries. According to Pantin (2006) the survival of small and medium sized organization depends on their capacity to expand their activities beyond their natural boundaries.
This report is based on the economic climate inherent in province of Quebec in Canada; this region is used to mirror all other major business environment of the world, this give the report a global outlook. Other numerous articles have concentrated on the particulars of the internationalization of organizations over the years, but few of them have discussed the issue of human resources management in the context of small and medium sized organizations.
This article is important because it brings the issue of human resource management to the context of small and medium sized organization; this report identifies processes of human resource management and the various scenarios that are encountered when broadening the reach of an organization in this global business climate.
The purpose of this article is to identify ways for small and medium sized organizations to make proper use of the opportunities available to them in this global economic climate in the context of Human resource management.
After thorough reading of the article, I believe that the author made some vital points as regards human resource management and the implications for small and medium sized organizations. The various scenarios He identified makes the inner workings of these organizations easy to comprehend in this present economic climate.
2.0 CRITICAL REVIEW
This report explained the processes of human resource management in an international context, According to Gankema et al (2000) there exists a shortage of sound research into smaller firms. According to the author, various works have tried to explain best practices related to the management and training of employees who deal with a different culture daily, but these efforts seem insufficient in providing a framework for organizations intent on internationalization should manage their workforce. Thus, the author tries to present a model of human resource management in an international context by proposing a four-pronged structure as shown in the table below.
International Operational Capabilities
Co-ordination of HRM practices
Efficient international HRM management
On international leadership, the author states that any serious organization wishing to internationalize its business must count on its top management to instil into its employees the desire to internationalize and also offer directional support. Based on the research studies of MacMillan (1997) and as well as the works of Sanchez-Arias (2004), the author proposed a renewed model for organisation wishing to internationalize. The proposed model comprises of seven behavioural types believed to be the bedrock of good international leadership, which should be mastered by leaders to promote an international strategy.
The seven behavioural types include; Change Agent, Promotion of an international vision, apparent personal commitment, long term personal commitment, promotion of High-Potential Employees, Role of coach and trainer and information intelligence.
The author also identifies the role of the executive manager, who is considered to be an informal leader. According to the author, the informal leader is not well educated but compensates with good listening abilities and a sense for international business. Based on the elements of contextual analysis for organizational cultures of Vanderlinden (2003), the organizational cultural of this small to medium-size organization corresponds to a group culture.
According to the author, a second pillar concerns the development of international operational capabilities. It entails maintaining operational capabilities to function efficiently in different areas of the world at the same time.
The author cited Lelarge (2003), who believes that besides administrative tools, an international organization has to maintain an efficient communication system between management and employees.
The author also believes that within the context of this small-to-medium size organization, it is important to stipulate that the structure permitting it to operate on the international scene comes as a direct response to an accelerated growth of 50% per year over the last ten years. In order to survive in such a situation, an informal structure has emerged as a way to manage international activities efficiently. In fact, those who chose to become project managers overseas had not been identified as such before internationalization became a reality.
The author believes the third factor concerns efficient international human resources management practices. First, before an international assignment, the human resources department must be actively involved in the recruiting and hiring process by ensuring that proper recruiting criteria are applied throughout the process.
The author also cited Huault (1998) when explaining the fourth and final pillar, Hault suggests that the coordination of recruiting, training, career development and international geographical mobility as well as institutionalization of multicultural work teams and the capacity to manage diversity are crucial to the organization. This represents a model supported by the works of Dowling et al (1998) who insist on the need for managerial mechanisms to favour a global approach to HRM with no apparent frontiers between home base employees and the mobile workforce. The fourth and last pillar deals with the coordination of HRM practices. Once again it is worth mentioning that the HRM model may vary according to the particular needs of an organization, but in general, firms wishing to pursue international exposure, would benefit from integrating international human resources management with other resources of the organization.
This paper examines how best to deal with human resources management in a context of internationalization by small-to-medium size organizations. A first observation can be made on the need to have a top rank executive showing real international leadership in an organization. As already noted by many authors, it is now considered insufficient to express a desire for internationalization, unless this desire is supported by concrete and continuous actions in order to instil and share an international vision with other organization members. The example of a small-to-medium size organization shows that a dynamic organization with global leadership and proper communication channels can achieve positive international results. Promoting the mobility of its highly talented employees in different international postings will favour the dissemination of an international culture.
In conclusion, the author failed to address the issues of hostile environment in foreign lands and also hostile business environments. Internationalization of an organization does not depend on the human resource context. Also, the Author based his judgment on research of companies in quebec, Canada. I think he should widen his research base in order to have a broader source of data.
Internationalization by a small or medium sized organization needs more research and studies in order to identify the challenges faced by these organizations and also seek to proffer solutions.