Traditional organizational boundaries are a thing of the past as new technology is developed and global market places are readily opening and expanding (La Londe, 1997). The plethora of new business opportunities for many domestic businesses as well as the typical challenges faced by global companies have caused corporations to revisit and revise their human resources management strategies to inculcate the rapidly changing world of technology.
With the challenges of managing the increasing diversity in the workplace, technological advances that enhance business opportunities, increased global business and an expanding customer base, strategic mergers and acquisitions between unlikely entities, and even changes in an organization’s focus to incorporate other services and products, businesses have had to intelligently adapt and evolve. Consequently, managing global human resources initiatives in a rapidly changing business environment can be both challenging and rewarding.
Selecting priorities categorically may not always be the best option to address significant issues, concerns or changes. In fact, many global based companies incorporate team-based or department -based approaches to simultaneously dealing with such issues as managing a culturally diverse workplace; inculcating technological advances; forming strategic alliances; or researching business trends that could affect an entity’s general functioning. HR is responsible for setting and managing the overall functioning of the human resources departments and their associated activities.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a general discourse in the global and technological implications of a HR as it relates to managing globally operated organizations. This paper assert that the major concern for many global companies is managing diversity (ethnic, political, technological, education et cetera) in its truest nature and that a success and functional HR system is essential to managing human resources properly. Key Issues Related to Managing a Multinational Workforce Effects of Managing a Diverse Workforce
Business organizations are becoming more diverse every year, which is leading top management to learn how to manage the diversity. Diversity comprises the following different categories: “gender, race, age, physical ability, sexual orientation, religion, skills, and tenure in the organization” (Daus & Joplin 1). These items all need to be managed in order to have a successful operation and maintain qualified employees. In order to adequately manage a diverse workforce, management must understand the effects that diversity has on their employees and business.
Effects of Diversity Before upper management can begin the training process on managing diversity, they first must understand the effects that diversity has on employees and the business as a whole (Buhler, 2002). The employers must look at what actually constitutes diversity and weigh the benefits. There are some organizations that will benefit greater by the more diverse workforce they employ, such as business that deal with international trade or sales. Diversifying their company will allow them to infiltrate into areas that they were not able to obtain before.
By understanding these items they will be able to see it will enable them to put in place a successful training program. Although there are many benefits to this type of workforce, management also needs to review weaknesses and common issues that are associated with diversity (e. g. differences of opinion based on cultural views or the differentiation between human resources information systems). This will allow them to better understand their employees and how to deal with problems if and when they arise.
By studying these weaknesses and issues and attempting to mitigate these risks before they arise, it will limit the chances that the any HRIS system will be ineffective leaving the management team with chaos rather than a better system. Furthermore, implementing a human resources information system that incorporates diversity training initiatives will not be effective if the human resources department running the programs is dysfunctional. Managing Diversity Cultivating a diverse workforce is not an inherent practice of organizations.
It is must be calculated based on the organizations desired directional growth, the demographics for servicing, and the skills needed to facilitate growth and endurance. An organization must embrace diversity as a foundation of its culture in order to cultivate an environment of respect, appreciation, and support throughout the each level within the company. In their article Challenges of leading a diverse workforce Joplin and Doss assert: “What’s critical is understanding that diversity must be a primary core value within the organization, and it should be culturally linked with your business strategy….
Not only does it strengthen your culture but it also improves your ability to reach the changing marketplace” (1997). Ultimately achieving the benefits stimulated by a diverse workforce stems from senior level executive involvement and support. An effective strategy for managing diversity is therefore key to the stability of the organization. Three of the major research resources cited in this paper on diversity yielded a similar conclusion in their studies.
Challenges of Leading a Diverse Workforce (Joplin et al, 1997); Impression Management, Diversity and International Management (Giacalone, 1994); and Cultural identity and diversity in organizations: Bridging the gap between-group differences and individual uniqueness (Ferdman, 1995); all concluded that understanding cultural diversity in its social context inside of a corporate setting can lead to increased effectiveness and performance of individual workers and the company as a whole.
These studies also indicated that although embracing diversity may be difficult for some it is a necessary and relevant topic for today’s workforce. These findings were based upon the rapidly changing demographics of the corporate sector which has seen a steady increase of minority applicants and workers being introduced to a historically homogenous workforce. HR Systems and Technology The Role of HR Information Systems The general role of human resources information systems (HRIS) is to help an organization accomplish its overall mission by ensuring that human resources are managed properly.
More specifically HRIS systems may help reduce costs, save time, increase profitability, and improve employee performance (Buhler, 2002). A human resources management system (HRMS) is a core enterprise application for managing administrative and strategic processes related to an organization’s most critical asset, its people. The vast majority of large organizations use an HRMS from one of the three major human resource software vendors – SAP, PeopleSoft, or Oracle (http://www. forrester. com/Research/Document/Excerpt/0,7211,34308,00. html)
HR Information Needs and Technological Advances Typically technology-based advances are geared toward a leisure consumer that purchases a product for leisure use, ease of life, or convenience. In relation to business technology advances these technological advances often become trends, which eventually can become a standard in business. However in HR, technological advances are typically geared towards managing human resources more efficiently. Generally referred to as human resources information systems (HRIS) technological advances may affect the overall management of the business.