Cross-cultural Competency from HRM Perspective

Applications Work sessions: This would meet specific objectives of the Diversity Committee and Senior Leadership (Griggs, 2005). There are other notable models of training too, like Cultural Self-awareness Model (Kraemer, 1973) that introduced video technology in training for the first time, Bennett’s (1986) model that can be helpful for the trainers, the culture-general assimilator (Brislin et al., 1986), or for that matter multi-media based culture assimilators (Bhawuk, et al. , 1999).

The dynamism of the global business environment has converted its HR managers themselves into globetrotters. A recent study of 270 CEOs of the companies with their origin in Canada can be an ample example of the above situation, which revealed that 40% of the CEOs had worked outside their country, where the percentage of the same was 29% even ten years back (Moore, 2006).

This highlights the fact that these managers had to equip them to meet the demands of cross-cultural situation and therefore have a clear view regarding cross-cultural competency. However, from the viewpoint of HRM, culture in essence, is itself multidimensional like humans and in this era of globalization, a thorough training on cultural competency is an absolute must to create a cross-culturally competent employee.

Keeping with its human-centric approach, HRM wants to see such modules are appealing to the learners and they should be backed by acclaimed theories, explicit case studies and convincing tips. Therefore, HRM believes that culture is a package of “learned and shared values, beliefs and behaviors to a particular group of people” (Yamashita, 2004), and multiculturalism is a “Doctrine asserting value of different cultures coexisting within single society; globally, vision of cultural diversity deliberately fostered and protected” (Globalization, 2000).

With this view, HRM too recognizes the significance of cross-cultural training. Accordingly, HRM recognizes the problems of hospitality sector, where crises arise more often than not, mostly due to the difference in culture and subsequently difference in perceptions about a particular issue/act/custom/or policy between the hospitality professional and the foreign customers. Thus HRM primarily resorts to theories to deal the issue from the core.

Even as the development of science and technology has elevated the establishments of hospitality sector to a state-of-the-art level and enhanced the scope of business to a great degree, the ancient humane factor like effective communication still works as the life force of in this industry. There might be arguments like implementation of communication theories in a workplace would be too much a deviation from its nature of job; yet, no one can deny the fact that without effective communication, any attempt to create a cohesive, cross-culturally competent workforce is virtually impossible.

Therefore this study reviews two such relevant theories preferred by HRM professionals, viz. , ERG Theory and Expectancy Value Theory, where the first one probes the need of the employees and helps in creating the roadmap of communication, and the second one deals with the nuances of communication itself. Together these two can greatly influence the training objective, i. e. , creating a cross-culturally competent workforce.

ERG Theory is an improvised version of Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) famous model of Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow’s, 2008), created by Clayton Alderfer after prolonged research, which adds more flexibility in determining the needs of an individual, which it does by reorienting the elements from Maslow’s model into three segments like Existence (E) – It involves physiological and safety needs. Relatedness (R) – It contains social and external esteem needs. Growth (G) – Self-actualization and internal esteem needs. (ERG, 2007).

Clayton’s model allows to set the order of needs according to the existing need structure of an employee, besides providing the scope to pursue different needs simultaneously. Accordingly, company can motivate any individual on any of the E, R or G needs – while looking after an individual’s E need (say, where an employee needs a safety measure), the company can look after the same individual’s R needs (like awarding her for her achievement) and G needs (inducting the individual in the think tank of the department).