Module 1 – Background
Culture and Human Resource Management
A good place to start are these two interactive tutorials on international human resource management:
International employees.(2014). Pearson Learning Solutions. New York, NY.
HR challenges of international business. (2014). Pearson Learning Solutions. New York, NY.
Once you have finished reviewing the tutorials, delve deeper into this topic by reading the following two chapters:
Steers, R. M., &Nardon, L. (2005). Chapter 13: Staffing global operations. Managing in the Global Economy. M.E. Sharpe, Inc., Armonk, NY, USA. [Ebrary]
Rao, P. (2010) Unit 2: International human resource management and development. International Business Environment. Global Media, Mumbai, IND. [Ebrary]
Besides international human resource management, this module will also focus on national culture. For a brief introduction to some dimensions of national culture check out leading culture guru Geert Hofstede’s webpage:
Hofstede, G. (2012) National culture dimensions. The Hofstede Centre, retrieved from http://geert-hofstede.com/dimensions.html
After reviewing the Hofstede webpage, read a bit deeper on this topic with the following chapter:
Adekola, A., &Sergi, B. (2007). Chapter 8: Culture defined. Global Business Management: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Ashgate Publishing Group. Abingdon, Oxon, GBR. [Ebrary]
Case Assignment Reading
Arik Air customer base soars (Jan. 31, 2014). AllAfrica.com. Washington, DC. [ProQuest]
Nigeria loses N500 billion annually to expatriate pilots. (Jan. 24, 2014). AllAfrica.com. Washington, DC. [ProQuest]
Fajana, S., Owoyemi, O., Elegbede, T., &Gbajumo-Sheriff, M. (2011). Human resource management practices in Nigeria. Journal of Management and Strategy, 2(2), 57. [ProQuest]
Comparing global HR practices.(2014). Pearson Learning Solutions. New York, NY.
Adekola, A., &Sergi, B. (2007). Chapter 10: Cross-cultural training and expatriate assignments. Global Business Management: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Ashgate Publishing Group. Abingdon, Oxon, GBR. [Ebrary]
Caligiuri, P., Lepak, D. Bonache, J. (2010). Chapter 3: Comparative HR systems: The context for managing the global workforce. Global Dimensions of Business: Managing the Global Workforce, Wiley-Blackwell Hoboken, NJ, USA. [Ebrary]
Module 1 – Case
Culture and Human Resource Management
Case Assignment Instructions
Arik Air is one Nigeria’s largest airline and one of the largest airlines in all of Africa. Their employment situation is a bit unique in that close to 10 percent of their employees are expatriates. Recruiting and retaining expatriates to work as pilots or other positions in Nigeria can require higher salaries than are typically paid to local workers. However, disparities in wages between expatriates and local employees can lead to resentment. Overall, the human resource situation for a company that operates globally and hires globally such as Arik Air can be quite complicated.
Do some research on Arik Air and the human resource situation in Nigeria. Below are a few articles to get you started:
Arik Air customer base soars (Jan. 31, 2014). AllAfrica.com. Washington, DC. [Proquest]
Nigeria loses N500 billion annually to expatriate pilots. (Jan. 24, 2014). AllAfrica.com. Washington, DC. [Proquest]
Fajana, S., Owoyemi, O., Elegbede, T., &Gbajumo-Sheriff, M. (2011). Human resource management practices in Nigeria. Journal of Management and Strategy, 2(2), 57. [Proquest]
Now suppose that Arik Airlines has been purchased by an American company, which now has to develop a plan to address the issue of hiring and maintaining a well qualified pilot staff and making all of Arik’s employees feel welcome under the new American parent company. Also, suppose that you have been tasked with coming up with a solid human resource plan for the new American owners of Arik Air. You need to make major decisions such as how much to rely on local staff, how much to rely on employees from the U.S. or other countries, and how to deal with the sensitive issue of how an American company manages local employees who may be resentful of their new owner. In order to do this, you will need to use what you’ve learned in the background materials in this module as well as what you’ve learned in the previous modules about assessing the local environment of a country.
In a 4- to 5-page paper, present a strategic human resource plan considering the following issues:
1.Go to Hofstede’s webpage http://geert-hofstede.com/countries.html and look up the cultural values for both Nigeria and the U.S. Look up the scores of individualism, power distance, and uncertainty avoidance. What major differences do you see between the two cultures? What kind of implications will this have for how the American airline company manages their Nigerian employees?
2.Overall what kind of human resource strategy do you think the American company should take to manage Arik Airlines? A geocentric approach, polycentric, or ethnocentric approach? Explain your reasoning, and cite Steers and Nardon (2005) or Rao (2010) as part of your answer.
3.What kind of mix between Nigerian employees (host-country nationals), American employees (home country nationals), or third country nationals do you think should be hired? What challenges do you see for hiring each type of employee? Explain your reasoning, and cite Steers and Nardon (2005) or Rao (2010) as part of your answer.
Remember that your paper should reflect an integration of both what you learned in the background materials about the key general aspects of international human resource management, and what you’ve specifically learned about the unique issues involved in managing human resources in an airline in Nigeria. Your task it to apply the background materials to the specific issues that would be faced by an American company if they were to purchase Arik Air.
•Answer the assignment questions directly.
•Stay focused on the precise assignment questions; don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing background materials.
•Use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred. If you find articles on the Internet, make sure they are from a credible source.
•Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13 and 14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide,” which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC Portal.
Geert Hofstede is over 80 years old but is still a widely active researcher, consultant, and speaker. His work on cultural dimensions such as individualism and power distance is still widely taught and used in evaluating international business decisions.
For this discussion, go to Youtube or Google video search and find two videos:
1.One with Geert Hofstede himself speaking or being interviewed
2.Another video with Hofstede’s dimensions of individualism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity explained. This doesn’t have to be one with Hofstede himself appearing, just a video that you think explains his concepts well.
Share the links with your classmates and discuss how useful you found the videos. Did they help you understand the materials for this module? What kind of impression did you have of Hofstede and his ideas?