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International Management

By Ken

Culture is a very significant aspect of business and therefore any strategy that is employed or undertaken by a company is usually a manifestation of the company's organizational culture. Different countries have different cultures and hence a company that wants to invest in a foreign country has to be very much familiar with the cultures of the foreign country. A company is able to create its own image and understands it through its organizational culture. Since cultures in different countries are different, a company is forced to change its organizational culture in order to accommodate the cultures and values of the foreign country. This report addresses the human resource department of Tesco Company whereby there will be information on the creation of cross-cultural teams which are capable of working in any country. Additionally, the report will present the training that employees are supposed to be provided with in order to be able to work in a foreign country that is Saudi Arabia. The information on national negotiating styles will be provided in order to ensure that the company is able to make profits in the foreign country. Lastly, the report will provide information on the ways of preparing employees for any challenges that they may face in the cross cultural management. Working in a foreign country may not be very easy because of the variations in cultures but when employees are well trained they will be able to work in relation to the country's cultures. As a result of this, there is therefore increased need for a company like Tesco to have a clear strategy before entering into business in Saudi Arabia.

Tesco plc is a multinational company that has its headquarters in the United Kingdom and engages in manufacturing and selling food and no food products like books and DVD. The company has a lot of competitive advantages that enable it to open retail outlets in other countries like the case of Saudi Arabia. However, working in Saudi Arabia would be very challenging for the company's employees and hence cross cultural theories are relevant in explaining what should be the way forward in order to maintain profits and even increase it.

Creation of Cross- Cultural Teams

Culture is generally defined as the way of life of a certain society or people which include; customs, patterns of behaviors, rituals, dressing code, thoughts, belief system, and language. Different societies have different cultures and understanding people's cultures is the most important aspect in business (David, 2006). In order to ensure that Tesco plc is able to excel in business in Saudi Arabia, it is very critical for the company to create multicultural teams. Notably, multiculturalism is a comprehensive occurrence that concerns the recognition and appreciation of multiple cultures that are manifested in a particular location (Distefano & Maznevski, 2000). In this case understanding the cultures of Saudi Arabia is the first step to success of Tesco plc in this country. This is because Tesco is headquartered in the United Kingdom and hence it is led according to the cultures of the United Kingdom.

Creation of cross cultural teams means that different people who are very much aware of the different cultures of the world are allowed to form a team in order to assist each other. In this case, each and every individual in the team will be training other about the cultures he or she knows (Brett, 2006). This usually results in a situation whereby the team members come to recognize and appreciate other people's cultures. This report suggests that if such like a team is created it will be able to outline the cultures of the people of Saudi Arabia and hence managing employees in the country will not be difficult (David, 2006). One of the most imperative aspects to consider in multinational companies or projects is language. In this case the language spoken in Saudi Arabia is totally different from that of the United Kingdom and hence if the project manager hailing from the United Kingdom is not aware of speaking Arabic he or she will face a lot of problems (Distefano & Maznevski, 2000). However, these problems may be reduced by creation of cross cultural teams as they will be able to train the Saudi Arabian employees in the project on how to speak in English and they will be able to learn their working habits. For instance, in Saudi Arabia women are not mostly involved in working as salespeople and hence without this knowledge it may be very difficult for the company to work with female employees (Brett, 2006).

With creation of cross cultural teams may help in understanding the working habits of the Arabs in the country and hence the management will be able to handle them the way they are adequately motivated. These teams help in translating to the project manager on the desires and of employees and customers concerning their products and services and hence enabling the company to improve (Distefano & Maznevski, 2000). For instance, the team will have adequate information on the types of foods that are mostly liked by Muslims and those which they do not eat. It is therefore direct for the company to know that it cannot offer pork to the market expecting to make profits. Notably, without this cultural information there is not prosperity and success of the business.

Training Employees for Expatriate Assignments

In order to ensure that Tesco plc is successful in Saudi Arabia, some employees should be trained for expatriate assignments. In this case, employees from the United Kingdom who would act as leaders and managers in the foreign projects should be provided with adequate information on how to relate with the Arabs in Saudi Arabia and how to stay in a foreign country (Adekila & Sergi, 2007). The expatriate programs in the company should include language courses, courses on international business development, and cultural communications in order to ensure that these employees are equipped adequately with ways of improving the performance of Tesco Company in Saudi Arabia. The employees training for expatriate assignments have to be adaptive to the areas they are going (Noe, 2002). For instance looking at the climatic conditions of the two countries it is clear that employees from the United Kingdom may face a lot of challenges in adapting to climatic conditions of the Middle East.

Many employees fear working abroad because of lack of experience and the challenges they think would face while abroad (Landis et al., 2004). However, a number of companies have recognized the reticence of employees to work oversea and hence they would offer financial incentives in order to encourage them. The best thing to do in order to ensure that these challenges are overcome is to train employees for some expatriate assignments (Adekila & Sergi, 2007). It should be noted that employees usually feel confident and empowered when they are trained on the best way to handle situations that they may face. For instance, communication is very imperative when working in Saudi Arabia (Landis et al., 2004). This is because despite that the retail outlets will be located in town centers and urban areas, many people in the country would prefer speaking in Arabic when buying and hence if one does not understand the language he or she may lose customers (Noe, 2002). It is therefore the responsibility of the company's management to ensure that employees are trained on how to communicate and relate with their customers in order to achieve increased profits.

The basic training that should be offered to the employees should include the information on culture, laws, and language (Adekila & Sergi, 2007). In this case, employees are provided with education in order to prepare them conduct business and assist the company achieve maximum profits without any delay caused by misunderstandings with the shareholders, employees, and customers in Saudi Arabia. This report suggests that training of employees should not stop once they are on the job in Saudi Arabia but it should continue in order to provide them with increased skills and knowledge on how they should do to increase profits (Landis et al., 2004). Working habits and intercultural communications are the most imperative aspects that employees should know in Saudi Arabia. This is because when working with foreigners one should try as much as possible not to hurt them (Noe, 2002). Additionally, there are some things that are considered ethical or allowed by culture in the United Kingdom but unethical in Saudi Arabia. A good example here is providing customers with pork meat. Employees should therefore be trained on these issues in order to serve their customers satisfactorily (Adekila & Sergi, 2007).

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