Ethiopian Pre-Departure and Cross Culture Training Report
The purpose of this report is to highlight the analysis of cross cultural management communication theories and frameworks to adopt practices aligned to the individual cultural practices to develop a predeparture report in support of the international business operations of the of the company.
A review of the cross-cultural system and processes used in the management of a multinational enterprise following an analysis of the internal management factors leading to pre-departure business strategy and external factors such as the cultural economic health and education factors to meet the compliance of the organisation based in Ethiopia to attain the competitive advantage. For example, the organisation may support a sustainability practice such as Microsoft corporate social responsibility (Chan, 2014) to overcome the barriers of limited access to basic resources such as electricity and water (Central Intelligence Agency, 2018).
Recommendations aligned to the cross-cultural practices was provided to promote the cultural and motivational management theory using the cross-cultural strategic practices.
Additionally, the Ethiopian country profile and cross-cultural documentation was analysed to provide an effective evaluation to implement improvements to manage diverse teams using cross cultural communication practices rather than international business management practices.
Multinationals are seeking to invest their operations globally due to its cost saving benefit. In todays times globalisation has contributed to multinationals investment and impacted the growth of the global markets resulting increased competition. The diversity of professionals considering international assignments with different groups need to share the same values and goals, however different styles of working and collaborating information with cross cultural teams will result in conflict (Chong, 2007).
According to Browaeys & Price (2015) multinationals are willing to change the perspectives of employees about the benefits in working in multinational firms with diverse employees. However, there is limited knowledge about the effectiveness of the use of cross cultural training such as orientation programs socialisation in global performance management systems. that will lead to reduced turnover
This report will analyse the current practices used in multinational organisations and the cultural frameworks and dimensions used to overcome cultural different while completing an international assignment in Ethiopia, collaborating within a global team that includes individuals from the home country and teams from host countries (O’Donohue, Hutchings, & Hans, 2018), and will demonstrated how the cross cultural training between high context and low context country cultures can exists in order to achieve a balance between the local and global management operations aligned to the national culture. .
In Ethiopia cross-cultural practices were analysed to identify the best fit practice in cross cultural management practices to management employees in a business context. As a successful employee to the organisation, an international assignment based in Ethiopia has presented new career opportunities at the enterprise, in addition presenting the main challenge of working with a diverse team of multinational partners such as India Pakistan China Korea Singapore Russia and Kenya.
In 2002 transnational issues encountered by Ethiopia related Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commissions to politically separate due to rival groups within Ethiopia’s Ogaden and southern Somalia’s Oromo region. In 2007, Ethiopia had taken over the Somaliland region from Mogadishu to facilitate trade negotiations. Conflict such as the civil unrest in eastern Sudan had prevented efforted to set boundaries with Ethiopia (indexmundi.com, 2018). Ethiopia celebrated its independence from Eritrea on the 24th May 1993.
Despite its coffee production some of environmental issues are experienced include deforestation, soil erosion desertification and water shortages to farming. As a result, Ethiopia has participated in environmental international agreements such as biodiversity and climate change Kyoto protocols to prevent desertification engagement of species and ozone layer protection.
Ethiopia is located east of Africa and west of Somalia, its population density is high in the north and central to the capital city of Addis Ababa where population is sparsely populated.
The main natural resources found in Ethiopia are gold, platinum, copper, potash natural gas and hydropower. Its climate conditions include tropic monsoons and increased drought conditions.
Due to its geographic location, the great rift valley (Erdman, 2014) makes Ethiopia vulnerable to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions leading to draughts. However, this natural feature promotes tourism as a central part of the country.
The demographics of Ethiopia are 105,350,020 however mortality of AIDS and lower life expectancy have affected growth rates and population distribution. Population growth is low at 2.85% an estimate in 2017 due to the increased mortality and death rates. (indexmundi.com, 2018).
The main age groups are 0-14 years: 43.47% (male 22,963,502/female 22,826,957) at 43.47% with the median age. The total median age is 17.9 years with males at 17.9 years and females 18.1 years. The second highest demographic group is aged 25-54 years: 29.58% (male 15,464,171/female 15,702,104) (indexmundi.com, 2018).
Ethnic groups include Oromo 34.4%, Amhara (Amara) 27%, Somali (Somali) 6.2%. The main religious beliefs are Christianity and Islam that includes Ethiopian Orthodox 43.5%, Muslim 33.9%, Protestant 18.5%, traditional 2.7%, Catholic 0.7%, other 0.6%. (indexmundi.com, 2018)
In addition, the main official working and national languages are 33.8%, Amharic (official national language) 29.3%, Somali (official working language of the State of Somali) (indexmundi.com, 2018)
Ethiopia has a planned economy and a fastest growing investment and infrastructure used to sustain agricultural and service growth (Central Intelligence Agency, 2018).
As a low level income, ongoing infrastructure is the key sectors such as production and distribution, roads, rails, airports and industrial parks (indexmundi.com, 2018) . However, Addis Ababa is not regulated effectively due to corruption.
The main Investment is in infrastructure, construction, agriculture/horticulture, agricultural processing, textiles, leather and leather products (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 2016).
Industry sectors are state-owned and have attracted international investors includes the banking, insurance, telecommunications, and micro-credit industries due to restrictions on domestic labour however Ethiopia increased its foreign direct investment from china, turkey India, Europe and the united stated have provided Ethiopia with the comparative advantage.
The main working population groups are age 25-54 year with a growing population is an investment that multinationals will consider in saving its labour costs with its international operations (indexmundi.com, 2018). This population is consistent supply of working class population with reflects a higher number of females likely to enter the workforce
According to the world fact book, labour force statistics show that the age groups 15-24 years of Ethiopian youths in unemployed at 26.4% of the total labour (Central Intelligence Agency, 2018).
Ethiopia’s draught environment has impacted the health issues affecting the health systems and its population. (World Health Organisation, 2017). According to the world health report, the health care services such as emergency services and food relief are required by 3.8 million including 5.2 million for relief due to food insecurity to meet its safety net programs. Food security is the main issue in Ethiopia (World Health Organisation, 2003).
The Educational school expectancy for primary and tertiary education is 9 years for a male, and 8 years for a female. The educational expenditure is 4.5%. As a result, there is a need for ongoing support into educational initiatives. One of the main sustainability initiatives are to provide improvements to drinking water drinking water sources have improved by 93% and sanitation has improved by 27.2% (indexmundi.com, 2018)
Many multination enterprises have decided to offshore their services in foreign locations (Diffen.com, 2018). As a prized employee participating in the outsourcing operations of the company can prove as challenge as Ethiopia has different social and cultural norms and can negatively impact employee performance and motivations due to a lack of recognition (Browaeys & Price, 2015).
Ethiopia is an attract location to investors of multinational operations to offshore support opportunities with access to cost effective labour, however organisations are expected to comply with labour laws and prevent exploitation of its employees (unethiopia.org, 2015).
Outsourcing contracts and the increased access to human capital presents as an attractive opportunity to promote the talent pool and talent management of the international multinational operations (Browaeys & Price, 2015). These operations encourage diversity in the organisation by attracting highly talented individuals. Despite the attractive talent pool of employees and their specialisations management is challenged by the outsourcing operations of the organisation (Diffen.com, 2018). As a result, the company culture needs to be adjusted to meet the changing needs and diversity of its employee teams.
Change management is an effective strategy that can be used to promote a change in culture of the organisation. For example, In Kotter change model (Appelbaum, , Habashy, Malo, & Shafiq, 2012), operations are able to change the culture using cross cultural training in addition to symbols, artefacts and attitudes rituals and language can be used to establish a new culture (Browaeys & Price, 2015, p. 4)
In the predeparture planning of international assignments supporting family are provided with training to prevent the culture shock on arrival to the foreign country using a communication model (Kleinaltenkamp, Wulff, & Geiger, 2011, p. 161) . For example, in Ethiopia greetings are used, and language is different. The main cross-cultural adjustment management practices include language training and cultural training.
As international operations and global recruitment, research and accounting are conducted in internationally corporate offices (CareersinAfrica.com, 2018) for example, PricewaterhouseCroopers has promoted its tax refund operations using offshoring to save costs (Connors, 2007).
Global research teams can meet the multinational requirements such economic research in. Deloitte’s operations in Addis Ababa, such assurance, consulting, financial, tax and risk advisory services to clients in both the private and public sectors had contributed to 80 per cent of Ethiopia’s employment growth despite cultural sensitivities posing as the main challenge to the global operations of the firm. (Starr, n.d.)
Organisations are seeking to employees to meet the organisations values and culture to attain the competitive advantage internationally (Browaeys & Price, 2015).
Home Companies that promote its international operations using secondment and international assignments to perform its host country operations with expatriates to share knowledge and experience of its headquarters aligned to the national culture and its operations. (O’Donohue, Hutchings, & Hans, 2018).
A diverse team with global operational experience present as a global talent pool that includes a diversity of knowledge and understanding of cultures (Browaeys & Price, 2015). This team can provide the company with the competitive advantage. In this case the team promoted to Ethiopia from different cultural clusters will work as a multicultural team to collaborate knowledge to shape the company values and develop an awareness of cross-cultural management of its employees leading to the long-term retention of its staff (Beyene, Shi, & Wu, 2016).
Cross cultural awareness management and training will assist employees and management to overcome cultural sensitives leading to satisfied and motivated staff that feel a sense of belonging and achievement (Vallerand, 1997).
Multinational can overcome its high turnover rates by investing in training and development programs to assist in the cross-cultural understanding of diverse teams, this strategy will improve communication and prevent organisational conflict (Søderberg & Holden , 2002).
For multinationals to effectively attract labour it should attract candidates with diverse cultural experience to cultural differences in team members therefore leading to effective working relationships and the development of positive attitudes towards workplace tasks (Chong, 2007).
In the organisation during the international assignments cultural adjustment process plays a role in aligning employee development with the internal operations for example job satisfaction, family support, learning orientation, organisational socialisation and cross-cultural training and performance of developing diverse teams (Bird & Mendenhall, 2016).
Global performance management systems aligned to the motivations and rewards to promote a learning culture will promote diversity and team collaboration (Li, 2016).
On arrival to a new country the host multinational training in cross cultural differences and language training provided to supporting families of expatriates on assignment (O’Donohue, Hutchings, & Hans, 2018) will assist in the orientation and socialisation process. In addition, pre-visitation is recommended (Li, 2016).
Cross cultural learning should focus on the learning orientation of the organisation practices. This practice will assist employees in developing a national culture with the organisation (Li, 2016)
Orientation socialisation and mentoring develop knowledge and relationships in diverse teams (Li, 2016).
Prior to international assignment the multinational organisation will provide cross cultural training that is gender specific and focused on the Ethiopian culture knowledge such as the high distance cultures will overcome the cultural differences (Beyene, Shi, & Wu, 2016).
Hofstede developed a model based on five dimension of clustered countries that measures the attitudes and behaviours (Browaeys & Price, 2015).
Firstly, in the collectivist dimension Employee performance and incentives such as training and development and rewards, provide employees with a sense of belonging and value to the organisation (Li, 2016).
Secondly Ethiopia’s centralisation practices promotes a cost-effective approach to promote the quality of life of individuals, with the advantage of a clear chain communication and vision (Corporate Finance Institute, 2018), but the disadvantage of a bureaucratic leadership hierarchy is inconsistent communication management practices affecting the turnover decision by management (Browaeys & Price, 2015).
The benefit of an employee working with a higher level of authority limits equality and engagement with senior managers however it reflects Ethiopian cultural values based on collectivism (Allik & Realo, 2004) and will promote trust in teams to makes the main decisions (Jetu & Riedl, 2013, p. 40) Decentralisation can benefit the organisation by promoting higher involvement with managers (Kelly, 2001).
The workplace decisions impacted by inequality in management practices with hierarchy, are encourages to management of its teams using open communication to demonstrate loyalty, despite the social group agreements, this can create a conflict of interest, however with strengthened employee relationships and the team ability to demonstrate accountability for its members will lead to a successful outcome (Allik & Realo, 2004). In addition, the recruitment decisions and promotion are based on team performance rather than individual performance.
A training and development strategy such as mentoring and knowledge sharing as an intrinsic reward assists in individual promotion despite Ethiopian business cultures are focused on team performance. The McClelland model (Vallerand, 1997) is reflective of the intrinsic motivation required by an individual to attain extrinsic goals such as leadership opportunities and job security.
The high masculinity context culture enables employees to participate in challenging tasks that are to compete constructively through reaching performance orientated goals. In diverse team’s talent pools of professional employees that have a specialisation as skilled labour are encouraging to develop their knowledge sharing and performance. Ethiopia perceives a culture of demonstrating specialised skills based on a profession as a successful component to the organisation, therefore an advantage of the organisation is to develop individual performance with cross cultural training to encourage knowledge sharing in talent management.
The development of employees within the talent pool should align to the value system developed in the educational and organisational context. In the organisational context motivational incentives such as the need for security as reflected in Maslow’s hierarchy (Gambrel & Cianci, 2003) of need the basic need for survival is an important aspect as employees in Ethiopia rely on the income received from employment to pursue career aspirations. These career aspirations will provide a positive influence on the long-term commitment of an individual to remain in the organisation, and therefore promoting the reduce staff turnover rates with the use of its flexible career and promotional opportunities to excel in the company into leadership roles.
As future leaders’ cross-cultural awareness and training in the orientation and socialisation process will benefit the establishment of corporate culture inclusive of diversity and team orientation and leadership opportunities (Browaeys & Price, 2015). In Ethiopia the role of the manager is to take a decisive and assertive approach with an emphasis on fairness to all members in the team, therefore a decision that is approached my management is applied throughout the organisation (Browaeys & Price, 2015). In a bureaucratic organisation there is a limited opportunity for education and professional development and promotion. Cross cultural training can bridge the gap in addressing the need to focus on improving performance, using a global performance management system aligned to diverse employees can benefit the organisations strategic operations.
In Ethiopia multinational corporation structures promote ambiguity in the workforce as a result there is a high level of anxiety that leads to conflict based on poor communication styles. The benefit for cross cultural training is to promote dialogue and understanding of the way’s employees based in high context and low context countries confront conflict in a productive manner (United Nations Educational and Scientific Cultural Organisation, 2009). For example, a structured performance management system that is used with ongoing training and development opportunities will benefit the employees and the organisation with in house training and performance reviews to overcome uncertainty in the organisation. These beliefs and perceptions can be addressed in a structured orientation and socialisation process using a mentor program and performance management system with an employment exist strategy.
A successful program developed by pricewaterhousecoopers is a global program used to benefit its employees and their performance whilst performing international assignment from different geographical location while completing short term mobility assignments (Connors, 2007).
Uncertainty avoidance can be prevented through structure training programs leading to satisfied and committed employees that will benefit the long-term operations of the organisation. In addition, this practice will prevent breaches to labour laws and unethical labour practices that breach human rights. Human rights breaches would not take place and employees would not be disadvantaged with access to higher education and qualifications.
In Ethiopia there is an absence of long-term orientation where access to education is limited as a result there is a gap in accessing education to prepare for the future however there is a value for tradition. In this case the training and development using cross cultural awareness as the main aspect will reposition the commitment to organisational sustainability initiatives that promotes organisational citizenship (Browaeys & Price, 2015). These organisational citizenship opportunities will promote socialisation in the organisation.
The Ethiopian country profile has assisted in the understanding of the cultural awareness of individuals and to build an effective team that can perform successfully (Browaeys & Price, 2015). Ethiopians can perform tasks with effective communication, however a relationship needs to be formed to complete projects furthermore optimising the diverse team’s performance. Ethiopians follow hierarchy furthermore they communicate using non-verbal gestures and are indirect as a result this can lead to issues in the workplace with management (Ducci, Arcuri, Georgis, & Sineshaw, 1982).
Management needs to be aware of the cultural sensitives through its communication with diverse teams including its Ethiopian employees. Ethiopians try to limit their involvement in conflict to save face (Martin & Chane, 2012). For this reason, increased communication encouraging feedback and dialogue can address the cultural gap. Despite the hierarchical business practices employees may not adopt a hierarchical attitude as a result manager are encouraged to demonstrate an approachable mannerism.
Cultural differences addressed by communication business practice when working as individual and diverse teams will assist workplace relationships and foster commitment to the organisation. Cross cultural communication practices that are transparent benefit employees and recognises their contribution the international operations.
The issue of stereotyping exists in the organisation due to its national cultural practices of expatriates, resulting misunderstandings of cultural differences and the perception of the countries culture For Africans are not a homogenous group and there a different cultures in Africa that include different ethnic groups for example the Amharic people in Ethiopia are identifiable for their unique response and demonstration of anger and emotion based on facial recognition by non-western individuals compared to other groups of people found in Ethiopia. However some of the cultural behaviours and customers demonstrated in countries like Ethiopia Japan and Poland are to conceal emotions, this approach is believed to assist in building global relationships (Martin & Chane, 2012, p. 99).Ethiopians use non-verbal communications in their culture, an awareness and knowledge can prevent conflict through miscommunication (Gerritsen, 1998). To overcome national stereotypes, cross cultural training can be provided to employees by the organisation. In addition, cross cultural practices that address cultural sensitivity and leadership will result in reduced turnover rates and increased organisational satisfaction based on performance.
cultural theories and communications models embedded into the international cross-cultural practices in the organisation has impacted the environment and stakeholders.
In a cross-cultural management context, educational training strategies used to foster cultural differences promotes the competitive advantage to achieve its strategic goals (Wirtenberg, Harmon, Russell, & Fairfield, 2007).
Microsoft effectively (Chan, 2014) contributed to the learning and development and sustainability of cross cultural management systems and procedures analysed in the decision to achieve a predeparture training and company values aligned to the company’s strategic directions has proven a success with the use of the cross cultural communication framework to foster a culture of learning and development.
Learning and development and cross cultural communication to manage diverse teams have impacted the retention strategy of staff using succession plans to promote staff participating in international assignments and effectively recognises performance. These educational performance and communication management practices are aligned to the strategic cross cultural practices and has provided organisations with the competitive advantage.
Ethiopia a played a critical part in the design of the cross-cultural policies and predeparture guidelines to assist with the company’s policies. These policies have supported the orientation and retention of the staff on secondment and expatriation.
In addition the company has encouraged the use of feedback to improve its organisational values and company culture to meet the its strategic direction.
Finally, the predeparture report has addressed the predeparture requirements to operate effectively as an expatriate and to participate effectively in an international based assignment aligned to the core values of the organisation and its ability to achieve its strategic cross-cultural management goals.
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