International Training and Development Essay

Pages: 9 (3474 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business - Management

They believe that their employees are perfect in each way and as technical skills are required to carry out the job, there is no need for further training. Along with the perception of senior level management, the limited budget and lack of knowledge about proper training courses are two other factors that limit the use of international training programs in the West (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80).

The reasons for Chinese lack of training in Multinational Enterprises are somewhat similar to the Western world. They also believe technical skills to be the dominating factor leading to the success of assignments abroad, and their employees are technically sound so they do not need to go through the hassle of training programs. For Chinese MNE's cultural differences are not important; budget is neither a limiting factor here. The only reason is how senior managers perceive it to be. For Chinese MNE's, training is not a thing on which they should be wasting their time and money (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80).

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Essay on International Training and Development International Assignment

In order to achieve the desired objectives, training programs should be focused on assisting employees to adapt and adjust to the new culture, to understand what is expected of him and the best way to deal with any difficulties that come across. This is commonly known as Pre-departure training. Different researchers have different theories on what should be included in pre-departure training program. The list is exhaustive. Majority of authors insist that the point of focus for such training programs vary according to the country, nature of assignment, workforce departed and the duration of assignment. Some are of the view that cultural, economic, social and political factors of the entity should be given priority (Bunch, 2007, p. 142-63). Expatriates should be introduced with the differences in economic and social conditions to give them a fair idea regarding business world and growth opportunities in the host country. Others argued that training programs should revolve around three factors; cultural differences, language instruction training and familiarity with daily matters. Amongst other researchers, some incorporated ethics into the training programs and argued that employees should be aware about ethical issues such as bribery, justice and human rights and the way to consider their ethical values when taking a decision (Hassan, 2007, p. 435-48).

The next step regarding the effectiveness of training programs is to establish who is most suitable to conduct these sessions. Osman-Gani (2000, p. 305-23) argued that the senior management of host country should conduct training sessions for expatriates as they have better knowledge about the economic, social and cultural aspects of their country. They are in a better position to provide appropriate guidance regarding what is expected of them how to achieve the desired objectives. After the executives of host country, in house personnel have been given the second rank. This is because they are well aware of the inherent competences and limitations of workforce and therefore can guide them on how to overcome limitations and utilize their competences in the most efficient manner. Academic trainers have been given the last rank. The training programs conducted by universities are likely to be unsuccessful.

Another research reflects the practices followed in practical life. It states the mostly companies conduct a brief seminar on environmental and cultural factors and to make employees familiar with the language of host country. The main objective is to remove the factors that can hinder technical competence and performance at work. For example, China conducts seminars that are mainly focused on cultural awareness and falling in line with company policies. Technical areas such as international marketing, international finance and economics are neglected by majority of the firms. Prior studies have also concentrated on training programs conducted by U.S., European and Japanese companies and have identified the areas of concern for these companies (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80). Along with economic factors of host country, expatriates should also be made accustomed to the climate and cultural values of host country. Trainers should make use of designed programs to bring into the light the basic concepts, attitude, role perceptions of customs of the host country's culture. These programs ensure that expatriates adapt to the new environment. Another important factor is language training as communication in local language tends to be more effective. Sensitivity training ensures the flexibility of employees to adapt to different cultures and field experience is a practical demonstration of the work load, stress and work conditions that an employee has to face (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80). To sum it up, these factors familiarize the employees with almost all factors that can affect his personal and professional development. Yet another argument here is that language training was more popular amongst European nations as compared to Western companies. This brought forward six factors that should be incorporated in training programs; shadowing, formal training courses, informal briefing, look-sees, overlap and language training (Akanji and Bankole, 2007, p. 222-33).

Osman-Gani (2000, p. 305-23) is of the view that for training programs to be successful, its content should be relevant, timing should be perfect and the training programs should be rigid. Western companies use a variety of training methods which include area briefing, experimentation (practical assistance training), indoor counseling and meeting with people migrating or the ones who returned back. Amongst all these methods, Osman-Gani (2000, p. 305-23) argued that the activity of probation was the most effective one as expatriates and their families easily got adjusted in the new environment. Others have distinguished the training programs according to their firmness into low-rigor and high rigor programs. Low rigor programs lasted for 4-20 hours and were focused on giving instructions, films, area briefings and books. On the contrary, high-rigor training lasted for around 60-80 hours and was focused on making expatriates accustomed to the local language through an interactive session, sophisticated mocking to prepared them for future challenges and assessment centers. Studies have confirmed that in Western companies, expatriates were given sufficient time to mentally prepare themselves for the relocation.

Training methods used by Chinese Multinational Enterprises were different from the Western MNE's, highlighting the difference between stable and developing nations. The most common method was in house training by senior management. Along with this universities were established to provide employees with oversees training courses. Other methods such as meetings with repatriates, probation or lectures to build cultural awareness were not used. Chinese MNE's also did not spend resources on identifying the training needs according to nature and duration of assignment (Ali and Magalhaes, 2008, p. 36-53).

Ability of managers to adapt and adjust to a completely different environment is vital to the success of international assignments. Therefore, researchers have encouraged the involvement of family members in pre-departure training. As overseas assignments are costly, organizations should leave no leaf unturned to achieve the desired objectives (Osman-Gani, 2000, p. 305-23). Shen and Darby (2004, p. 342-62)'s research work on Chinese MNE's reached to the similar conclusions.

Critical analysis and organizational factors

International training and development is a precondition for successful overseas assignments, and therefore one of the most important activities in IHRM. Although researchers have spent a considerable amount of time and effort to explain its significance and benefits, Multinational Enterprises continue to neglect this notion. Past practices reveal that it is habitual for MNE'S not to provide pre-departure training to expatriates, and even if an initiative is taken towards training programs, the duration is so short that instead of serving the purpose it is just a waste of time and resources (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80).

The most popular activities of pre-departure training programs include cultural awareness, language and sensitivity training and practical assistance training. Although theory promotes the use of formal training courses, they tend to be unpopular amongst firms in practical life. Researchers have suggested that the contents of training programs should be changed according to the nature and type of assignment; however, practical examples confirm that MNE's fail to consider the nature, type and duration of assignments when organizing training programs (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80).

Long-term strategic decisions for international businesses should take into account the competences and experience of international managers and organization's workforce. MNE's have failed to build a liaison between these two factors. This is evident by the theoretical research and practical examples that MNE's have not applied the true essence of international management development. The gap between the two continues to widen (Kissack and Callahan, 2010, p. 365-80).

This gap will have severe repercussions for HR managers and researchers. Overseas assignments are costly, and the failure of these projects due to lack of trained workforce will result in MNE's facing huge losses. Organizations should organize training programs to ensure continual development of employees and managers and to ensure that they are prepared to cope with the everyday challenges of international businesses. Inability of organizations to have international managers is also… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "International Training and Development" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

International Training and Development.  (2012, April 19).  Retrieved April 16, 2021, from

MLA Format

"International Training and Development."  19 April 2012.  Web.  16 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"International Training and Development."  April 19, 2012.  Accessed April 16, 2021.