Cultural and Emerging Issues Affecting EDC

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In its operation, Educational Development Corporation is faced with a wide range of challenges. One of the areas in which the firm’s divisional management teams have to be efficient relates to human resource management. Different aspects affect human resource management in organizations. One of these issues relates to cultural diversity. According to Jackson and Mathis (2008, p.43), culture entails the various societal forces that influence the actions, beliefs, and values of a certain group of individuals.

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Cultural diversity is an important aspect of HR management in that it determines the effectiveness with which a firm implements its HR practices. One of the most important aspects of culture that EDC has to deal with entails the existence of differences in values amongst the employees. For a firm to attain its strategic objectives, integration of teamwork is paramount. However, this is challenged by differences in values amongst the employees. Some employees advocate individualism while others advocate collectivism (Ferriera, Erasmus & Groenewald, 2009, p. 431). As components of organizational culture, collectivism and individualism affect the success of teamwork in organizations which is vital in an organization’s effort to attain its strategic objectives. EDC will also have to deal with differences amongst its employees concerning tolerance of uncertainty. Some employees cannot tolerate ambiguity in the operation of a firm which is a common phenomenon within the dynamic business environment.

In addition to culture, the division will also have to deal with other emerging issues. The first issue that EDC has to be efficient in relates to the planning and development of its workforce. This arises from the fact that the success of a firm’s division is dependent on whether it has the right workforce to implement the various business strategies. Secondly, the firm has to deal with the high rate of globalization. Globalization has led to an increment in the intensity of competition within the business environment. This may affect the financial performance of the division. The third emerging issue entails managing the demographics of its workforce such as aging. Changes in the demographic of the workforce mean that EDC has to adjust its recruitment policies.

Considering the dynamic nature of the business environment, EDC has to implement change continuously to attain an optimal market position. However, there is a high probability of conflict emerging between the employees and the management team as some of the employees will resist change. The chart below illustrates several recommendations that EDC has to deal with.

HR issue Recommendation Justification of the action Implementation strategy Limitations of the strategy How to deal with the limitation
Emerging issues
Managing talent Implementing competence management Competence management plays a vital role in ensuring that a firm attains flexibility and adaptability. The resultant effect is that its competitive advantage is enhanced. The division should formulate an effective competency framework. The framework aids in aligning the competencies of its human capital with its strategic objective. Competency framework can be backward in that it may emphasise on past skills. Ensure that the competency frame-work focuses on the future.
Managing changes in the demographic of workforce such as aging Implementing pension and retirement plans These plans contribute towards motivation of employees by improving the employees’ financial security upon retiring. A written plan should be formulated. The division should also develop a fund for the plan to be successful. Some employees might not appreciate the importance of the plan. The firm should educate all the employees on the benefits of the plans.
Dealing with change in the publishing industry Incorporate change management in the firm. Implementing change is vital for the success of the division considering the competitive nature of the business environment. All the divisions’ employees should be included in the change management process.
-The desired change should be implemented in phases.
Some employees might be opposed to the desired change. To be successful, the division should educate the employees on the benefits of integrating change.
Cultural issues
Differences in employees’ values The division should understand the dominating cultural values of the employees. Understanding the cultural values aids in formulating operational strategies. For example, some cultures emphasize on masculinity, while others advocate competitiveness and assertiveness. EDC should incorporate a cultural sensitivity training program so as to educate the employees on the values that they should possess. It is not possible to integrate all the cultural values of the employees. EDC should evaluate the dominating culture and implement strategies that promote it as a corporate culture.
Individualism versus collectivism The division should educate the employees that the success of the firm is dependent on the degree of cooperation amongst the employees. Developing collectivism is vital in promoting teamwork in the division which is vital for the success of the division The division should promote a culture of interdependence amongst the employees. The strategy may not be successful due to existence of differences in personal attitudes. To deal with this challenge, the division should be selective in its recruitment process. It should select employees who are collectivists.
Tolerance to uncertainty The division should hire employees who are tolerant to ambiguity. Tolerance to ambiguity is vital for a firm’s success considering the dynamic nature of business environment The division should adopt a flexible organizational structure. Some employees may favor a rigid organizational structure with clearly stipulated rules and regulations. The division should educate the employees on the importance of adjusting to changes in the market.

References

Ferreira, E., Erasmus, A. & Groenewald, D. (2009). Administrative management. Lansdowne: Juta Academic.

Jackson, J. & Mathis, R. (2008). Human resource management. Mason, OH: Thomson.

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