FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
Culturalissues and change management process
Corporateculture is an important element in an organization as it helpstransform competitive advantage by linking employees’ services tocustomers. Culture is an effective management tool that helps toinfluence employees’ thoughts, feelings and behavior which in turntranscend to good service delivery. How employees view managementpractices such as selection, training, job design, reward system,performance appraisals and supervision greatly shapes theirperception of the Organizations values. When employees and themanagement share similar service thoughts, feelings and behavior,this has the effect of enhancing more customer value and overallcompetitive advantage of the company. Organizations that successfullycreate organization culture in their home country can competitively‘export’ that culture to another country. Flexibility andconsistency are key to creating competitive culture even in adistinct country (Phillips 1990, pg 234).
Question1: Prospects of achieving Successful change management processes inhotels located in countries with different Cultures. a). Appointmentof Mr. Le Calvez as the new General Manager (in Paris)
Theappointment of Mr. Le Calvez as the new General manger in Paris isjustified. Diversity management in the selection and recruitment ofstaff is important in as it brings with it diverse innovativeness andcreativity. Organizations that value diversity have higher qualitydecision making, more organizational flexibility due to divergentthinking, greater ability to attract best talent and greatermarketing capability. In addition, Mr. Le Calvez succeeded increating a corporate culture with a competitive advantage in hisformer placement therefore successfully "exported" thatcorporate culture to Paris. Good leadership is espoused in theability to cut across and blend with divergent work force, ‘heshowed a lot of love and respect for others, promoted social,cultural and ethnic integration. His choice and vast experience wascritical in adhering to values and operational goals of Four seasonsHotel.
Mr.Le Calvez needs to be open minded to understand and adjust hismanagement leadership along paternalistic, transformational andtransactional leadership roles. This translates well across divergentcultural environment. He will be able to motivate, influence andenable others contribute towards effectiveness and success of theorganization. In addition he will be able to reflect Four seasonsHotel espoused values in policies, management behaviors, and culturalartifacts which enhances sharing of similar service-relevantthoughts, feelings, and patterns of behavior to his junior staffs.
(B.howwould you assess the need for Four Seasons to continue with “tailormade” hotels and “cultural chameleons”, with increasedinternational travel and tourism and intensified globalization.
Fourseason Hotel need to consistently provide and enhance its corporateculture by blending with existing culture at its area of operation.With increased travel, tourism and globalization there is need tomanage consistently components of corporate culture across countryborders to maintain its competitive advantage. Flexibility is keyconsideration to enhance ‘fitting’ and avoid ‘clashing’ withdifferent cultures across borders. Four seasons hotel need toconsistently follow the diversity and singularity aspect in theiroperations. This means adapting each hotel depending on the culturaldiversity at national environment in all its operations. By adaptingto intangible products and services that corresponds to local marketsfour seasons will be able to enhance its competitiveness across allcultures. Delivering intelligent, anticipatory and enthusiasticservices worldwide will enhance its exceptional services to allclients (Andrew et l, 2012, pg 213).
(ii)Would you prefer to change this practice?)
Theaspect of ‘tailor made hotels’ and ‘cultural chameleon’ is animportant strategy in the global market faced with stiff completion.However, with increased travel, tourism and globalization four seasonhotel need to ‘diversify’ their products and services and‘tailor’ them as per the travelling client from another country.For instance, a guest who travels from home country Paris to Nigeriamay want to enjoy ‘local’ products and services as per their homecountry. In this way four seasons Hotel would accommodate embracetourism and globalization without hurting its operations. However,the corporate management culture needs to remain the same.
(C)Identify relevant levels/spheres of culture that you need to takeinto account when implementing change interventions in the new hotelwhere you work as the GM?
Nationaland organizational culture
Inmost aspects there is conflict in organizations and the nationalculture. As a manager one need to identify and adapt to nationalcultures while blending it with Organizations culture to maintainconsistency and ease of operation activities. Cultural renovation isnecessary in maintaining consistency in service deliver especiallywhere organizations culture clash with national culture.
Serviceculture standards-Globally uniform standards
Toenhance uniform standard, staffs need embrace service culture byhelping shape relationship between people which in turn helps buildorganization culture. Service culture requires deliveringintelligent, anticipatory and enthusiastic service worldwide.Employees must adapt to empathetic and anticipate guest needs andthereby reduce the ‘distance’ between the guest and theemployees. Employees need to be treated equally, with dignity andrespect. Organizations success depends on values and culturaltreatment to its employees. With the right attitude towards thestaffs, management can realize quality gains from motivatedemployees. A strong organizational culture can distinctly expandacross countries with distinct national cultures.
D)Critically evaluate the limitations of grasping interculturalchallenges within the Four Season’s organization, if relying solelyon Hofstede (1980) ‘Cultural Dimensions’ approach, and Kogut andSing’s (1988) ‘Cultural Distance’ construct?
According Kogut and Sing’s (1988), argues that cultural differencesinfluences organizations entry mode and as such if these factorsinfluence differently the perceived or real costs, countries patternsshould dictate the mode of entry a opposed to others. In the case offour seasons Hotel investment in a distinct national culture likeFrance and Middle East, the Vice president need to assess thecountries cultural patterns to know the cost effective and efficientstrategy in operationalising their activities. Kogut and Singhfurther add that, in case of acquisition of already existing foreigninvestments, firms should match their administrative practices,cultural practices and personal characteristics to the target firm.This helps avoid difficulty in integrating existing foreignmanagement due to cultural differences (Hofstede, 1980). Four seasonsHotel, needed to embrace this aspect in the case of France wherenational culture were overriding organizational culture. Kogut andSingh further adds that, organizations seeking foreign acquisitionneeds to explore countrys pattern, the cultural differences and howthe firm can mitigate perceived uncertainty arising from differencein cultures.
Hofteds(1980) argued that relationship between humans is culturallydimensioned. Individuals behave differently along four culturaldimensions individualism, masculinity, power distance anduncertainty avoidance. According to him, individuals within anorganization will exhibit different behaviors based on their nativecultural orientation. As such, certain cultures values creates powerdistance, uncertainty avoidance and individualism which may not becompatible with organizations goal. The Four season Hotel need tounderstand these cultural dynamics and integrate them with theirorganization culture in order to maintain consistency in servicedelivery. The community in Paris had stronger collective culturalvalues under the national culture and this explains the behavior ofemployees. Given such a society means assessing fully their culturalvalues in order to ‘Tailor Hotel’ operations along thecontemporary society cultural values. This enhances efficientmanagement and competitive advantage in service delivery. GeertHofsted therefore, argued that organizations can operate efficientlyafter understanding communities measures of value and attitudesattached in their culture.
Question2: ‘Organizational culture and potential intercultural challengeswhich new local staff might face when adopting the specific FourSeason’s organizational culture’
Organizationsthat have succeeded in creating a corporate culture that contributesto competitive advantage at home country, can successful adapt thecorporate culture in foreign nations despite its distinctive nationalculture. As an GM implementinting Four seasons Hotel managementprocess in Nigeria, new local staff may get challenge adopting Fourseason organizational culture in such areas as incompatibility oforganizational and national culture, lack of understanding in Humanresource- the Golden rule, Inability to execute ‘Service culturestandard’-Globally uniform standards. In order to avoid ‘clash’and ‘fit’ the Four Seasons Hotel investment and maintain itscompetitive advantage consistency management of various organizationsculture is important. Management of human resource in a multiculturalsociety requires flexibility, application of diversity andsingularity, and application of human resource golden rule intreating all staffs equally despites their cultural underpinnings(Pitcher & Smith, 2001, pg 45).
Indrawatiand Laurel (2005) assert that managing culturally diverse workforceis an important aspect within an organization. Diversity if managedwell in organizations helps to achieve competitive advantage byenhancing creativity, developing employee and organizationalpotential. However, if poorly managed diversity can result tomisunderstanding (culture clash). Therefore organizations need toembrace and manage diversity for positive gains (Cox, et l 1991, pg46). Organizations need to have cultural awareness trainings toneutralize ‘culture clash’ and enhance homogeneity in the workplace. Important components of employees management in a crosscultural environment are support and commitment to diversity,flexibility in organizational structure, diversity awarenesstraining. Kristin, et l. (2006 pg 145), asserts that when working ina multicultural society, diversity challenges may present managementhurdles within an organization. As such, to avoid management‘cultural clash’ there is need to examine the effects ofdemographic differences among the work team and establish effectivegroup process. Focus should be on understanding individualdifferences among the team members to enhance a diverse culturalworkforce (Hermon, 1996 pg 434).
MargretPhilips & Sonja Sackmann, (2002), argues that in the modern worldmanagers must work and be able to identify with many cultures.Successful managers are able enhance a diversified workforce andpromote homogeneity. Organizations need to enhance multiplicity,overlapping, superimposing cross cultural aspects in order to ‘fit’competitively in its area of operation. Different cultural identitiesenhance mediation in which individuals within the organizationalperceive and invest in their jobs and organization (Sackmann, &Bolton 1992, pg 124).
Thereare several factors that affect the diversity and singularity ofworkforce, groups within the organization may have distinctiveness invalues and practices in relation to comparable groups. Other factorssuch as interpersonal relations, shared goals and threats may affectindividual relations within an organization set up. Therefore,organizations management needs to embrace, explain, train, understandand promote diversity as a way of enhancing organizationscompetitiveness in its service provision. Tung (1997 pg 170) assertsthat, difference in cultural diversity will always be there fororganizations operating in a multicultural society, the importantthing is bridging differences in national cultures, through multipleculture perspective through team development enhancing tolerance andappreciation of difference (Nemetz & Christensen 1992, pg 234).
(Q3Top-management implementation approach for motivating new localstaff-members in change management processes in a multiculturalsociety)
Themanagement of Four Seasons Hotel, need to embrace the multipleculture perspective to effectively motivate staffs in a culturallydiverse work environment. Rather than bridging national cultures andorganizational culture the management needs to build on similaritiesheld commonly by other cultures to create solutions and manage thedifferences. Synergy may not be achieved through national culturesbut through active hard work in team development based onappreciation of differences and tolerance. In addition top managementneed to enhance cognitive diversity (profession or industrydifferences) to have positive impact on organization competitiveness(Milliken & Martins 1996, pg 419).
Furthermore,top management need to emphasize staffs to learn, develop andappreciate multiple cultures in order to work peacefully rather thanfocusing on cultural differences as a barrier. People must developspecial skills to adapt to the multicultural context, handledifference in synergistic and sensitive ways. Multiple cultures existwithin the larger organizations and societies context (DiStefano, &Mazenvski, 2000, pg 60). As such organizations need to incorporate‘one culture to the society’ because organizations arepluralistic and heterogeneous systems with its members living withinthe larger society. In this case, organization members may sharecertain organization aspects but also bring in various culturalvalues acquired from outside. In a broader sense, organization shouldenhance multiciplicity of separate, superimposed, nested andoverlapping cultures within it. This diversity would help bridgeindividual cultural differences and promote shared understanding ofdifferent cultures (Kleinberg, 1989, pg 230).
Organizationssuccess is attributed to large extent on its corporate culture. Theway an organization treats its staffs trickles down to customersatisfaction. Corporate cultures are important for its multipleeffects on customer value. Employees perception of Organizationsmanagement particularly the human resource policies has great effecton service delivery and organizational culture. When seniormanagement shares similar thoughts, feelings and patterns ofbehaviors in line of service delivery, this potentially enhancescustomer value. An organization that has created qualityorganizational culture has the potential of establishing qualityorganization culture in another country.
However,the changing cultural dynamics requires organizations manage theirculture consistently and flexibly to maintain their competitiveadvantage, avoid corporate culture ‘clash’ but enhance ‘fitting’in a different national culture. Several factors affect the diversityand singularity of workforce, groups within an organization may havedistinctiveness in values and practices in relation to comparablegroups. Therefore, human resource management needs to adopt specificapproaches in dealing with diverse culture. Its prerogative of themanagement to promote, train and develop its staffs in embracingdiverse multicultural societies. Rather than bridging nationalcultures and organizational culture the management needs to build onsimilarities held commonly by other cultures to create solutions andmanage the differences.
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