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Weir group is an international technology company headquartered in Scotland but with operations crossing North America, chiefly Canada, the Middle East and Australasia. The company has evolved bit by bit complete clip as its concern operations have expanded to cover more merchandise and state markets. This has had rather a profound consequence on the manner it operates on a day-to-day footing, peculiarly with respects to its human resources policies and processs as it has had to accommodate to the altering environments in which it operates globally.
Culture within an administration is one of the most influential factors in pull offing a concern, at an built-in organizational degree. As a effect, this is magnified when we take into history differing nationalities and civilizations. It is besides one of the most hard factors to pull off and alter. In the yesteryear, and arguably, within many administrations in today’s universe, civilization has frequently been overlooked as irrelevant to the overall scheme of a company. Over clip, more concerns have come to recognize the importance of this variable, particularly as international or planetary concern activities have come to be the norm, and the accent has bit by bit shifted to people issues. Harmonizing to Schein, ( 1985 ) , “leadership is intertwined with civilization formation” and he believed that edifice and determining organizational civilization is the “unique and indispensable map of leadership” . This clearly is with respect to organizational civilization, non national civilization, but we feel it is of import to advert because it is peculiarly relevant to Weir given the beginnings and nature of the company and the industry in which it operates. Its organizational civilization and how the company is defined has an highly of import influence on how it manages the cultural complexnesss of the environments in which it now operates in and in our sentiment, makes this undertaking much more hard.
Weir’s beginnings are in heavy industrial technology ab initio based in Scotland and the UK. Much of this heritage has had an incontestable influence on the type of administration it is today, but clip has changed the kineticss of the company and the markets in which it operates, chiefly oil and gas, power and public-service corporations – all industries which are undergoing monolithic alteration at an unprecedented degree, particularly in visible radiation of the increased concern of environmental issues on which Weir and its clients have a monolithic impact. As antecedently mentioned, its beginnings are in heavy industrial technology in the UK, and as a consequence, the company and its markets are preponderantly male oriented with the figure of female employees minimal in comparing and the bulk of whom occupy secretarial, disposal and progressively, finance and accounting places. The technology sector is overpoweringly characterised by an ageing work force of male employees, so, many in senior places within Weir are approaching retirement. This has had an huge consequence on the civilization within the company, peculiarly in the UK, despite the statute law and other HR policies that have been introduced over clip. Many would reason that the company is the stereotyped male oriented, some may even travel every bit far as to state, male chauvinist, an industrial fabrication type administration. Indeed, many of its employees who now occupy concern development and other “office-based” functions started their working lives as learners on the store floor. They have basically moved up the ranks, but are shaped by the fact that they started their callings under an influence of working category fabrication outlook. They were used to timing in and out of work, for illustration. Now, they are faced with holding to non merely cover with differing clip zones of co-workers around the universe, but besides with the fact that these differing locations all have different ways of working and changing positions sing things such as hebdomadal working hours, overtime and the employment of females. This has been a hard accommodation to do, and has been intensified by the fact that non merely do they now have co-workers located across the universe, but besides, many of them are really managed remotely and progressively, by US based directors. This has opened up a whole minefield of organizational HR issues which have proved hard to pull off, but the company has besides realised, that direction of such issues is of import or the company will quite merely neglect in its overall concern aims.
We have attempted to give a brief overview of Weir Group, its organizational civilization and its concern environment in order to derive penetration into the peculiar jobs it faces in footings of how it manages, trades with and is affected by international civilization in the markets in which it operates globally. We shall now try to foreground more closely how its cultural environments impact upon its concern, how the company attempts to cover with this and our recommendations for alteration in its direction of the issues at manus.
Overruling Force of Culture: Weir Group
All concerns are affected by the environments in which they operate in. Increasingly, companies are affected by such factors globally instead than domestically. Weir Group is no exclusion and is peculiarly affected by political and economic factors given the industries in which its clients operate in – all potentially detrimental to the environment and progressively coming under new ordinances with respect to CO2 emanations, wellness and safety, scarceness in supply every bit good as increasing costs and increasing demand from emerging economic systems. This influences “its markets, its engineerings and its workforce.” ( Brooks, Ian et al 2004 ) . Ethical concerns over the markets in which they basically profit from, such as Iraq, besides have a major influence. Weir pulled out of Iraq merely a few old ages ago as it came under increased force per unit area from political and societal force per unit areas. Health and Safety instruction is invariably drilled into employees globally through the SafeStart™ [ 1 ] programme – aimed at cut downing the incidences of industrial accidents. This has proved to be really welcome in the UK and North America and is really much portion of the organisation’s doctrine. In other parts of the universe, nevertheless, it has proved more hard to implement as differing positions to wellness and safety exist, peculiarly in the less developed markets of the universe, where wellness and safety of employees might non be regarded every bit rather every bit of import as bring forthing a net income. However, as the universe in general and the concern universe in peculiar go more socially responsible and cognizant, the demand to implement such patterns will go more of import and Weir will hold to pull off this closely and efficaciously in its operations throughout the universe. It should be facilitated by the fact that there is an increasing incidence of cross-cultural coaction throughout its divisions and new patterns and positions will later be adopted more easy.
In economic footings, Weir’s concern has been affected rather significantly as some of its traditional markets and generators of income have been eroded. As a effect, the company has changed its scheme in footings of the markets it operates in and has divested those parts of the concern where it no longer was able to harvest fiscal benefits, most notably its pumps division – the beginnings of the company. It has besides acquired concerns, peculiarly in the excavation and minerals sectors as demand is forecast to increase well in these sectors in the medium to long term. This is an illustration of the company being affected by economic and general market conditions in rather a important manner. It besides led to the fact that the company changed its construction rather dramatically this twelvemonth to better header with the alterations in its external markets. It is now organised along market and industry sectors, instead than by merchandise lines as it was in the yesteryear. It is endeavoring to be the “market-led” administration proliferated by the likes of Piercy. ( Piercy, 2001 )
International civilization has been rather a hard component to pull off for the group, for some of the grounds given in our gap paragraphs. As the company and its markets have evolved, it has progressively moved off from being managed by Scots and UK subjects, and moved off from its fabrication and industrial roots to go a much more service-oriented administration. The Chief Executive is now Australian and some of its prima executives are US subjects, many of whom manage staff in the UK and elsewhere remotely. Much of this has been due to the fact that some of its most successful markets in footings of income and net income have been Canada and Australia. This has been met by some, particularly the long helping employees, by changing grades of bitterness and needs to be recognised by direction, peculiarly from an HR position as there is a danger of employees losing motive. Traditionally, the US tends to hold a longer working hebdomad than in the UK and Europe. Some directors expect employees to work 50 hours a hebdomad or more, even though they may be contracted to work for merely 35 hours. At the same clip, due to longer transposing distances in North America, many employees work from place, and the same is non offered to UK staff. This is a major cultural difference and one that needs to be managed really closely. This distant working ethos has besides impacted straight on the on the job patterns adopted throughout the universe with teleconferencing now a day-to-day happening in the Weir Group. Welcomed by some, but non by all as it introduces a whole new manner of working and pull offing and many are rather merely, non used to this and prefer face to confront contact.
Many believe that we are really similar in nature and civilization to the US – linguistic communication being by and large thought to be the common denominator, yet monolithic differences exist peculiarly in footings of working life. Language, excessively, has still created hurdlings with respect to terminology etc. This is peculiarly intensified through the rather typical Scots idiom, which many Weir employees have found hard to hold on. In add-on, much of Weir’s Scottish concern is located in the West of Scotland where traditionally, attitudes sing denominationalism are still really prevailing to this twenty-four hours and the age old jobs of commitments to football squads still creates a certain sum of tenseness within the company and is frequently seen to pervade through meetings among the most clip served employees. Not a professional stance to take, but it exists however and needs to be recognised as a possible stumbling block to the effectual direction of employees. This is really of import as it highlights that cultural differences can be at a regional every bit good as an international degree so that companies must pull off this at all degrees.
“Cultural analysis illuminates the subcultural kineticss within organisations….the construct non merely has become relevant to organizational degree analysis, but besides has aided apprehension of what goes on inside administrations when different subcultures and occupational groups must work with each other.” ( Schein, 1985 )
This highlights the importance of understanding cultural kineticss at a local degree, and besides emphasises how the issue is simply magnified when looking at civilization from an international position. Weir has had to pull off these differing forces as its markets have evolved, and its clients have changed and this will go on as farther developments occur, peculiarly with respect to the new emerging markets which are bit by bit opening up. What is apparent is that civilization as a force can non be ignored, it is hard to pull off, and is even more hard to alter. Another illustration of Weir holding to get by with a important cultural difference is in its Middle East and Arab province concern activities. Womans are non treated or regarded in the same manner as in the West due preponderantly to spiritual beliefs. Despite this, a pool of gifted female accomplishments is available in these markets whom Weir has employed but, they have had to accommodate their concern premises so that male and female employees are fundamentally segregated. They have besides had to accommodate working hours to let for spiritual activities to happen at certain times of the twenty-four hours. This has an immediate consequence on the administration of the remainder of its concern activities, the timing of conference calls, for illustration, as non all employees are available at the same clip. Again, this is magnified when one takes into history the difference in clip zones in which the company has to run.
In the yesteryear, it could be argued, and from our observations, that Weir adopted an basically “ethnocentric” attack to its concern activities as much of its concern was dictated from the UK, arguably, Scotland. Despite the company clearly trying to follow a more polycentric attack, it is our sentiment that the ethnocentric attack has undeniably had an impact on subsequent attacks in that it has had such an overpowering influence on the organizational civilization within the company. As clip has passed, new employees, new nationalities and new markets, have brought differing working patterns, values and beliefs to the company. This is non a touchable factor, and is highly tied to and inextricably linked to national individuality, beliefs and subsequent organizational civilization. The same could be said for all companies runing in today’s planetary environment. Despite our evident “converging commonality” ( Levitt, 1993 ) , with respect to consumer gustatory sensations, huge differences still remain because we are all shaped by the environments in which we live and these environments, despite globalization, are still basically variant with different linguistic communications, beliefs, faiths and value systems all coming in to play. In the same manner as companies runing in consumer markets must be cognizant of differing gustatory sensations, so excessively must companies in all sectors recognise how civilization impacts on the manner they manage their day-to-day concern activities. Without a uncertainty, Weir will continually endeavor to follow a more polycentric attack, but this does non connote that cultural difference in the markets in which it operates in can be ignored. In our sentiment, Weir need to follow a much more systematic attack to the cultural diversenesss which it faces, most significantly, it must recognize these and non presume that everyone will readily follow or encompass new working patterns as they are introduced. It is hard to specify, but the whole country is so trussed to single state degree influences, that these must be managed locally before they can be implemented company-wide. It must take to make a more incorporate vision of what Weir is approximately, as this in itself will automatically make a recognizable commonalty among its employees and markets that will later be more easy managed and finally effectual in footings of direction and concern activities.
“If nil alterations in the processs of the company, its administration, or the attitudes of its direction, employee attitudes will non alter either….the environment which has the most influence on employee attitudes is the one inside the concern. That is why the power to alter company civilization lies mostly in the custodies of management.”( Drennan, 1992 ) .
The jobs Weir has faced with cultural elements in the yesteryear are set to increase as it attempt to pull off the integrating of the recent acquisitions it has made in Australia and North America. Such a scheme simply implies more cultural diverseness will be introduced into the administration and makes it even more of import to make a incorporate Weir civilization in an effort to understate the jobs which could develop from this.
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