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Managing Human Resources in International Organisations

Q1. The formation of a partnership between Chemco, a US company and a local Japanese firm resulted in restructuring of its human resource especially at the top management level. The earlier agreement entailed a 51/49 share ratio but the American partner wanted more control. This led to them purchasing 2% from their Japanese counterparts to gain control of the joint venture. This of course would lead to a reconstitution of the board of directors to give the American partner more control. Some of the proposals brought forward by the American managers did not conform to the local Japanese managers’ ideas. For instance, a plan to streamline the product portfolio and cut on costs by integrating some functions into the global organization failed to take off since the local managers were opposed to it on grounds that it would press local consumer needs (Evans, Pucik & Bjorkman, 2011).
Due to the difference in management styles, the Americans, strongly believing in integration plans, found it necessary to push their agenda forward. This resulted in acquisition of 65% of the shares. Due to drop in sales out of competition, the US top management were at cross roads on whether to buy more equity, sell the business altogether or send in more expatriates. The Japanese partner had almost full control of the recruitment process and therefore any intended staff restructuring would be a tussle. At this point in the alliance, different human resource management initiatives were necessary. The most workable formula would include renegotiating the initial deal which had only focused on the financial implications and restructure the human resources department to be in line with the emerging workforce management. Replacing the entire workforce or top management with one partner’s preference would not necessarily yield in better management standards; rather embracing integration of expatriates from both sides would be recipe for success (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2008).
Q2. On CEMEX acquiring firms from different parts of the world, the management realized that each of these affiliate companies operated differently. Some were even completely run down. CEMEX was however able to transform all these ventures into profitable ones over time. The success of CEMEX in effectively running these companies may be attributed to among other factors the strategy to adopt a uniform management style. This entailed sharing of best practices, streamlining operations and implementing new processes such as modern management behaviour. The firm also improved the management of the value chain with consideration of the final consumer as a priority through strategic initiatives (Evans, Pucik & Bjorkman, 2011).
The company created a universal system to promote smooth acquisition of ventures and the eventual post-merger integration. In order to ensure a new acquisition succeed faster, the head office would send teams of experts from successful branches in different parts of the world to train the management on best practices. The process of post merger integration was elaborate and well structured, typically divided into four phases, an initial planning stage that involves analysis of the current situation followed by execution phase. Here, transition teams try to create synergies in all the business programs. This is followed by implementation in accordance with the laid down universal management structure dubbed the “The CEMEX Way”. By the end of this stage, the new acquisition is put in line with the operational efficiency standards common with all other CEMEX ventures. The company has also cultivated a culture of continued innovation that helps it overcome any emerging challenges (Evans, Pucik & Bjorkman, 2011).

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