HRMG5064 Develop an understanding of selected theories, debates and research that relate to organisational behaviour and human resource management.

People, Management and Organisation

Reflective Essay - PIC Ltd

Learning outcome 1: Develop an understanding of selected theories, debates and research that relate to organisational behaviour and human resource management.

Learning outcome 2: Critically assess the role and challenges faced by managers/organizations and employees working within an organization and identify the foundations of such challenges.

Learning outcome 3: Create awareness of topics within OB/HRM and develop ability to analyse and articulate and apply techniques, approaches and solutions involved in the management of human, material and capital resources in an organisational context.

Learning outcome 4: Critically evaluate peer reviewed journal articles in the relevant areas of organisational
behaviour and human resource management and produce from this an appreciable essay that analyses key aspects relating topical areas studied. Students will be taught how to engage research critically by analysing such aspects as the scope, depth and currency of literature, credibility and usefulness of findings, theoretical/practical implication for practice.

Learning outcome 5 - Develop the ability to comprehend and manage complex information and present quality of writing and style in a way that address current organizational challenges.

Learning outcome 6 - Build ability to critically review and analyse articles in the relevant topic areas as published in top-ranking ABS journals and using such knowledge to inform decision orientation in response to specific and more general organizational scenario.

Learning outcome 7 - Understand how to undertake research and propose solutions to organisational and behaviourial issues as necessary to address conflict in organizations.

The task:

Title: Pyramid International Company (PIC).

In a recent publication, the Financial Times (FT) observed that there had been a frenzy of Merger and Acquisition (M&A) deal-making between organisations across the world even under Covid-19 restrictions. The increasing merger and acquisition activities, the writer notes, has put 2021 on track to break records, with almost $4tn deals already agreed since the start of the year, as companies rush to exploit cheap financing and bumper profits. To this can be added the pursuit of cheap labour and material and the search for Covid-19- relax work environments that ensure production continuity and competitive advantage. The paper further notes that there were $500bn worth of transactions globally in the usually quiet month of August, up from $289bn in the same month last year, and $275bn in 2019.

This surge in M&A, it notes, has also been fuelled by a mixture of low borrowing costs with firms taking advantage of trillions of dollars in the coffers of private equity groups. The writer projects that at this pace, total M&A activity this year is set to overtake the all-time high hit before the financial crisis in 2007, when $4.3tn worth of deals were announced. A key expert opinion, cited to support the very strong M&A investment intensity was that of Frank Aquila, global head of M&A at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. From his vantage expert`s eye view, he is quoted to have said "with most businesses generating record profits, having access to inexpensive debt and experiencing high share prices, it is difficult to see M&A activity slowing over the next six to 12 months," The same article found that many of the almost 40,000 deals announced since January have been large - running into tens of billions of US dollars, most of which include a record number of cross-border tie-ups.

We find from the above excerpt that cross-border M&A are consolidating as a model for global trade and this multinational financing and investment model is bound to continue. Our study of international HRM, cross-cultural management and wider knowledge of international business and management tells us that with increasing cross-national investment comes unprecedented labour mobility across different nations to meet the demands of such high volumes of cross-border tie-ups mentioned by investment expert Frank Aquila above. However, this process of labour movement between countries also brings about issues of culture, language, work system and other differences between expert skilled persons and general labourers from various countries, regions and peoples. Recognising cross-border labour mobility consequences, scholarly management work specific to organisational behaviour (OB) and human resource management (HRM) has thus, placed emphasis on labour migration issues and processes (see e.g. Sarpong, MacLean and Eyong, 2018). As young graduates from DMU, you will be faced with cross- cultural challenge in one way or another and yet you will have to lead effectively in ways necessitating both rational and irrational thinking. You will also have to meet the emerging need to incorporate fun at work, yet delivering employee satisfaction and achieving the goals of your organisations.

Based on the intense cross-border M&A activity explained in the FT article, you are required to focus your thoughts on an imaginary cross-border multinational corporation (MNC), resulting out of M&A and which harmonises North-South social, cultural and institutional realities. The new MNC is known as Pyramid International Company (PIC). Maintaining that cross-border and cross-cultural challenges are active out of the inevitable multicultural work relationships existing at PIC involving; home country, host country and third country nationals working together in your country of origin or country of permanent residence, write an essay of 3500 words in which you address the following aspects of your role as Human Resource Manager or General Manager.

1) Drawing on the literature on fun at work, propose two fun strategies that can make work more enjoyable at PIC. Note that PIC is based in your home country or country of permanent residency, with employees of many nationalities, different cultures and from various continents or regions. In doing so, reflect on the challenge of culture and personality differences as well as the specific context-contingent sociological factors that could impact on the proposed fun at work project (500 words).

2) Critically discuss three main challenges involved in cross-border recruitment and deployment of labour internationally and propose ways through which these can be addressed (500 words).

3) Critically discuss why transformational leadership theory might not be effective as a universal approach to leadership in a multicultural and international work environment emerging out of cross-border merger and acquisition as is the case for PIC (500 words).

4) Discuss how Kurt Lewin`s three steps model of change could assist managers of PIC to prepare home, host and third country nationals to adapt to a new more relational and sociable work ethic. Reflect on complexity rather than simplicity of change and seek alternative approaches or models of change that may be appropriate in the political, economic, social, technological and legal environment in your home or resident country (500 words).

5) Building from Hofstede`s five dimensions on culture differences and the literature on national culture and cross-cultural communication in general, discuss ways through which employees of different nationalities and cultures can take advantage of the benefits of cultural diversity at PIC. Reflect on challenges around culture entrenchment, ethnocentrism and cosmopolitanism as they contrast with sensitivity towards culture universality (500 words).

6) Explore ways through which emotional intelligence - as presented in David Goleman`s five elements model can be used to improve employee motivation at PIC (500 words).

7) Your introduction should succinctly explain the task, identify key issues to be developed in the body of the essay and present a clear structure explaining the order or sequence in which the different sections of your essay will be arranged and developed (250 words).

8) End your essay with a composite conclusion reminding the reader about what the task was about and explaining how this has been accomplished. Reiterate the main points from each topical area and reflect on the challenges faced in the course of completing the task and learning gained from the module (250 words).

Note that you have been asked to write an essay rather than a report. You will therefore avoid sub-headings and writing in the first person - ‘I`, ‘my` or according to my opinion etc. etc. This approach is not often encouraged in academic writing. Instead say, this student, author or as the leader of the organisation, the analysis shows that the most appropriate approach(es) could be. The reason(s) is/are. Support your claims with analytical evidence rather than simply mentioning them.

Also, note that the reference sources you use for your essay should come from the following list of ABS3* and 4* journals: (Seek support from a library staff should you find any difficulty in finding these journals and the articles that you will wish to analyse to support your essay)

Recommended journals to select articles:

• International Journal of Human Resource Management
• Work, Employment and Society
• Human Resource Management Journal
• European Journal of Industrial Relations
• Gender, Work and Organisation
• Employee Relations
• Human Relations
• Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes
• Journal of Organizational Behaviour
• Academy of Management Perspectives
• Academy of Management Journal
• Academy of Management Review
• Human Resource Management
• Leadership quarterly
• Leadership journal
• European Journal of Urban and Regional studies

Note further that the articles or reference sources you bring into your essay should not be older than 5 years. This means that you should only use reference sources or articles published between; 2014 - 2019. The markers are more interested in ongoing, current conversations/debates and issues around the various topics rather than references such as: Transformational leadership (Burns, 1978; Bass, 1985) or Maslow`s theory of motivation (Maslow, 1943). We are interested in your reading and understanding of the manner in which recent writers are engaging with these foundational concepts rather than in your ability to explain what these concepts are. As much as possible, avoid explanation and definitions of theories. Rather, engage in critical examination about how these concepts are written about and applied in today`s business and management context.

In your analysis, you should aim to compare/evaluate between theories/perceptions/approaches, rather than just explain from websites or books etc. In critical analysis process, you will consider highlighting similarities and differences in the arguments developed, evaluate the value and contribution and suitability of theories/approaches in your context. Avoid simple explanation and description. Rather, seek to analyse current issues engaged in the various streams of literature in some depth, outlining implication, limitations and questioning assumptions drawing on your experience or alternative real-life news, events or cultural conventions. Avoid copying content from the internet as this would not fit into the development of your essay.

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