Main Issues Of The Solartron Company Management Essay

I am the specialist recruitment consultant. I had gone through various situations in the Solartron Company. I analyzed the case of Solartron Company. I had given some recommendation to the company about expatriate manager. While going through the case incident occurred at Solartron Kenya Company has complex and complicated. Company just employed Mr. Pierre Blondeau as a expatiate manager in the Solartron Kenya. But he faced some problems in adapting with the Kenyan culture. According to my point of view some organizational and individual factors which have contributed to the main problems of the Solartron Company. These main issues are as follows.

2. Main issues of the Solartron Company:

2.1 Cultural problem:

Cultural problem arise for the Pierre when he arrived at the Kenya. Clash of culture between two different cultures Canadian and Kenyans. Pierre wife face language hassles and would not adjust with the languages and gel with the common people living nearby her.

2.2 Technical v/s Management:

Pierre Blondeau by profession, he was solar engineer and company had a big expectation from him to manage different post in Solartron Kenya like technical stuff, managing the staff, marketing of Solartron Kenya, and administration and inventory manager of the company.

2.3 Workload:

Workload on the Pierre arise straight way with other obligations which lead to no time to devote to start up, that causing him to struggle.

2.4 Lack of enough time to settle down:

As Pierre Blondeau arrived in Kenya, Managing director of STK, Harold Kamina, directly started to discuss the problems faced by the STK and did not gave any time to Pierre to adjust or accustom with the culture or environment.

2.5 Kenya is Masculine country:

Gap between the men values and female values is wider in the Kenya i.e. dominances of men in Kenya is more and women get less liberty.

2.6 Unclear psychological contract: Expectation of company and the employee were totally different from one another. That means the contract was not clear.

2.7 Housing problem: Expectation of Pierre from the company was high but after arriving in Kenya housing problem arise which reduce the happiness of Mrs. Pierre and motivation level of employee started to decline.

2.8 Transportation problem caused many difficult the Pierre life and which indirectly caused the company.

2.9 Time utilizes was not proper due to certain problem about the house, transportation and adjusting with the culture of working.

2.10 Lack of pull of candidates: Andre Mercil interviewed just six people in more than three months.

3. Options:

3.1 Recruitment:

Recruitment is very important aspect of the international human resource management. If expatriate failed there is wastage of money & time for both home and host Company. Expatriate failure leads in to financial loss for the organization. Recruiting the right candidate for the right job needs successful management team and development program. So these practices can be used to avoid the expatriate failure (Berell 2002). Most of the expatriate faces problems in recruitment and selection as they concentrates on standard, traditional hiring practices, albeit with some cosmetic alterations. According to Berell et. al. “there is a shortage of managerial talent capable of operating internationally…the globally friendly senior manager is a scarce and, therefore an expensive commodity”. Company need to consider both organizations and candidates needs and wants while recruiting the international manager. Recruitment is defined as what the company wants from the candidate and starting the procedure to attract the most appropriate candidate for the job (Edwards T. & Rees C. 2006).

3.2 Induction:

The replacement of employee and managers is major activity in the international business sector. Research shows that many organizations spend large amount of money and time recruiting and then losing the staff (Lashely and Rawson, 2000). Bringing the new recruits into the firm is a stressful and uncertain process for both the new recruit and the firm (Hartman and Yrle, 1996). In these circumstances, the induction crisis is in part a response to mismatch between the job role and the recruit and is rooted in poor selection and recruitment (Marchington and Wilkinson, 1996). Induction has been described as being “any arrangement made to familiarize the new employee with the organization, safety rules, general condition of employment, and the work of the section or department in which they are employed” (Skeats,1991).

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3.3 Performance / Reward management:

Performance management system is linked to many areas of IHRM. It includes evaluating international assignees (expatriate) or foreign manager for increasing their pay scale. Performance appraisal includes evaluation and development goals. Evaluation goals include providing feedback to managers and developing valid data for pay, promotion & job assignment decisions. Other side Development goals includes improving performance and future potential of the manager (Redman T. & Wilkinson A., 2006).

4. Choices among the options:

According to the research of case study selection, training and development are important factor for the Company and Expatriate Manager respectively whose taking the foreign assignment.

4.1 Selection:

Selection is all about choosing right candidate for the right place which involves examining the skills (Edwards T. & Rees C. 2006). Candidate who operate internationally rather than at locally should prefer more while doing selection (Leonard, (2002). Selecting a quality workforce is vital task of the HRM. There are various expatriate selection criteria at the personal level.

Control ability

Independent decision making ability

Openness to host nationals

Social networking ability

Cultural awareness

It includes control ability is how the expatriate manager dominate and examine the local operations in the host country (Jaw & Liu, 2004). Expatriate must make independent decisions without any consultation (Lu & Beamish, 2001). According to the research host country support is necessary for an expatriate to fit in the local situations and in the interpersonal communication skill. Social networking ability is to make contacts with external parties rather than internal parties in the host country (Chen & Chen, 1998). Cultural awareness is all about knowing or interpreting environment of the host country. While selecting the candidate cultural factor play important role as it affects on the performance (Sanchez, Spector, and Cooper (2000). Culture play vital role while expatriate staffing policy & performance in Multinational companies (Waxin & Panaccio, 2005).

4.2 Training and development:

Training and development is all about increasing the knowledge and skills related to their job. The main aim of it is to improve the employees’ performance in the organization. Managers also need to develop ways to measure the performance of their workers. There are two types of the training. It includes on-the-job-training which involves emphasis on ultimate goal knowledge and problems of learning. Off- the-job training is about learning basic facts and skills (Tabassi, A. & Abu Baker, A.H. (2009).

Expatriate managers (managers working in other than their home country) have full responsibility for success in international markets. So cross cultural skills are required to the expatriate managers. Expatriate manager have some pre requisites like he should be adaptable & flexible. According to Hogan and Goodson up to 40 percent of U.S. expatriate managers fail in their overseas tasks (Hogan and Goodson, 1990). Adaptation to the respective national culture is the key success factor in a foreign assignment (Dallas, 1995). Researchers (Harrison, 1994; Harris and Moran, 1991) have proposed a four – phase training model for expatriate managers.

Self awareness

General awareness of cultural differences

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Knowledge acquisition

Specific skills training

4.2.1 Self awareness:

Expatriate managers follow Four phase training model which is suggested by some researchers (Harrison, 1994; Harris and Moran, 1991) self awareness could help the trainees by providing insight for successful cross-cultural assignments. Cultural adaptability is one of the psychological instruments (Kelley & Meyers, 1992). According to Jordan and Cartwright (1998) Expatriate manager should possess some attributes:

Emotional stability

Self- confidence

Intellectual capacity

Relationship ability

Language skill

Cultural sensitivity

4.2.2 Awareness of cultural difference:

Cultural awareness of the different nations by expatriate manager provides clear insight about culture. There are various cultural dimensions given by Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck (1961). I would like to compare these dimensions to country like Canada and Kenya. It includes the nature, humanity, interpersonal relationship, time & space.

4.2.3 Specific Skills Training:

It focuses on skills which are necessary to succeed in the foreign culture. It includes analyzing problem situation, dingoes it and responds them accordingly (Harrison, 1994). Beitler and Frady’s (2002) model of expatriate manager assessment program begins with assessing the expatriate for foreign assignment. According to my research pre-departure training should be beneficial to the expatriate. It includes awareness of the culture and basic language skills to him as well as his spouse and dependents. In the conclusion Training and support is critically important to the success of international organizations.

4.2.4 Specific knowledge Acquisition:

It includes area, language and attitude awareness of the host country. Area studies include history, demographic and business climate of the host country. This will modify behavior in cross- cultural interactions (Tung, 1981). In researcher it found that knowledge of host country’s language to be essential. Know Language for individual creates more confidence and willingness to used and accustom with the host language will help the expatriate manager on their success and the level of fluency (Mendenhall and Oddou, 1985). It is important for the trainee and the expatriate to become aware of the attitudes he or she will face in the host country. Work-related attitudes such as productivity, dependability, pace, frequency of breaks, meeting interruptions, and deadlines vary greatly from culture to culture. Trainees must also be alerted to possible negative attitudes toward nationality, race, or gender.

Beitler and Frady’s (2002) given the model which is about the assessment of the expatriate manager.


Individualized learning agreements

Pre-departure training

E-support during the foreign assignment

Periodic -assessment

Learning agreement revisions

On-going E-support

Assessment: assessment is very important in the any management development program. There are two kinds of assessment instrument which are cross-cultural adaptability instrument and self-directed learning readiness instrument.

Individualized Learning Agreements:

Learning agreement includes what & how it will be learned. It includes how will learnig be documented & evaluated.

Pre-departure training:

It includes the awareness about the language and culture of the host country to the expatriate as well as his dependents.

E- Support during foreign assignment:

In the pre-departure phase, managers can acquire KSA (knowledge, skills and attitudes) through face to face counseling sessions. In the foreign assignment it becomes E-counseling.

Periodic Re-assessment:

It includes receiving as much feedback and guidance as possible from the supervisor.

Learning agreement revisions:

New learning agreements should immediately follow the periodic performance review.

On-going E-support:

It is in the forms of E-learning, E-mentoring, and E-counseling is an investment that will yield substantial returns for the organization.

5. Recommendation:

Solartron main problem was inappropriate selection of employee. Company required the emergence of Manager of Solartron Kenya. So they selected the Pierre Blondeau as solar engineer and company had expect to look other areas like technical stuff, managing the staff, marketing of Solartron Kenya, and administration and inventory manager of the company with proper training and study of Kenya. According to my point of view Solartron company must have recruited the many employee and then, Solartron Canadian company have selected the right candidates and then company has to provide the specific training and development of expatriate manager.

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Company should have selected the employee who has the control ability to dominate and examine the local operations of Kenya.

Employee should have the capabilities after going to host country i.e. Kenya, making and taking important decision and to be independent to make proper decision on-behalf of company and also should not take any consultation from any of his employee.

Expatriate should be open minded as he should be free to talk with Kenyan people.

5.4 Employee should try to make contacts with the outside people of the Solartron Kenya rather than internal staff.

Expatriate should aware of the Kenyan culture, history and geography. As he should know the beliefs & value, people of the Kenyan culture.

Dependents of the employee should aware of the language of the host country so language hassle can be avoided.

5.7 Company should give some time to settle down to the expatriate manager when he arrived in the Kenya so he would adjust with the new working environment.

5.8 According to my point of view Solartron and employee should aware of the contracts which they made as it should be clear and should followed by both parties.

5.9 While giving training to the candidate I would like to recommend some attributes which that candidate should possess. These are like emotional stability, self confidence, relationship ability, language skills.

5.10 Andre Mercil should do more advertising of the job vacancies which are exist in the Solartron Kenya so they can get more candidates for an interview through which right selection of the right candidate at the right position can be possible.

6. Following are some recommendations for avoiding the cultural shock:

6.1 Communication between Solartron Kenya and Solartron Canada should be clear about terms

and condition so they can reduce cultural shock.

6.2 Prospective candidate should research by their own, work conditions, expectations,


6.3 Solartron Kenya should arrange some social events like sports and picnic. So this helps

prospective employee to adapt with social culture. It helps to add relationship ability skill

among the candidates.

6.4 Company should provide 10-15 houses so Pierre can choose one among them.

6.5 There should be personal choice while taking car for transportation.

6.7 Candidate should be flexible so he can adapt to the Kenyan culture. And also candidate

should try and build relationship with local people.

7. Conclusion:

In the conclusion I would like to say that Solartron Canada having joint venture to Solartron Kenya which had just established. Main issues of the Solartron Company are like cultural & language problems, clash of expectation, workload, unclear psychological contract, and housing and transportation problem.

Solartron faced problems in selecting the right candidate for a right position in the company. There are certain criteria’s while selecting an expatriate. These are like control ability, openness to host national and social networking ability. They are also lags behind in the training and development for an expatriate manager. It includes the improving knowledge and skills related to their respective job.

Solartron should have given more focus on selecting the proper candidate for the foreign assignment and training them according to the new environment and culture of the host country. He should possess certain features like control ability, cultural awareness of Kenya and flexibility so he can manage the local operations of Solartron Kenya.

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