Sample Management Essay Paper on Individual Evaluative Summary Report on Group Presentations

Introduction

            The global organisation given focus in this summary report is Ausenco Limited. This company deals with construction management, procurement, engineering and provision of operations services to the energy and resources sector. Ausenco was founded in 1991 in Brisbane, Australia. The company has grown over the years to have a presence in north America, south America, China, Asia, Africa, among others. Given the global presence that this company has, it has employees from varying backgrounds. It is, therefore, important for the management of the company in the various branches to be aware of the intricacies of the prevailing cultures in those countries (Ausenco.com, 2017 par3). This can help in making the local employees feel valued and have them improve and keep their performance optimal. Ausenco has a multicultural team owing to having various branches all over the world. This team consists of workers that have unique backgrounds and need to be treated with that in mind if the team is to be effective. There is a need, therefore, for the management of the company in the various branches to have multicultural competences and adopt policies that promote inclusivity and diversity. This needs to be achieved without compromising the competitiveness of the company.

There are various challenges that are associated with the management of a multicultural team. The members of the multicultural team are likely to have misunderstandings, and this is because the understanding of hierarchical and egalitarian issues is not taken the same way across various cultures (Fiori and Antonakis, 2012, p. 248). An approach that might seem commonplace in the western world can be viewed as deeply offensive in the subtle Asian culture. Assumption that persons from different cultures should adapt to the prevailing one is incorrect (Drew, 2014, par3). One of the immediate challenges faced by the manager of a multicultural team is linguistics. Communication is key in the activities of an organisation’s team, and having persons from different cultures, who are used to different languages can be a problem. Even if the team agrees to communicate using one common language, there is the use of local accents and terminologies that might get lost on some members of the team (Hajro, Gibson and Pudelko, 2015, p. 360). Use of jargon that some members the team cannot understand or speaking with an accent that cannot be understood by other members of the team can be tiring and lower the self-esteem of the affected members (Wittenberg-Cox, 2016). An interest in learning and effort on the part of the members of the team is required to overcome this challenge.

            The forms of communication that are utilised by the members of the team also present a challenge. For instance, the western cultures are known to apply directness in communication, while the Asian cultures prefer indirect communication. Applying directness to the Asian members in a team would therefore be construed as offensive and rude, while a team member from Europe or north America would not have a problem with it. A manager with Australian background would have to research and understand the cultural communication norms of the members of the team to facilitate better communication. The management structure tends to differ across cultures (Wittenberg-Cox, 2016). This is a potential challenge to Ausenco. If a team member needs to raise an issue with the manager, a clear system should be in place, guiding the team on how to do it. Having the team adapt to the decision-making processes of the company can be a challenge, especially if the persons that formulated the processes are from a different culture. Adapting to the cultural context and having the members of the team adapt to the norms of the organisation can be very helpful in ensuring that all are satisfied.       

Summary of Two Firms from The MBA Presentations

            The two firms that have managed to make use of cultural intelligence and emotional intelligence to manage multicultural teams are McDonalds and Commonwealth Bank. Using these tools has made it possible for these firms to manage the diversity in their workforce, making them have continued success in different markets.

McDonalds

Emotional Intelligence

McDonalds is one of the companies that has invested in having its employees develop high levels of emotional intelligence. This is observed especially with the employees that interact directly with the customers. The company also has a global reach, and this has required it to employ workers from varying backgrounds (Shelah, 2017). The encouragement of the workers to develop high emotional intelligence is to enable them have productive interactions among themselves, with the customers and with the suppliers. This nature of the McDonald employees is seen in the bubbly nature when dealing with the customers or when they are processing the orders of the customers. The emotional intelligence of the workers can also be discerned when they are dealing with complaints from the customers (Peter, 2011). Given the diverse nature of the market served by the firm, it is impressive how developed the employees are in the right handling of persons from various backgrounds. Having the ability to hand clients in the correct manner is a habit that is learned from the interaction of the workers within the company (Singh, 2010, par5). Each of them has a set of responsibilities in the company, and they must harmonise them with those of their colleagues to maintain efficiency in service provision.

Cultural Intelligence

One of the notable ways in which McDonalds has management to inculcate emotional intelligence in the organisation is by carefully balancing standardisation with respect to the local traditions of where the shops are located. The burgers are made with the materials are most favoured by the prevailing culture, paying attention to the religious and customary requirement of the local community (Peter, 2011). For example, the meat and bread used in the middle east must be halal, while McShawarmas in Israel consist of kosher meat (Gardner, 2010). The respect that is bestowed on the cultures of the different markets and workers make this corporation acceptable universally.

Diversity

Diversity has been implemented by this company since the affirmative action days in the 1970s (Gardner, 2010). this company has not only ensured there is diversity in the lower ranking positions but has trained its staff on leadership skills to make them ready for promotions. As a result, more than 70 percent of McDonalds workforce is composed of women and people of colour, which is representative of the global diversity (Corporate.mcdonalds.com, 2017, par3).

Commonwealth Bank

Emotional intelligence

The commonwealth bank was recognised in 2016 as the organisation that excelled the most in the application of emotional intelligence in leadership. Emotional intelligence entails the understanding and controlling of one’s emotions. This is followed by understanding how other persons are feeling and acting accordingly to ensure that the desired outcome is achieved. The employees of this financial institution are encouraged to develop emotional intelligence just as their leaders have done (Commbank.com.au, 2017, par4). This helps in better coordination of activities within the organisation. Emotional intelligence in the workers of the bank has improved the relationships that the bank has established with the clients. This is achieved by understanding the needs of the clients effortlessly and working towards their fulfilment. The internal relationships in the organisation have also improved greatly, and this is responsible for the overall better performance of the organisation.

Cultural intelligence

Cultural intelligence is closely related to emotional intelligence, is it entails appealing to the cultural nuances of a person that is from a different background. The internal reactions of a person to a situation that is new to them, be they of disgust or delight, are emotional in nature. A person having emotional intelligence is in a better position to interact with another person from a different background.

Diversity

This organisation is committed to diversity and inclusion in its workforce. This is done to reflect the diversity of people and cultures that are served by the bank and to come up with better ways of serving these customers. To demonstrate its seriousness in ensuring that there is diversity and inclusion in its workforce, it has ensured that many its critical leadership positions are held by women (Commbank.com.au, 2017, par4). Furthermore, there is a Diversity Council that is chaired by the CEO of the company. This council meets every six months to strategize how to best progress towards the diversity objectives. Each of the members of the diversity council is assigned an area of the strategy, and there are network groups of employees with the task of aligning the approach of the organisation with their needs and those of their communities.

Analysis

            Given that Ausenco deals mainly with engineering and construction projects, it does not deal with the mass consumers that McDonalds and Commonwealth Bank are exposed to. The approach of using emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence and diversity to deal with multicultural teams needs to be fashioned to accommodate its activities. The projects that take place in the overseas branches of Ausenco involve teams that consist of representatives from the headquarter of the firm and the representatives from the partnering companies. Negotiations take place during the planning phase of the projects, and this is with the aims of agreeing on the budget and timelines of the projects. The partners in the negotiation are from diverse cultures, and there are high stakes involved. The representatives of Ausenco, therefore, need to have emotional and cultural intelligence to handle the partners well. This is done with the aim of ensuring the agreement is favourable to the company and provide a possibility of repeat business in the future.

Recommendations

            Ausenco should train the employees in management positions in the branches oversees emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence.This will enable these senior employees deal with the partners in a competent manner that is favourable to the company. Diversity in the recruitment of management employees in the company is advisable. These employees are from the cultures and backgrounds of the representatives from the partnering firms (Fiori and Antonakis, 2012, p. 250). They are in a better position to understand their cultural peers and are likely to get a better reception than foreigners. Having diversity also makes it easier to market the company in the new markets where the employees are a familiar face to the targeted market. This training should be done onsite, and local consultants that are aware of the local cultures used to facilitate the training.  

Conclusion

            Ausenco is a company that has its roots in Australia, and has expanded to north America, south America, Asia and Africa. This company with engineering and construction projects in partnership with the local companies and organisations. There is a need for the employees of this company to have emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence. These skills are needed even more when the employees are sent to the overseas branches as expatriates.The employees of this company need to have people skills to deal with the clients of the company that do not have Australian background. This is an approach that has worked well for McDonalds, which has standardised its products to reflect the culture of the targeted market. The use of local products and delicacies by McDonalds makes it acceptable in the eyes of the locals. The employees of this franchise are also trained on emotional intelligence, which makes it very easy for them to interact productively with the customers and handle the complaints of the clients effectively. Ausenco should approach its external clients in the same manner. Diversity is a tool that can be used by this company to make its external relationships work without having to spend time and resources to train expatriates. The local employees are likely to be valued more by the clients compared to foreigners.

Reference List

Ausenco.com (2017). Our values and people practices | Ausenco. [online] Ausenco.com. Available at: http://www.ausenco.com/our-values-and-people-practice [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Commbank.com.au (2017). Commitment to diversity and inclusion – CommBank. [online] Commbank.com.au. Available at: https://www.commbank.com.au/about-us/opportunity-initiatives/opportunity-from-good-business-practice/our-approach-to-diversity/commitment-to-diversity.html [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Corporate.mcdonalds.com (2017). People Are Our Brand – McDonald’s :: McDonald’s. [online] Corporate.mcdonalds.com. Available at: http://corporate.mcdonalds.com/mcd/sustainability/people.html [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Drew, F. (2014). 4 Challenges of A Multicultural Team. [online] Blog.taskworld.com. Available at: http://blog.taskworld.com/4-challenges-of-a-multicultural-team [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Fiori, M. and Antonakis, J. (2012). Selective attention to emotional stimuli: What IQ and openness do, and emotional intelligence does not. Intelligence, 40(3), pp.245-254.

Gardner, C. (2010). McDonald’s Supersizes Diversity. [online] CNBC. Available at: https://www.cnbc.com/id/39078021 [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Hajro, A., Gibson, C. and Pudelko, M. (2015). Knowledge Exchange Processes in Multicultural Teams: Linking Organizational Diversity Climates to Teams’ Effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 60(1), pp.345-372.

Peter, S. (2011). McDonald’s the innovator: McDonald’s devotes a lot of effort to adapting itself to local tastes. [online] Economist.com. Available at: https://www.economist.com/blogs/schumpeter/2011/06/fast-food-and-cultural-sensitivity [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

SHELAH, M. (2017). Emotional Intelligence At McDonald’s. [online] LinkedIn training. Available at: https://www.mikeshelah.com/single-post/2017/01/31/Emotional-Intelligence-At-McDonalds [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Singh, A. (2010). McDonald’s Makes Diversity About the Bottom Line. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2010/09/08/mcdonalds-makes-diversity-about-the-bottom-line/#33d1f1b8506a [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Spenner, P. (2013). Forbes Welcome. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/patrickspenner/2013/06/21/lessons-from-mcdonalds/#3cdc3bf47d4f [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].

Wittenberg-Cox, A. (2016). How CEOs Can Put Gender Balance on the Agenda at Their Companies. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2016/11/how-ceos-can-put-gender-balance-on-the-agenda-at-their-companies [Accessed 27 Sep. 2017].