Magna International Inc and L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limited: Human Resource Training and Development

Results and findings

Result: the following table depicts the findings of the survey carried out to portray the staffing situation in Magna International Inc and L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limited in international market.

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Table 1: Staffing situation in L’auto-neige bombardier limitee and magna international INC international market
NUMBER OF RESPONDENTS: L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limited Magna International Inc..
Managers: 4 4
Employee: 25 25
CEO:
Local CEO (as a % of total number of firms) 55 15
Canadian expatriates CEO (as a % of total number of branches/subsidiary) 25 60
Foreign CEO from a different country (as a % of total number of branches) 20 25
SENIOR MANAGER:
Local senior manager (%of total Sr. manager) 45 60
expatriates senior manager (%of total Sr. manager) 55 40
MIDDLE MANAGER:
Local middle manager (%of total Sr. manager) 83 77
expatriates middle manager (%of total Sr. manager) 17 23
Of which from parent company 15 19
ENGINEERS:
Local engineers (%of total engineers ) 89 61
expatriates engineers (%of total engineers) 11 39
Of which from parent company 10 30
STAFF WITH RESPONSIBILITY IN DIFFERENT TASK:
(AS % OF TOTAL STAFF IN RESPECTIVE DEPARTMENT)
OVERALL MANAGEMENT
Local staff 77 51
expatriates staff 23 49
MARKETING
Local staff 93 57
expatriates staff 7 43
INPUT PROCUREMENT MNAGEMENT
Local staff 92 63
expatriates staff 8 37
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Local staff 85 54
expatriates staff 15 46
LABOUR MANAGEMENT
Local staff 93 70
expatriates staff 7 30
PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT
Local staff 89 67
expatriates staff 11 33
INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
Local staff 87 61
expatriates staff 13 39
DEVELOPMENT OF PRODUCT MANAGEMENT
Local staff 85 57
Foreign staff 15 43
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW PRODUCT
Local staff 90 52
Foreign staff 10 48
TECHNOLOGY DESIGN
Local staff 88 59
Foreign staff 12 41
DEVELOPMENT OF TOOLS
Local staff 91 60
Foreign staff 9 40
IMPROVEMENT OF PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY
Local staff 92 57
Foreign staff 8 43
QUALITY CONTROL
Local staff 89.5 61
Foreign staff 10.5 39
MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR OF EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
Local staff 86 65
expatriates staff 14 35

Staff Recruitment

The above table indicates that L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limited tend to keep more expatriates in key positions than magna in the international market. However, an important point to be noted is that L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limited hesitate to appoint a local person as CEO, where Magna show no such discretion. As far as different tasks are concerned L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limited have expressed their much higher reliability on local people than magna. Interview results indicate that senior local staff can often have beneficial effects on the operations of the international operations of multinationals and result in stronger linkages and interfaces with local training and technology institutions.

L’Auto-Neige Bombardier Limited usually display both similarities and differences regarding staffing when compared to American multinational corporations. Looking at the exhibits above for the two companies Magna and Bombardier limited you find that these two companies like appointing expatriates in various countries where they have opened office. The expatriates appointed by these companies they are always from the home country or from countries where they have already establishes subsidiaries for example they can appoint expatriates for example from south Africa where they have already established subsidiaries to a new establishment in the democratic republic of Congo. From the data you realize that the local staff are hired in senior position in some countries such as India, china and some European countries. The levels of engineers are given to the local people while more senior positions such as chief executives and financial management are left mostly to expatriates. Staff members are given various responsibilities and tasks by both companies. However the local people are given more opportunities by bombardier limited as compared to magna. However, in marketing department both companies consider the local population. Bombardier limited gives 93% of marketing responsibilities to the local people while expatriates are given 7%. It is the same case with magna although the percentage of the population that handles marketing differs. They give 57% to the locals to manage the marketing department while 43% is left to expatriates.

When it comes to production, the local population is given a large portion by both companies however they differ also in population. Magna considers 67% of the local population as compared to 89% for bombardier. From this statistics it seems that bombardier has more faith in the local population and they introduce a few expatriates to help the organization train the local people.

In appointing chief executives for the companies magna gives expatriates a high chances by appointing 60% of the total chief executives managing their subsidiaries or branches. They also give foreign chief executive officers more opportunities than bombardier limited. They appoint 25% of the chief executives from different countries which is not Canada or the host nation while bombardier gives only 20% to foreign chief executives and 25% to canadian chief executives. This means that most senior positions being held in the subsidiaries of bombardier are to the local people and this has become a competitive advantage for the company. It is the level of quality control maintenance and repairs as well as improvement of production technology whereas bombardier appoints the majority local individuals than any other divisions of production. In all cases bombardier.

Selection process evaluation

The companies’ selection methods were producing good success in the international market. All the companies indicated that their selection techniques were assisting in production. The two organizations admit that their selection practices were of great value to the acceptance of their products in the international market. This admission has been made by the very people responsible for constructing and managing the programs that are in place today. One might be tempted to guess that many of the respondents, having a significant proprietary interest in these programs, may be accused of looking at them with rose-colored glasses. Despite that natural tendency to look at the bright side, many of them were nevertheless candid enough to give process poor grades.

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Presumably this data, obtained informally, should rise above the general quality of water-cooler scuttlebutt, but why rely on any informal data exclusively when there are so many effective, more professional evaluation techniques available to the company?

None of the companies actually tested and verified by standard research techniques their organizational definitions of success and their assumptions about the effectiveness of their own selection methods.

While one expect most midsize and small companies to go to the extreme of staffing up to the levels of a major research center, it is surprising to learn that the larger companies participating in this case studies have apparently not seen the need to explore professionally the issue of the quality of their own selection methods. Indeed, if companies continue to report selection as their primarily expatriate assignment challenge, then the managers of the function ought to be exploring avenues to take in developing and implementing effective methods for picking the right people for overseas work.

Let’s review a checklist of what procedures these companies are using in the carrying through their selection process. It should provide us with indicators as to the source of these selection problems. There is an ironic feature in this listing of expatriate processes; most of these same companies tend to used each of the activities far more extensively in connection with domestic transfers and promotions. But for some reason these multinational companies are utilizing few of these useful techniques in their overseas assignment procedures using these process. Now pause to reflect on the fact that fully of the companies include a human resource representative from participating in the expatriate interview process. Presumably, an employee specifically trained for this task as well as corporate staff person who offers the most actual experience in this difficult process.

The employment section within the human resources department is generally utilized as the initial screen function in case of domestic hires, so why should there be any deviation from that step in the more difficult interview evaluations of a candidate being considered for overseas work? These individual’s are the firm’s most experienced interviews. The current supervisor of any candidate clearly needs to be included in the evaluation performances and traits that play such important roles in the potential success of that candidate in the overseas posting. If the candidate’s written data will be available for host country manager and his or her human resources representative to review and discuss together. But that data is genetic to a home country position. What is that needed is that supervisor’s input as to how his or her employee would perform, given the circumstances of the particular overseas posting that is one to the candidate. On most performances appraisal forms, there is space provided for the rated employee’s comments, not only as to the supervisor’s ratings but also for what his or her own goals and pursuits are. This section can serve as helpful tool by which management can more accurately [perceive the real intentions of the candidate. His or her comments about aspirations, goals and so forth open a window for mangers to view the candidate’s thinking, unclouded by thoughts of merit increase or an upcoming bonus.

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Another facet of this survey concerns the result that les than one-half of the responding companies employed any background or reference checks on the expatriate candidate as a part of the screening and selection process. Presumably those companies see no real need for these activities on the ground that they already know enough about the candidate to bypass those procedures. But is that really true? Virtually all companies have used background checks made years before. Managers now need to focus on the candidate’s entire family unit. Human resources people understand that unlike domestic hires, where the family is general not screened, there is an important element in the decision, and the school situation of every family member. Yet few major companies have utilized any screening procedures regarding the applicant’ family at the upon set of employment in the home country.

Unfortunately, companies need to be a bit nosy about major patterns of family conduct that could affect the posting, without, of course, violating the employee’s legal rights,. But appropriate without of course development through cultural training where appropriate testing and perhaps dress human relationships or other social skills can really help the employee, the family and management in the better appraising the like hood of success overseas.

For the same reasons, managers should consider medical and drug screening, now done by only a third of the organizations in the study. Those tests could reveal serious issues that, if addressed early enough in the processes, the candidate may have enough time to them staffing employee rights in such cases. Suffice it say that positive results to any of these require sensitive management handling, best done with legal counsel’ guidance. The survey administrators listed other screening/selection techniques and their sparse use by the participating global organizations. These are consistent with the major techniques listed earlier, which are themselves little used. Therefore it is not surprising that the more progressive techniques are used even more rarely. Each of these management tools has proven itself to be a worthwhile investment

But their relatively infrequent use by the surveyed companies indicates that they still not given enough serious consideration by mangers and human resources people as valuable tools to be deployed in the expatriate process. Taken together, the two surveys would appear to indicate a trend toward increasing awareness by the global player managers of the potential value of the programs set forth earlier and their frankness in admitting that their current procedure are not working properly. But this glimmer of awareness and potential willingness to consider broader screening/selection process represents the “glass half full”. The fact remains that current multinational practices need significant improvement now. What candidates alike, is that actual use of these programs is still so rare that you needed to determine what the current state of usage actually is at your own company and not assume that the array f sound, time-tested programs are utilized by your company. Managers and experts, it is for mutual benefit, in the long run, that these programs are available; they can save both of you in much time in avoiding going through all the assignment process steps for a job that is clearly not going to be for this candidate.

From the survey carried out we realize that bombardier limited carries out on the job training that’s why they are able to hire the local people since on job training gives people an opportunity to learn about the job. This is typical to the Canadian firms to carry out on the job training. However magna which uses a similar method of training prefers on job training in the country of origin rather than on job training in the country of operation.

Training is the most important aspect of human resource development both for expatriates and the locals. Training gives the local people and expatriates new skills on how to improve production in attaining the organizational goals. A company that gives employees an opportunity to train and improve on production will reflect their attitude towards expansion. If a company is interested in improving quality and remaining competitive, they always show an interest in training their employees. They also give a provision in the funds of the organization for training. Canadian firms are known to be interested in on job training as well as improving employees.

In this study one finds out that human resource management strategies employed by these multinationals differs greatly from one corporation to another but with a similar objective of ensuring a success in a foreign subsidiary in operation. The present study was to measure whether in-house or outsourced training worked well for these corporations. The study also was to find out whether selection and recruitment methods used affects the company’s success in foreign business transactions. From this study we realize that the method of recruitment selected also contributes to the failure of the company.

Unlike the regular staff expatriate position, the special project assignment has no prior incumbent to replace. Rather, it calls for a first time completion of a specific task, usually with no hard deadline. The duration is generally fixed to the project completion date, unless the project is of such a long term nature that will be turned over to a, local staff person prior to its completion. Most of these kinds of assignment are for less than two years. These assignments are generally performed by technicians who must construct or repair systems required by the host location. These are jobs that are also capable of being categorized as filling skills gaps at the overseas post.

Frequently these expatriates are called upon to train local staff into stages of development where they can begin to assume responsibility for the systems left in place. There is troubleshooting aspect of these positions that can extend their scope to any host country function that is suffering. There could b finance, marketing or sales issues that require extensive help.

For project expatriates the brief assignment duration offers fine career opportunities. The exposure often to many cultures through several projects, whether within the present company or out in the open market place. For family members a mixed blessing arises from these assignments. Where there is emotional drain of the expert’s department, the remainder of the family is spared the trauma of multiple uprooting. The spouse can continue pursuing career interests and the children can continue their educational programme without discomforting transitions to new schools. A completed project or better yet a series of successes, offers a wonderful chance to debrief both host and home country senior management. Project assignments also serve effective litmus tests as to whether a fixed-term operational job overseas would be appropriate for the project expert.

You expats will have to weigh that nasty matter of being away from your family for extended periods of time. This dark side to project assignments, especially when they begin to drag out to six months or more, needs to be addressed through company provided return trips or family visitations. These, concerns similar to other conditions spelled out in the employment agreement for overseas project work.

That contract needs to detail the work that is required to be performed to complete the project and the time frame for completion. Terms for expansions which always seem to be the case overseas, should be worked out. The contract needs to spell out what kinds of support, in terms of people and equipment, are to be furnished to the project expatriates.

Another item for the contract is the matter of reporting.

Analysis

It has become clear from the results obtained that Canadian firms apply somewhat different HRM strategies. Country-of-operation effect is prevalent in international market It has been found that bombardier, by not appointing local people in large proportion in CEO post and Senior manager level, and by contrast to it Magna by appointing local people as CEO in a number of cases, and as senior managers in large proportion exhibit Bombardier limited style of corporate governance. On the other hand, Canadian firms have handed over responsibilities of all kind of tasks mainly to local people, but in Magna foreigners are still given adequate responsibility all most in all tasks. This feature shows the adoption of localization strategy by Canadian firms. As far as investment strategy and entry strategy is concerned, they do not seem to exert much influence on HRM strategy, because it has been seen that for bombardier export orientation is much higher than that of magna firm, but they are still employing less local people in different tasks than do Canadian firms.

Training is an important aspect in human resource management in international assignment. It is concerned with assessing the needs of the firm through various tools to understand the need to send an expatriate from within the country or foreign country. Training should be monitored to ensure proper development for the candidate is achieved. The findings therefore support the findings of existing empirical researches. However, here one important point to be noted is that as far as trademark Bombardier limited style of collectivism is concerned a very little change is visible. All the collectivism is still predominant in Canadian firms; emphasis is being placed on individual performance also along with group performance.

There was and always will be, headquarters suspicions that expatriate are being excessively coddled. Senior home country managers who routinely visited experts and invariably returned with colorful tales regarding the high lifestyles they appeared to be leading, evidenced by visits to their residences located in the poshest parts of their host country communities. Further, there would be suspicious from the comptroller’s corner that many expatriate were banking almost all of their base salaries and living off the allowances and premiums. Obviously their domestic counterparts could not afford that financial luxury.

The cost controversy would then be joined when the expatriate program managers would be periodically required to explain that the rationale for the allowances was to bring the expatriate even with his or her domestic equivalents, using the widely firms. And, they would state, so many other companies use the same system that it must be the best available on the market. So the mangers of the process saw the expatriate package financially even with, not ahead of, the domestic counterpart. Balanced against these two perspectives is the long –held expatriate view that management does not fully appreciate all the sacrifices involved in the assignment. Further, the expert will insist that the current package is not always reflective of the real discomforts of living overseas. The experts point to local cost- of- living pressures, currency exchange fluctuations and the fattening of the expatriate package by other global companies doing business at the same host location. They cite the need to compensate for the relocation from their home environments and all the difficulties that are posed to the family unit in that process. I’ve talked with expatriate from many nations in over host countries and the consistency of their perspectives sounds almost as though they had established their own informal networks in constructing their arguments for more. Expatriate also are in positions to see how their contributions can produce enormous gains for their global employers and consequently there is something of a profit-sharing mentality in their vocal desire to share in the product of their own contributions.

These are endless bits of evidence and logic to support the positions. All three views acknowledge that overseas expenditure are extremely high, would cost to fill the overseas position with a local staff employee. While we do not expect the three sides of the traditional package despite to agree fully with any of the others’ positions, we can dissect the cost issue to determine exactly the specific sources of all these costs. The cost challenge comes into play at the earliest stage of the process. As management sets overseas assignment strategies there is the element of time as an expense; senior compensation rates- to devote to planning how much time should the seniors devote to these issues and whether some of them can be more properly delegated to staff. This all comes down to the realization that reasonable planning will ultimately reduce the huge out- of –pocket expenditures that inevitably follow assignments. The next cost steps also stem from time- the time required of managers in properly seeding the expatriate pool- and then real expenditures for assessment and training. Consulting services in these areas do not save the sizeable costs when overseas assignments encounter problems. We have seen the wide spectrum of management training alternatives available to companies today and there is little doubt that the costs incurred by many of these services, whether provided by outside consultants or in-house staff, represent significant expenditures. The next stage of the assignment involves the costs associated with the relocation itself.

The out-of – corporate-pocket expenditures represent just the tip of the cost iceberg above the water line. Below that surface are the more intangible, but equally meaningful expenditures of down time that preceded the expatriate’s move e; the time put in by peers and managers to help that replacement catch on, the possible difficulties with suppliers, customers or clients during that losses to the orientation stages of the new expat tying to settle in at host location. Then there is the matter of morale loss at both the host and the home locations when an assignment fails completely or browns out. Local view that as evidence that the opportunity could have been better assigned to a local staff employee. There is also the matter of the expatriate and family unit loss of self-esteem, again another intangible losses, but another significant one. How will his or her peers back at the home country location view expatriate work when they see how such assignments can end?

Conclusion and limitation

The world has become a global village and companies are recruiting individuals from different countries to work for them. Human resource management practices adopted by multinationals such as bombardier limited and magna determines their acceptance in the country of operation. Performance appraisal of expatriates determines or accessing an individual’s performance with the aim of identifying potential and weaknesses. Performance appraisal is important because of the following reasons.

  • To uncover special abilities and potentials of the employees.
  • To determine training needs and evaluate training effectiveness for staff development purposes.
  • It serves as a means to measure improvements in performance of the individual employees.
  • It helps the management to determine remuneration and promotion awards to employees based on merit.
  • The exercise enables the management to provide feedback to employees on their performance. Employees should be informed of their performance ratings so as to be aware of their weakness and potentials.

In appraising a person or an employee, should look for the following:- Knowledge of work, Quantity of work, responsibility and dependence, accomplishment, initiative and creativity, interpersonal relationship, punctuality, supervisory abilities and professional contributions.

Appraisals have failed in corporate America because of some problems associated with it. The problems associated with the appraisal are: – The appraise is not properly trained, personal conflicts regardless of effective and efficiency, length of service, at times jobs are evaluated not individuals.

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