Samsung Multinational Cultural Training: Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1701 Words
Date:  2023-03-25


Samsung is the largest multinational company located in South Korea. Samsung multinational company recognized that it is vital for its employees to undergo cultural training before assuming new assignments in different countries. The company has therefore devised various methods to equip workers with skills necessary to fit into a new culture in the host country. The company has compiled different training approaches, current theories, and cultural adjustments to aid in training the workers. Moreover, the company uses Ericsson to view the preparation and training of nonnative in connection with these theories.

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Increased Globalization and Movement of Employees in Samsung Company

Currently, the ability to communicate effectively within a company, such as Samsung can be a challenge in a global context. Therefore, the Samsung company needs to understand the impact of globalization on cross-culture communication (Rani, Zuber, Yusoof, Zamziba, & Toriry, 2016). The economic challenge today accentuates the need for organizations to establish an internal communication capacity crucial for monitoring and regulating external threats (Rani et al., 2016). Samsung multinational company must understand how to communicate with workers, and consumers from different cultural backgrounds to fast track the realization of their mission, and gain values for stakeholders (Chen & Huang, 2009).

Ideally, effective communication is crucial for any business as it guides them to explain whether their product and service differ from their rivals. In an attempt to manage corporate culture, Samsung staged a "Startup Samsung" event with its workers and executives being present, and the main agenda was to seek how to get rid of its hierarchical practices (Rani et al., 2016). They also wanted to eradicate its rigid corporate structure along with its varying leaderships to address the problem of weak consumer demand and increased rivalry from other companies (Chen & Chiu, 2018). The globalization and upsurge of cheap Chinese products made Samsung lose its manufacturing powerhouse (Chen & Huang, 2009). It also made the company change its cultural approach. That paid off well, as Samsung is currently on track to understand the latest trends in Silicon Valley by obtaining patents in crucial areas like mobile payment, and the internet of things (Rani et al., 2016). Under the new structure, a new way of assessing workers' performance has been formulated. Workers who are competitive and lack disciplinary conduct will be promoted regardless of their rank.

The Cross-Cultural Training (CCT) Theory and How It Can Be Implemented in Global Companies

Increased globalization has hastened the movement of human capital, making resourceful cross-cultural training (CCT) significant for multi-national companies, such as Samsung (Osterdahl & Hanberg, 2009). As corporations become more globalized, there is an urgent need to send workers abroad on international assignments on behalf of the company. Black & Mendenhall (1990) stated the main goal of cross-cultural training as enabling people to acquire new information and skills associated with the host nation, which will lead to efficient cross-cultural interactions. (Black & Mendenhall, 1990). The main challenge is the failure rate of expatriates not completing their international assignments, therefore, making the company incur unnecessary high costs (Moro, Pires, Rita & Cortez, 2018).

Many theoretical studies have affirmed the importance of CCT, and also concluded that it is essential for creating a cultural adjustment process within the corporation, despite its high cost (Moro et al., 2018). Samsung company has successfully implemented the CCT program for its employees, and it has helped them to sustain their consumer demand and create a competitive edge over its rivals (Osterdahl & Hanberg, 2009).

Importance of Cultural Training for Employees with Different Backgrounds

The education system has played a significant role in contributing to social cohesion both regionally and globally. In multicultural communities, social capital is supported by cultural competence, broadly defined as the ability to work efficiently in situations characterized by cultural diversity (Osterdahl & Hanberg, 2009). According to research, the majority of VET graduates admitted that cross-cultural training impacted positively their workplace performance. In a nutshell, cross-cultural training is important as it imparts cultural competence on workers for their individual and organizational effectiveness, and further creation and maintenance of social capital in a multicultural society (Osterdahl & Hanberg, 2009).

Intention and Purpose of Samsung Company to Train their Foreign Workers

Matthews & Thakkar (2012) reiterated that Samsung is exceptional due to its focus on human resources, and risk-taking initiatives. The company recruits a smaller proportion of non-Koreans living in Korea but hires a greater percentage of non-Koreans living abroad (Matthews & Thakkar, 2012). Since the culture of the organization within the firm is centric, the decision to train their foreign workers is always on course. Samsung has adopted a CCT program, which has been successful at Ericsson to train their foreign expatriates (Matthews & Thakkar, 2012). The intention and purpose of the Samsung company to conduct the CCT program is to help foreign expatriates to overcomes sudden issues in a multicultural environment (Sorrells, 2015). The training can effectively assist people to adapt to a new environment by decreasing cultural shock, and efficiently performing overseas duties. Goldstein & Keller (2015) contemplated that the intention to conduct cross-cultural training will assist an expatriate to understand better the cultural differences and apply the knowledge to the cross-cultural context (Goldstein & Keller, 2015). Sorrells (2015) suggested that the training ought to be work and task-oriented, particularly when there is low cultural interaction between the native and host nation (Sorrells, 2015). Samsung Company also intends to adopt a sequential training model in its training, including pre-departure, and post-arrival training which is simply known as didactic (Sorrells, 2015).

The Argument for the Theory

The Cultural Adjustment Process

Cultural adjustment is a process an individual has to go through to be able to execute his or her duties effectively, and also live comfortably in a new multicultural environment. The essence of this process is to ensure an individual learns a new set of cultural dictates and behaviors. Cultural adjustment involves three main types; cultural surprise, cultural stress, and cultural shock. (Killick, 2008). Killick (2008) defined cultural shock as a brief stress reaction, where salient mental and physical stimuli are normally uncertain, and hence difficult to control or predict. Cultural surprise generally occurs during the initial days of your visit in a foreign nation; for example; one may be perplexed with the new language being used in the foreign nation (Killick, 2008). Cultural stress happens when an individual starts to respond to the behavior of the "new" culture; for instance; trying to drive a car (Killick, 2008).

The U-curve Adjustments Steps

The U-curve is a model meant to describe the emotional adjustment within an individual over a while. The U-curve can be categorized into four main steps; honeymoon, culture shock, adjustment, and mastery. Selmer (1999) described the honeymoon phase as the stage where an individual only sees the positive side of the new culture, and it only ends when the individual begins to experience daily life challenges (2months after arrival). It is often referred to as "tourist phase", or the "spectator phase" (Selmer, 1999). Cultural shock is a stage when an individual begins to face difficulties in cultural adjustment, and it generally happens due to; a sense of loss concerning friends, status or rejection by people in the host nation. Cultural shock is a normal phase that is experienced by a majority of expatriates (Killick, 2008). The adjustment process begins when individuals find it hard to adjust their feelings and experiences emanating from the culture shock subjected to him or her. The mastery or completion is the last stage that an expatriate can go through to adjust and function in the new environment (Selmer, 1999).

Adjustment Dimension

Samsung uses a self-oriented dimension to reinforce employees to continually support quality work style. Leading examples include substitution, stress reduction, and technical competence (Rani, Zuber, Yusoof, Zamziba, & Toriry, 2016). With substitution, Samsung replaces some employees with others to improve their quality of life. Also, with stress reduction, Samsung offers mental fitness management services, which helps to reinforce employees' mental health. Samsung also utilizes the technical competence dimension by organizing workers to focus on their particular jobs regardless of space or time (Rani et al., 2016).

The other-oriented dimensions are subdivided into relationship development and willingness to communicate (Rani et al., 2016). Samsung provides benefits to employees including support of family events, health care, and educational expenses. It gives financial and social support to victims in various situations something that aids in relationship development Employees also learn aspects of culture and maintain vitality as they interact.

Samsung also provides a perceptual dimension, which enables employees to have knowledge of foreign behavior and forecast future behavior of host countries something that lessens the tension in cross-cultural relations hence promoting adjustment to local conditions.

The company also provides a cultural toughness dimension; this explains the variation in the cultural distance of different employees of the company. For example, Samsung holds concerts at its electronics leadership center, and this ensembles member from Korea and elsewhere consisting of employees, non-employees, and their families (Rani et al., 2016). These concerts heighten the cultural toughness of the local community. Moreover, the gender of expatriate influences the cultural distance, since some cultures are complicated for females to fit. However, Samsung facilitates support as seen in its programs such as employee benefits.

Facilitating Efficient Adjustment

Samsung extends its selection criteria from where it used to focus on technical competence to skills in line with individual dimensions. The company provides opportunities for employees to prepare and plan for their future including job changing education. It also prepares employees for appropriate CCT programs (Hurn, 2011). It offers learning opportunities for employees who are ready to become leading experts in their respective areas. However, the company rules that a universal training program cannot be presented, but has to be designed according to both the context of the assignment and the individual characteristics of the expatriate.

Cross-Cultural Training Methods

Didactic Training

Didactic training is the most common form of CCT. More than two-thirds of all multinational corporations provide this form of training in the process of informal briefings, lectures form, casual conversation, which gives detail facts on the culture of the country before deploying them to a foreign nation.

Experiential Training

Experiential training is delivered using several methods, such as workshops, simulations, practical exercises, and visiting different areas of the host nation to be acquainted with the new way of life (Osterdahl & Hanberg, 2009). Look-see trips can offer the first real experience of the h...

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