There are four characteristics that are in demand within a technology oriented enterprise, namely: high market responsiveness, fast developments, low cost, and finally high levels of creativity, innovation and efficiency. What must be understood though is that such characteristics are dependent upon the type of technical teams that are the backbone of a company wherein through the utilization of a variety of management practices, workers with their own unique quirks are brought together to achieve a shared goal (i.e. create profit for the company) (Kesavan, Mascarenhas & Bernacchi, 2013). On the other hand, what must be taken into consideration is the fact that through globalization and the process of off shoring, technology teams are no longer isolated to merely being within the same building, state or country, rather, they are scattered across a wide breadth of countries and cultures which management practices of contemporary technology intensive enterprises need to take into consideration (Kesavan, Mascarenhas & Bernacchi, 2013).
How is the Development of Globalized Research and Development Possible?
Off shoring can take the form of manufacturing, accounting, customer services and a variety of other practices that can be done in another region or country. The main purpose of off shoring is to reduce the inherent cost of operations by leveraging aspects related to cheaper workforce costs or reduced utilities expenses found in other locations (Mitra, 2013).
Positives and Negatives When Building a Global Research and Development Network
Building a global research and development network can often result in an assortment of positive and negative effects for a company that need to be examined during the planning stage to prevent possible issues later on. Working across boundaries such as distance and business culture is advantageous for any company due to access to a greater talent pool and product markets, however, the fact remains that along with such advantages comes distinct disadvantages in the form of ill-suited management practices in dealing with a diversified global workforce and the potential for problems in a company’s supply chain due to lax standards on the part of their international partners (Mitra, 2013). For example, Microsoft which is one of the world’s largest software manufacturers, has development teams around the world working on different aspects of the operating systems that it produces. The inherent problem with this situation is that different methods of coding procedure combined with a variety of problems related to time difference, business culture and the sheer distance involved invites problems in all stages of OS development. In fact, it was seen in the case of the development of Windows Vista that issues with the operating system (which was largely considered one of Microsoft’s worst operating systems) was due to problems in effective management practices in helping to consolidate efforts across different borders and cultures (Chakraborty, Sarker, Sudhanshu, Sarker & Nadadhur, 2011).
One of the inherent challenges involving workplace diversity is in creating sufficient channels of communication within an organization. Channels of communication are one of the cornerstones of any successful business when it comes to having a diverse workplace environment since it entails the use of added practices so as to sufficiently relay messages across different ethnicities and cultures. People from different cultures and ethnicities tend to perceive messages in many different ways due to the unique quirks of their method of understanding. Some messages are at times interpreted as insulting and vice-versa and, as such, it is important to implement methods of communication that take this into consideration so as to reduce possible misinterpretations (Boehe, 2008).
Another challenge to take into consideration are factors related to cultural bias and prejudice that affect the ability of workers to work harmoniously at their respective jobs (Boehe, 2008). Companies that have various branches and teams spread across several international markets have noted that there are instances that occur involving cultural bias or even prejudice resulting in work related conflict as well as instances of intentional discrimination resulting in not only substantial reductions in performance but the loss of certain operational capacities (Boehe, 2008).
Necessity of a Global Research and Development Network
Despite the challenges, it is evident within the Siemens case study that developing a global research and development networking is a necessity in the current business environment. Organizations within the past few years have become increasing stratified and diversified as a direct result of not only the need to expand into new markets but the changing face of how people are employed within various companies today (i.e. in-house, contracted, part time etc.) (Peck & Cabras, 2009). This also due to the fact that companies have become more “networked” in that exchanges have become more horizontal rather than vertical due to the way in which the boundaries between companies/ organizations have become weakened as a direct result of new collaborative arrangements in the form of strategic partnerships and industrial networks (Peck & Cabras, 2009). Since globalization and multiculturalism have become synonymous aspects of the global market place, companies tend to respond to the diverse consumer and cultural demographics to which they sell their products and services by also diversifying their methods of operation to match the needs of such markets.
Management practices in some of today’s technology oriented organizations need to facilitate better collaboration and communication between global teams despite the distances and diverse cultural differences involved. This means facilitating new means of cooperation through team exchanges (members of one team visiting the other), implementing means of open communication and conceptualization between the two teams at all times and facilitating better cooperative practices through the development of cultural understanding regarding how particular business cultures work over diverse locations (Peck & Cabras, 2009). It is only through this that effective practices can be implemented which result in the characteristics mentioned earlier that are deemed necessary for a technology oriented company to survive and to thrive.
Recommendations for the India Project
Companies often encounter boundaries when it comes to creating efficient business processes whether in the form of distance or differences in business culture, however, by overcoming such boundaries better business operations can be attained. In order for any company to continue to be competitive within the present day global market place, it is necessary for it to be highly responsive to changes, receptive to new developments within its market, highly creative as well as espouse acts of innovation and operational efficiency (ex: Six Sigma). It is within this context that when it comes to the India project, it is recommended that the company establish methods of open and collaborative communication between its India based teams and other teams located in their main headquarters (Maidment, 2007). This can be done through computer chat programs, video conferencing as well as team exchanges (i.e. different members from each team visiting each other). The basis behind such a practice is to be able to facilitate a better understanding on how each team from different region works and the processes that they utilize. Through such an understanding, each team will be able to determine what is expected of them, how the other team would deal with particular issues and how proper cooperation and collaboration can be implemented.
Another recommendation is to establish proper methods of talent management within the India based offices of the company. Talent management can be described as the process by which a manager develops an employee’s skills throughout their time within the company in order to take on a variety of jobs as well as to manage their progress up the corporate ladder through leadership roles. This process also involves a reduction in employee “churn rates” which involves the retention of talent within the company to reduce costs associated with training new employees and ensuring that talented individuals do not go to potential rivals within the same industry (Maidment, 2007).
When it comes to employee retention and performance, job satisfaction is the deciding factor behind such principles of corporate human resource development and, as such, should be examined from a multilevel perspective to ensure employees continue to perform adequately and stay longer with the company. For the India project, this comes in the form of the concept of continuous training and development which acts as a means of ensuring continued job satisfaction by enabling employees to develop different job skills while at the same time continuing to keep them interested in their job.
Managing the Boca Raton Project
Within the context of the Boca Raton project, what must be understood is that at times managers need employees to do certain tasks which are outside of their normal work assignments at the company. In such instances, the likelihood of them refusing to do so is quite high, however, should a manager have a certain degree of influence over that employee in terms of having a good relationship as well as indicating that the task being given is part of a shared goal by the company, the end result is a greater likelihood of that employee being more than willing to help out. By establishing shared goals within a company, whether specific or general in nature, this creates a work mentality where employees feel that they are actually doing something of notable worth for the company. This feeling of worth often translates into better organizational performance in the long run since people no longer feel that they are merely numbers on a company’s system of metric examination.
As seen in the paper, there are numerous advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working across boundaries. In the case of distance and workforce diversity, this can often entail problems related to communication, proper cooperation, the implementation of effective management practices and culture shock. Working across boundaries can result in cost reductions for a company, the ability to access new markets as well as the creation of a diversified workforce that would expand a company’s knowledge base. Technology has been under a constantly accelerating level development and, as a result, has enabled new players to enter into markets whereas in the past distinct barriers to proper entry would have been present. This necessitates the need for companies to work across boundaries in order to continue to stay relevant in today’s hypercompetitive business environment. It is based on this that it can be seen that the development of new business approaches based on current trends in working across boundaries as well as innovating current business practices to take into account new consumer trends that have developed as a result of technological innovation is an important practice that technology-intensive enterprises should do in order to continue to stay relevant and competitive.
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