Hrm Practices in South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities (see below), also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is surrounded (clockwise, from west) by Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, Southeastern Asia and the Indian Ocean.
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According to the United Nations geographical region classification, Southern Asia comprises the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives, Afghanistan, Iran and Sri Lanka. By other definitions and interpretations (see below), Myanmar and Tibet are also sometimes included in the region of South Asia. South Asia is home to well over one fifth of the world’s population, making it both the most populous and most densely populated geographical region in the world. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organization in the region.
South America Backgorund Using survey data from the Americas Barometer by the Latin American Public Opinion Project at Vanderbilt, Corral concluded that “happiness in Latin America and the Caribbean is related to economic factors as well as social, political and demographic factors. At least within this region, economic development at the national levels explains different levels of life satisfaction among citizens in the region. ” Corral found that economic factors—income and perceptions of the individual and national situations—bear a positive correlation with levels of life satisfaction.
It is no surprise, then, that survey respondents in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, the poorest country in the region, ranked the lowest on the life satisfaction index at 35. 4 percent. But, most people in the rest of Latin America see themselves as happy. Brazil led the pack at 71. 6 percent, followed by Costa Rica (67. 7 percent), Venezuela (65. 6 percent) and Panama (65. 1 percent), with Trinidad & Tobago and Honduras tied at 63. 3 percent. Jamaica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Belize and Peru are all above 50 percent.
For the region as a whole, perception of individual economic conditions is by far the strongest predictor of individual happiness, Corral found. Those with better economic profiles are happier. A person’s subjective view of his wealth was more influential on his satisfaction level than an objective measure of wealth. “It is possible that this relationship is driven by dual causality,” Corral wrote. “A perceived positive economic situation increases happiness, and as well, happy people tend to perceive better economic situations. Marriage has a positive but not significant effect on life satisfaction among the region’s citizens, Corral found. Churchgoers and those who are surrounded by people they trust register high levels of satisfaction. Women, the elderly, young adults, the better educated and those who live in large cities likewise express high levels of happiness. Having children and being unemployed weigh negatively on individual satisfaction. Country People values, Business Tradition, Etiquette Business Culture of South Asia
Historically, South Asia is an agricultural country with a very small industrial sector employing about 40 percent of the active labor force. Smallness of industrial sector may seem to be congenial to the development of a healthy industrial relationship but this could not be realized even within a period of fifty-eight years of the country’s independence. While some of the reasons of this failure are historical and traditional cultural background, many are in fact attributable to the poor management system and legal system concerning industrial relations in the country.
Usually trade unions are organized mostly on the basis of political, regional and even personal loyalties which was encouraged by the capitalists who often had restored to the policy of buying a fraction of the union or putting up one of their own to divide the union movement by extending some “under the table favors” to a group of union leaders. In addition, the system of HRM in South Asia is largely due to its own business heritage and traditional historical realities. In fact, historic forces shape HRM practices in that society, and largely influence the efficient HRM system of a society along with other things.
Thus to make a correct assessment about human resource management system and practices in South Asia, it is necessary to make a through investigation into the development of Muslim and Hindu employer and employees and entrepreneurship in various phases of history and culture. The above situation as it stands suggests that, as a class of each group does not belong to a highly motivated and committed entrepreneurial class. The easiest explanation rationalizing this situation is, as often quoted, British colonial rule of two centuries in the past are responsible for this.
Apparently, the explanation seems to be sensible and logical. However, this needs further explanation and demands clarification and comprehension. It is understandable that the colonial powers ( British rule) did not in their own interest encourage the growth of a significant industrial and efficient HRM practices base in this part of the subcontinent ( India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) and the deadlocks were created by them towards the development of effective HRM system in the area.
The overall supply of competent management personnel, their profiles, and culture to which they belong and under which they work, also has significant impacts on the features and practices of HRM system in South Asia national culture. In general, to learn the expertise of building an effective HRM practices is very important for the attainment of an industrial efficiency, but most South Asian managers are traditionalistic. They tend to resist changes and develop participation within boss and subordinates.
South Asia managers do not believe in the development of human resources, and they believe that machines are more important than humans. Several empirical studies (Read, 1962; Negahndi and Reiman, 1973) conclude that increased participation leads to improvement in several of organizational effectiveness. However, it should be noted that the closeness of relationship between participation and overall organizational effectives depends on the quality of its human resources. As suggested above, when a large complex organization is more participative minded and more decentralized most of the decisions are made at unit level.
In this kind of organization, managerial employees need more technical management skill and knowledge. Top management in large organizations has neither the time nor expertise to make such decisions for unit level (Price, 1968). Properly trained managers and employees of participative organizations can overcome communication problems, make effective decisions at the point of action, and thus contribute to the achievement of more firm effectiveness. Business Culture of Latin America First, the high Power Distance (PD) that Hofstede noted in most Latin
American countries has important ramifications. In practical terms, high PD means that social courtesies and formality are more important in Latin America than in the U. S. Latin American managers are expected to be more gracious and respectful than their U. S. counterparts, and the hierarchy is more noticeable For instance, while U. S. managers generally call employees by their first names, it is much more common in Latin America for managers to call employees senorita Martinez or senor Ramirez. Also, people in the Latin American workplace tend to use usted (Ud. , the formal “you,” rather than tu, the informal, “you,” when addressing others, and this applies to both supervisors and lower-level employees. When two members of the executive board converse privately, they may call each other “Jorge” and “Ana,” but in front of employees they are likely to switch to calling each other “senor Zapata” and “senora Gomez. ” Finally, Latin American managers typically dress more formally than their U. S. counterparts, and are less likely to work beside their employees and “get their hands dirty. In addition to courtesy and formality, it is important to note how a high PD rating affects the way meetings are organized. One Mexican manager commented that meetings in Latin America are typically not thought of as a way for supervisors and employees to exchange ideas. Instead, information flows primarily from the top down in meetings. In other words, it would generally be considered inappropriate and disrespectful in Latin America for an employee to correct a supervisor or make a suggestion in front of other employees.
At meetings, supervisors expect subordinates to listen attentively, more than offering input. Similarly, participatory management styles and employee empowerment are unfamiliar to most Latin Americans, and in many cases are perceived as neither helpful nor desirable. In some instances, global companies have successfully implemented these kinds of managerial techniques in Latin American subsidiaries, but in other cases attempts to solicit employee input and involve workers in decision-making have been met with hostility.
One American manager of a factory in Guadalajara, Mexico was told point blank by the head of a local labor union to stop involving employees in decision-making and asking for their opinions. He told her pointedly, “You are in charge. You make the decisions! ” The deference afforded to managers often has an impact on attitudes toward formal rules and regulations in Latin America. Persons in authority are more likely to be obeyed than a written policy, because of the respect they are given and the position they occupy. This attitude contrasts with the U. S. where most people tend to believe that rules should be applied impartially and without exception, in order to ensure fairness and justice. It is likely to observe all these results of high PD when you visit Latin America, but as one prepare to go to Nicaragua, keep in mind a principle presented earlier: variance within a culture. While Hofstede does not provide Cultural Dimension ratings for Nicaragua, the numbers for Nicaragua’s neighbors are fascinating: Panama and Guatemala both score 95 on PD, and are among the most hierarchical societies in the world, but Costa Rica scores only 35, which is a lower PD rating than even the U.
S. earned. For that reason, it is important to be sensitive to how hierarchies play out in Nicaragua specifically. In addition to PD, it is important to mention the low Individuality (IND) rating that predominates in Latin America. In the workplace, low IND means employees tend to value harmony and good relationships more than personal advancement, and are expected to be loyal, hard-working, and willing to do whatever they are asked to do. In return for their hard work and loyalty, Latin American workers generally expect their employers to be loyal to them as well.
Because of the group orientation, the employer-worker relationship tends to be more paternal in Latin America than in the U. S. Latin American firms typically treat employees as a sort of extended family, which often involves a wider range of benefits, such as subsidized or free lunches, more inclusive medical coverage, and holiday bonuses. It has already been pointed out that most Hispanic countries score very high on Uncertainty Avoidance (UA), which suggests that most Latin Americans prefer security and avoiding risk. This may help explain why technology is not as prevalent in Latin America as in the U. S.
To be sure, poverty is part of the picture, but Latin Americans tend to be less enamored of technology for technology’s sake than many Americans. Due in part to the high UA rating, many Latin Americans perceive less of a need to upgrade, modernize, and replace old technology with cutting edge products. This may affect a given entrepreneur’s attitudes toward technological upgrades, adopting new computing systems, etc. One notable exception to this principle is the use of cell phones—due to infrastructure and bureaucratic issues associated with land lines, there are more cell phones in most Latin American countries than land lines.
Lastly, the importance of family and personal relationships also impacts the workplace. For example, it is more common in Latin America to seek employment with family members, hire family members, and look to the family for help in times of need. In addition, many Latin Americans feel more comfortable doing business with people they know personally, and developing that relationship is often considered an essential first step. Americans who try to move things along more quickly and “get to the point” may become frustrated and/or offend Latin Americans. South Asian HRM Practices Recruitment and Selection