Background information on the Organization
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Brunt Hotels, PLC, owns more than 60 hotels throughout the United Kingdom. They recently acquired a small hotel chain headquartered in France. Brunt’s chief executive decided that half of the new hotels in France would be retained and re-branded as part of the Brunt Hotels Group; the other half will be sold. This will support Brunt’s strategic objective of growing the organization slowly to make sure that new ventures are well supported and opened on time and on budget. Brunt’s hotels are considered budget accommodations; they are functional, clean and reasonably priced.
Most guests stay for one to three nights and are a combination of business and leisure travelers. The hotels are typically situated in downtown locations that are easily accessible by mass transit. Tourists are attracted to these hotels in popular visitor destinations where the many local attractions mean that they will not be spending much time in their hotel rooms.
The organization has decided to use an ethnocentric approach and send some of their existing UK-based managers to France to lead the changeover of the new hotels and then manage them after they re-open. If this new overseas venture is successful, Brunt may decide to acquire other small hotel groups in other European countries.
The organization would like to own 150 hotels in the next five years. Their 10-year plan is to own 300 hotels across Europe. This is an ambitious target, so it is important that the organization finds an effective formula to operate successfully in other countries.
The organization has never owned any hotels outside the UK before, and has hired a team of independent management consultants to advise them on how to proceed. They provided the consultants the following information during their initial meeting:
A majority of their existing managers said they would like a chance to work abroad.
None of their existing managers speak French fluently.
They will allow four weeks to rebrand the hotels. The new hotels must be ready to open after that time. They expect to recruit a large number of staff for the new French hotels, because more than 70 percent of the employees from the acquired organization left. They will require their managers to be flexible and move between countries if any problems arise.
I. Based on the information you have, what do you think the key priorities should be? II. The hotel management asked you if they should look only at internal candidates who are parent country nationals (PCNs) or recruit host country nationals (HCNs).
Note to instructors: You might want to refer to the PowerPoint slides for more detail on PCNs and HCNs.
Brunt management decided that because this is their first venture into a country outside the UK, they want to use PCNs to set up the new hotels and that only internal candidates should be considered. They think that this is important so they can incorporate the organization’s values. However, they believe that once the hotels are up and running, HCNs could be hired. The management vacancies must be filled as soon as possible.
In their company literature, the organization states that their core values are to: Provide excellent levels of customer service to all guests.
Provide a clean and comfortable environment for guests and staff. Recruit and retain excellent staff.
Support and develop staff so they can reach their full potential. Continuously strive to improve all aspects of the business. Ensure that all hotel buildings, fixtures and fittings are well-maintained in a Pro-active manner.
It is important that the management consultants for this project take these core values into account when making their recommendations.
Write a recruitment advertisement for the new positions which can be sent to existing managers by e-mail. Your advertisement should include, at a minimum, the following information:
Main responsibilities of the new job.
The skills you are looking for in the position.
The management hires six candidates to work overseas because they did not feel that the other candidates were qualified. They feel confident that these six can successfully open the new hotels. The success of these managers is vital to the success of setting up the new business, so management wants to ensure they provide effective support for them in terms of training and development. They believe that the best option is to divide training into two parts: pre-departure training and on-the-job training in the new country. Since the organization has never sent employees abroad before, they are not sure about what should be included in these training programs.
The only mandatory area that must be included is an introductory language section (including basic business French) so that the managers have a basic grasp of the French language by the time they open the new hotels. However, they hope that the managers will enjoy their introductory language course and will continue to attend more advanced language classes when the new hotels are open. The organization knows that training is important; but despite looking at what other companies offer, they cannot decide what the key training areas should be.
They would like your management consultant group to design the training program for managers. Because of the large investment they are making in the managers, they provide you with some details on each of them so that the training can be tailored to their needs. Discussion Questions
These questions are to be answered individually
1. Explain the benefits of an ethnocentric approach to international staffing. 2. What are the most important factors in the selection decisions of expatriates? 3. How effective are expatriates in transferring knowledge from the host country? 4. Create a checklist that could be used to ensure that expatriates receive the relevant information about the new country in which they are going to work.