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Case Study Jennifer recently signed her employment contract and took the signed her employment contract and took the HR director role at a BBD Inc. Australian subsidiarY It was not an easy decision

Case Study: Jennifer recently signed her employment contract and took the signed her employment contract and took the HR director role at a BBD Inc. Australian subsidiary. It was not an easy decision to sh Subsidiary. It was not an easy decision to shift her career and life from Melbour to Brisbane. Most importantly, she has never worked for a Chinese company recalled one day watching one day watching the news when the federal treasurer commented that fiscal years 2005-06 and 2006-07, Australia approv " 2005-06 and 2006-07, Australia approved around $10 billion in propo investment from mainland China. In 2007-OB, the value of proposed" mainland China could rise to more than $30 billion hd could rise to more than $30 billion'. He further mentioned that the rate approved Chinese investment proposals increased from one per fortnight ed for a Chinese company before. She value of proposed investment from AS with many Australians, Jennifer had never thought much about such is increased from one per fortnight to one every nine development of Chinese companies in Australia. She was very impressed ver thought much about such rapid thought that she might try a career move to a Chinese company in the future. Australia. She was very impressed by the news and A year later, she occasionally heard about a job opportunity from one of recruitment consultant in Melbourne. Mark to Hent consultant in Melbourne, Mark told her that a Chinese mining giant, BBD Inc. out a job opportunity from one of her friends, Mark, a was looking for a HR director for th B for a HR director for their Australian subsidiary in Brisbane. Jennifer's career progress to date was outstanding, despite the extra workload self-imposed despite the extra workload self-imposed by undertaking IBA studies at a Melbourne-based university as a part-time student. She had prog Tom an internship to an associate HR director in one of the Australian big four banks during the past eight years. The HR director nasition in the mining sector did sound attractive a Jennifer searched for some backaround information about the company immediately As she discovered, BBD Inc. was established as a joint stock limited company, and was listed on the New York s the New York Stock and Hong Kong Stock exchanges in the early 2000s. It is a leading state-owned metals and mining company in China. With large capital reserves, BBD Inc. owns 10 branches, an enterprise research institute, and 12 wholly- terprise research institute, and 12 wholly-owned subsidiaries. The company has passed all requirements of the International Standards Organization, suggesting the company places emphasis on quality control. BBD Inc. made the largest single investment in Australia of all Chinese-owned companies in 2007, and entered the Australian market through a wholly owned subsidiary. Their current project in northern Australia involved a mine and a refinery plant, and the firm was seeking other investment opportunities in Australia. Jennifer proceeded further, and applied for the position a week later. In her panel interview, the general manager Mr Tong, who represents the headquarters' interests in the Australian subsidiary, introduced the company: BBD Inc.'s motivation to expand their business overseas is an explicit resource-seeking strategy because BBD Inc. wants to ensure the long-term supply of mineral resources from Australia. There is a serious shortage of supply from the Chinese domestic market. Many processing companies in China do not have sufficient raw materials to process. Currently and for a long term the market demand for the resources in China is huge. The project director Mr Stephen Ramp detailed the project - BBD Inc.'s current major investment project in Australia. The reason that BBD Inc. was interested in the project was partly based on the similarity of mine ores in Australia and in China, and the advanced refinery technology owned by BBD Inc. to process this type of ore - a capability the former French owner of the mine did not have. Thus, the BBD Inc. Australian affiliate can adapt and leverage the parent company's competencies, such as the processing technology. The international strategy – to exploit the parent company's knowledge and capabilities
worldwide diffusion and adoption - is reflected in the Australian subsidiary's through worldwide operations. nifer did very well in her panel interview, and she received an offer a week after the terview. The contract listed an attractive remuneration package, but she was a bit hesitant to accept the offer. She made a couple of phone calls and sought more suggestions from her sister and mentor. Her sister, Emma, who has been working in a major research institution after receiving her doctorate degree, warned Jennifer that several Australian major mining companies were promoting Sinophobia (fear and/ or dislike of China, its people or its culture) amongst the Australian community, hence it might be a difficult task for Jennifer in the new company. Professor Tsai, whom Jennifer has treated as a mentor since her graduation, advised her that Chinese mining multinationals find it difficult to operate under the current political climate, because the government clearly states that Australia's Foreign Investment Policy is to encourage foreign investment consistent with community interest. It goes on to state that it is up to the government to determine what is 'contrary to the national interest' by considering the widely held community concerns of Australians. In addition, in 2008 the treasurer supplemented the guidelines with 'additional factors' that must also be examined if the investors are owned or controlled by a foreign government. The national interest test has been recognised as the FDI approval policy commonly used against Chinese investors because most of them have Chinese state government shadows. Obviously it was a tough decision for Jennifer, but she also asked herself 'If Japanese mining multinationals can successfully operate in Australia, why not Chinese companies? Eventually, she took the offer and moved to Brisbane. In her first day meeting, Jennifer met Mr Ramp (the ABP project director) and Mr Liang (CEO of the Australian subsidiary). Mr Liang mentioned to her that they regard international human resource management (HRM) as a major challenge to their investment goals. BBD Inc. has expertise in the relevant technologies and has no problems in terms of finance and equipment. The key for success is not technology or finance but people who can implement policies. HRM policies and practices in the Australian subsidiaries should fit with the Australian environment, which is very different from China, and should fit with BBD Inc.'s strategic needs. A long-term operation needs harmonious relationships with local communities and consistent supply of qualified employees. Accordingly, HRM needs to be of a high standard, particularly in remuneration and training, as is the case with the world's top MNES. BBD Inc. will not only use, but also develop, local employees. The salary level is usually high in the natural resource sector, which normally also invests heavily in training. Given the short supply of skilled workers in this sector, we have to be competitive in our HRM policies to attract workers, who will be mainly males. The home HRM policies and practices that are regarded as being effective – such as competing for talent, cost-based performance appraisal and performance-based competitive pay - will influence our HRM policies. In addition, Mr Ramp argued that cultural distance and conflicts are major issues for Chinese expatriates working with Australian colleagues: Chinese companies absolutely need to understand local business culture, because we need to understand each other. For example, a senior manager (from China] who sits in a meeting may not agree with what Australian engineers say, but he (because the majority of them are male) never says I don't agree with you' or 'your point is wrong'. He would rather say 'Here are my points, no. 1, no. 2, no. 3... no. 10'.
Then you might find not even one point is the same as yours. If Australian managers' views are different from yours, they would just say 'totally wrong' or 'I don't agree with you'...so the culture gap could be a major challenge for Chinese companies seeking to become Australian entities in a cultural sense because their managers do not yet fully appreciate some elements of the culture. On her second day, Mr Tong discussed with her what HRM should look like. He commented: The senior level positions are usually appointed through the policy of 'promoting within and the HQ usually consults the executive for his/her opinion about deputies. The HQs of BBD Inc. will continue to control the appointment of senior positions in the Australian subsidiaries. But decentralisation is more likely in future. At this stage, our company has no idea about the extent of decentralisation and is searching for the appropriate HRM policies for the Australian operation. However, we need to protect our investors' interests by monitoring our performance in Australia. Further, we expect to develop our own managerial skills by sending our expatriates though we use many Australians to fill senior positions at the moment. At an employee (frontline worker) level, we want our Australian subsidiary to adopt a HRM system that is the same as Australian companies or other MNEs operating in mining in Australia. In fact, we would like our subsidiaries to adopt 'best practice' HRM. Mr Tong further introduced some HRM policies and characteristics at the HQ level: In our corporation, we do pursue good employee practices to secure both workers efficiency and employee loyalty. We hope these good values can be transferred to our overseas subsidiaries. We do not want other people to consider Chinese labour standards are lower than those of Western countries. We want to adopt a HRM system that has at least the following characteristics: high productivity; harmonious labour relations that abide by host country regulations, and respect local cultures and traditions; positive effects on the local community; the willingness to learn from local firms and host managers in managing competitive HR, and the ability to transfer knowledge back to headquarters. In the following two months, Jennifer visited the mining town where the ABP project is located, participated in meetings with Australian government officials, made contact with a number of university campuses, and had meetings with consultants of several recruitment agencies. She found some local residents in the town were a bit sensitive to Chinese mining companies, and they preferred to work in Australian local mining companies. Overall, Sinophobia was not a significant issue for most local residents. Although government officials overall held very positive attitudes to BBD Inc., she realised that most university students and even consultants from local recruitment agencies had never heard of the company, and did not prefer to work with BBD Inc. Jennifer wanted to know her colleagues in the new working environment; she was surprised that employees from different cultural backgrounds rarely talked to each other after work. For example, French engineers spoke French in the cafeteria, while local Australian employees ate and sat at a separate table. Although many Chinese employees could speak English, they used Chinese as a working language, which most local employees did not understand. As HR director, Jennifer consulted with Mr Liang and attempted to unify English as the only corporate language. With Mr Liang's support, she set up a number of signboards stating 'English is our corporate language'. A day after, she found that several additional words appeared in a signboard – 'You need to learn Chinese!' However, she went to report this policy resistance to Mr Liang, and she saw he was having a meeting with a Chinese colleague and they were both speaking Chinese.
in the third month Liang, while recruitin applications, and want bird month, Jennifer needed to prepare a quarterly HR report to her supervisor, Mr while recruiting two employees to fill two administrative roles. She received nine ations, and wanted to make a shortlist of the top five candidates before conducting terviews. One morning, she received a call from Mr Tong. During the conversation, Mr Tong asked her to add one young Chinese graduate to the shortlist. Although Mr Tong did not explicitly tell her to hire the young Chinese graduate, he implied that the job candidate is his friend's daughter. Jennifer felt it was unfair and tried to argue with him, but Mr Tong said 'Guanxi is important in Chinese business culture... in your language, you call it "social capital" ... Jennifer read the young Chinese graduate's resume, which was unimpressive. Most importantly, she was rather disappointed with such an intervention in the selection process. After working at BBD Inc. for three months, she did not expect that such challenges would come so quickly. At 7.00 pm one evening, she looked outside and it was dark already. She quickly opened a Word file and typed several subheadings on her quarterly report: (1) company branding and attracting human resources, (2) corporate culture, (3) employee selection... QUESTIONS 1. Identify and outline how BBD Inc.'s corporate strategies can be linked to HR functions in its subsidiary in Australia. Help Jennifer identify several strategies that she can propose to improve BBD Inc.'s employer branding in the future. Can you identify any relevant examples from the BBD Inc. case of the extent to which corporate culture can make an attractive workplace? What selection procedures might you recommend for BBD Inc.'s Australian subsidiary?

Aug 28 2020 Read more Less More

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