International Work Environments

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Running Head: International Work Environment International Work Environment [Institute’s International Work Environment China Despite the fact that cost of living in China differs in different provinces, urban and rural areas. however, in general and compared to the United States, the cost of living in China is 60-80 percent lower than that of United States (Numbeo, 2011). Furthermore, considering the depreciated currency and low wages, the cost of living in the country is the one of the lowest for the developed countries in the world (Gudykunst, 2003). Retention of Chinese employees becomes an issue especially once they have worked in any multinational or global organization because such experience is of great value in China. Understanding employee expectations is the key to retain employees (Edfelt, 2009). In Chinese culture, employees look towards their workplace as their second home and their bosses as the head of the family of father figure. They allow bosses to take important decisions assuming that they know better but in return, employees hope that their bosses will help them grow, learn, and develop along with the organization. Therefore, feedback to the employees, their coaching, counseling, mutual goal setting, relationship building, and soft human resource management becomes an imperative to motivate and satisfy Chinese employees (Abel amp. Bruno, 2007. Gudykunst, 2003). Japan Japan is one of the most expensive places in the world to live comparatively to United States. In fact, Tokyo is one of the most expensive cities of the world. If the company is planning to have its operations in Japan then it will have to conduct a comprehensive financial analysis that whether or not it will be able to sustain its required level of profitability after paying fat checks to its employees (Numbeo, 2011). Japanese culture, which is very different from that of United States, poses the greatest of all challenges for US businesses in China. Japanese society values loyalty to the group more than the individual achievements, has a hierarchical system where age, status, and experience remain a key factor. Strict rules and regulations, formality, norms, traditions and discipline are stressed with a lot of importance (Edfelt, 2009). The country has a huge pool of talented, hardworking, and skilled labour belonging from all fields. therefore, recruitment of employees is less likely to be a serious problem. However, in order to retain the employees, knowledge of the culture is going to be extremely important. Japanese employees are collectivist, which means that they prefer working in groups and place high importance on their association with groups (Abel amp. Bruno, 2007). Saudi Arabia As compared to other countries, the cost of living differences are not as high between United States and Saudi Arabia. Despite the fact that housing, clothing, and other necessities are cheaper in Saudi, food is almost 60 percent more expensive in Saudi Arabia (Numbeo, 2011). Therefore, operations in Saudi Arabia can offer some benefits in terms of decreasing the costs. The culture of Saudi Arabia, which has its roots in radical form of Islam, would pose some serious challenges for any US firm trying to work in Saudi Arabia. The country has strict laws to enforce the Islamic law and non-Muslims and foreigners remain subjected to the same. Participation rates of women in the workforce are negligible and concepts such as employee empowerment, feedback, consultation, flat organizational structures do not exist. The power distances are high and strict and well-defined rules govern the scene (Edfelt, 2009). Most of the firms in Saudi Arabia find it difficult to attract new candidates due to the limited pool of skilled candidates. The country has a large percentage of foreign workers from other developing countries, which make most portion of the country white-collar work force (Gudykunst, 2003). Pakistan The cost of living in Pakistan is 50-70 percent lower than of United States, however, so is the local purchasing power in the country. US firms can really take advantage of the low wages in the country (Numbeo, 2011). Attracting skilled labor is not going to be a problem in Pakistan considering its huge population and high unemployment rates. There is abundant supply of labor for both white and blue-collar jobs and considering the current wave of unemployment, their bargaining power is not so high. For the past few years, inflation has been very high in Pakistan, which has decreased the standard of living of many Pakistani citizens. All forms of cash bonuses, pay increases, financial benefits, insurances, and others would be an effective retention and motivation tool in Pakistan. The tough law and order situation, increasing taxes, inflation, and corruption in Pakistan are some of the biggest challenges for US business in the country (Abel amp. Bruno, 2007). Germany Germany has one of most skilled, talented, and trained labor forces in the world. Employee retention mainly depends on training employees, promoting them to higher levels and providing them with challenging and learning tasks (Gudykunst, 2003). Germany does not differ much from the United States in terms of cost of living but the challenge for US firms in Germany would be to cope with the regulatory pressures of the German welfare state, which forces firms to provide many benefits to their employees (Numbeo, 2011). US retail giant Wal-Mart left Germany because it could only operate its stores for 40 hours of week as opposed to 168 hours in United States. Bonuses, medical leaves, allowances, insurances, maternal leaves, training, and other expenses make up a huge chink of costs for producers (Edfelt, 2009). References Abel, A., amp. Sergi, B. S. (2007). Global business management: a cross-cultural perspective. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. Edfelt, R. B. (2009). Global Comparative Management: A Functional Approach. SAGE Publications Inc. Gudykunst, W. B. (2003). Cross-cultural and intercultural communication. Sage Publications. Numbeo. (2011). Cost of Living Comparison between two Countries. Retrieved on June 5, 2011: