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Case Study: SICLI

When a company is venturing into a new market, some prior analysis is paramount. To fit, operate smoothly, and gain acceptability among the customers, the management has to come up with policies that are in line with the employees and the customer base. This will, in turn, enhance teamwork, hence productivity of the company. Effective teamwork can be achieved through rewards, motivation, proper communication and good leadership. A leadership that will see each member of the team have a feeling of entitlement and pride in the company, irrespective of their cultural or language background. SICLI is a 90-year-old company in the security sector in France. SICLI has agencies in France, Africa, North and West Africa, and the West Indies where it works under its name or with subcontractors. France, Africa and West Indies have different cultures and customs, and as such the CEO of SICLI has a task of ensuring that the management of the agencies in Africa and West Indies is in line with the culture and customs of the citizens of these countries, while at the same time maintain the competency of the management. The best way to achieve this is by picking the management from among the nationals of these countries. This not only ensures that the management is in touch with the customer base but also gives the local community a sense of ownership in the company.

Due to the high-tech and sophisticated nature of its operations, SICLI encourages teamwork among its employees (Yourdon 2005). This is not particularly simple considering the that the employees are drawn from different cultural backgrounds. To have people from different cultures and customs work together in a team is not easy. It calls for professionalism and proving beyond doubt that everyone is to be treated equally with no discrimination whatsoever.

For a company to excel globally, it has to come up with clear cut policies on how to handle business in foreign countries. Each country has its own restrictions and diversity that new organizations have to study before they venture. Such diversities include culture, language customs, market regulation etc. The company venturing into the new market would need to do a market analysis before deciding to open the business in a different country. According to Hofstede Standards, each country varies from the other in the way management and employees relate to each other as well as the roles of male or females in the economic growth (Hofstede).

The world has been brought much closer together by technology. Dealing with people from different cultures is inevitable- from suppliers, customers, colleagues or salespeople. As a manager, one has to know how to manage cultural diversity actively. People of different cultures have found themselves working together. Companies have also had to expand their business to other countries in which the citizens do not share culture with the citizens of the parent company. This can be frustrating, or exciting. Some of the dimensions of cultural diversity are building connections, structuring projects, motivating people, and developing the strategy. Each location might require its own strategy depending on the culture inherent in the inhabitants of those places. Management processes and practices differ across regional a national boundaries. A productive managerial culture in one region may prove counterproductive in another region., therefore become paramount for managers and CEOs understand these differences as they frequently find themselves working across cultures. People who can manage and work across cultures have been in high demand by multinational companies as the capacity to adapt and learn is an important requirement. The CEO should adopt a policy of employing managers who are multiculturally competent to lead the company in foreign countries. A multiculturally competent manager ensures that things get done despite the differences in culture in a team.

One of the most effective ways of leadership in foreign countries is to make the citizens of the country feel as if they own the company. One of the ways in which to achieve this is to have the top managers of the subsidiary drawn from those countries. This can be done without compromising the competence of the top management by carrying out thorough interviews before absorption. Such managers understand the culture of the locals and can effectively formulate strategies to popularize the organization since they understand what the people might be opposed to, or what they would prefer. The CEO ought to ensure that all employees in the organization are treated equally irrespective of one's cultural background. This ensures that no employee feels inferior or mistreated simply because they come from a minority group (Steers, Sa%u0301nchez-Runde, & Nardon 2010).

In some countries, especially in Africa, male chauvinism is dominant and their CEO would want to limit the number of women in the top management. Most people in a country like Ivory Coast would not want to be ordered around by a woman. Ivory Coast, being a colony of France, would be wary of a company from France. They would like their independence to be appreciated at least by letting their own manage the company. The company must not seem to favor the nationals of the country in which the company is said to be based. All employees must be treated equally.

The speed with which companies expand their sales internationally has been facing the challenge of lack of qualified global managers. With the kind of global village that the world has become, managers are expected to lead multi-regional projects, bringing in the aspect of different cultures- both organizational and national. Starting a project in a culture that one is not familiar with has its difficulties. The project manager has to find a way to bring all the team members together to share a common commitment and vision on the delivery of the project. As a manager, one needs to have firm cultural competencies to be able to manage the team effectively and create a connection with the team members. According to Hooker, as a manager of a multicultural team, some of the tactics that one can use to bring a new member on board are varied (2003). One has to explain the benefits and purpose of the project in order to create a bond between the objectives of the project and the team member. One should emphasize on the important role that each team member has to plan in order for the objectives of the project to be achieved. Another way of bringing new members aboard a multicultural team is by discussing concerns from members, maybe with customs or language. This shows the numbers that one understands the difficulty in cross-cultural relationships (Parker 1990).

With companies opening subsidiaries worldwide, multicultural teams are inevitable. Human capital's diversity has been shown to increase efficiency and creativity. The challenge of expanding a business worldwide lies in bringing people from various backgrounds, be they cultural or religious, to work together as a team in order to achieve the set objectives. Like SICLI, most companies prefer to hire people from the countries in which they operate. That way there is not the most discrepancy as far as culture or religion is concerned. It may, however, not be possible to have the entire team made up of locals especially when the company at hand deals with specialized services such as SICLI. They would need to have specialists, in most cases from the parent company. This leads to people of different cultures having to work together as a team. The team manager has to make sure that all the team members feel as if they are part and parcel of the project.

In West Indies, the official language is English. This presents a barrier when it comes to teamwork since, assuming most members are drawn from Jamaica, they wouldn't be able to communicate effectively considering the kind of services that are offered by SICLI. This poses a major challenge to West Indies market, and the managers from the home company would have to learn English, as well as do translation on all the equipment and the production process. Language, therefore poses as the greatest challenge to the expansion of business by SICLI in Jamaica. In Ivory Coast, the official language is French meaning language would not be much of a problem. Culture , however, would be a problem. Here men rule the world, and as a manager one would like to avoid having women being above men. Europeans dominating the stage would not go down well with the majority of people here considering they are a French colony. An attempt by the French to harass or play superior would be interpreted as neo-colonialism. This might end up hurting the business.