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“Insider status” in organisations May 31, 2007

Posted by Null in HRM.
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Insiders are considered as the legitimate members of an organisation. They are generally the employees who exist inside the organisational boundaries. ‘Insider status’, which can be sometimes referred as organisational identification or Esprit De Corps, is a conception of an employees’ mind when he/she is being highly identified by the organisation. Although this identification is intangible in nature, it can affect the performance and motivation of employees in an organisation. Thus organisations must address the ‘status’ issue for the insiders if they want to build relationships with their employees. There had not been much scholarly definition of the term ‘insider status’, but most people talk about organizational identification, commitment, Esprit De Corps, and corporate citizenship when talking about “insider status”. But this insider groups or individuals can have quite a large influence in shaping the future of an organisation.

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A La Carte services for academic assignments May 29, 2007

Posted by Null in Academic.
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I wonder why we tend to use the technology as a medium for cheating? Knowing that essays or assignments that had been previously submitted or copied, students still buy customised essays/assignments from websites who provides these sort of services. Probably because students these days are not much concerned about the academic ethics. Probably they don’t give a damn to ethics at all. Technology has given them the edge to do whatever they want. Money can buy assignments too and in a a-la-carte menu. Just drop down todays menu of assignments, and choose the relevant topics and essays for your assignments.

However, the bad news for those students who buy a-la-carte assignments/reports is that you can get caught easily because it is much easier for academics as well to know whether the assignment/essay has been written by the student or not. What I do is just copy the texts from the assignment and give it a search. It is that easy to find a cheater. Another bad news is that google has recently banned ads that provide essays on payment. Google has also collaborated with universities with to fight against a-la-carte assignments. Most of the good universities now use the plagiarism software to detect purchased assignments. But I reckon we are too far behind to combat this global threat. We need to have a global ban on the “essay mills” who provide these services. Otherwise it won’t help much.

Benefits of Team Based Learning May 28, 2007

Posted by Null in Academic.
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There are many aspects of Team Based Learning that helps us learn. First of all, the formation of a group ties us in a learning collaboration. The group formation itself is a kind of agreement between members so that everyone does their best for satisfying the interest of the group. It brings an increased responsibility into an individual mind. In fact, everyone’s involvement has a tremendous effect on our individual learning process. Team based learning also encourages friendly competition which eventually force our intuition to learn and do well. It is possible for a student to understand whether he/she is progressing well enough compared to other group members.

Team Based LearningSecondly, inclusion of team exercises can help students get diverse ideas, views, opinions and feedback, which, as an individual would not have been possible or would take a significant amount of time to discover. Team exercises also helps in improving a student’s grade which would not have been possible by an individual effort.

Finally, the team based learning encourages constructive conflicts and leads to several arguments until an appropriate solution is constructed. Thus team based learning removes the barriers of individual thinking and understanding and offers us with multiple arguments which encourages better learning. It also forces a weaker student to improve and join the collaboration that eventually helps that student to gain the lost confidence back.

Experience Brisbane “The Sleepy Town” May 26, 2007

Posted by Null in Australia, Travel.
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Brisbane by day

I haven’t been to Brisbane yet but the TV commercial of Brisbane really attracted me. With the goal of attracting travellers and tourists, this TV commercial is the Queensland Government’s delicate initiative. The title song “Save Tonight” by Eagle Eye Cherry fitted the commerical so perfectly that I felt that the song was produced only for Brisbane. The advertisement is a classy one that demonstrates the town at night. An author of ninemsn travel website described Brisbane as more than just a sleepy town. She mentioned about the friendliness of the people, the islands, rain forests and the sub-tropical environment of the city. I hope I will visit Brisbane when I get some time. If you have classy travel choices in your mind for your holidays, list Brisbane as well. For information on places to visit in Brisbane you can visit a dedicated tourism blog on Brisbane “I love Brisbane“. I am sure I will prove you right. Check out the commerical.

Expatriate Failure: A growing concern for international HRM May 22, 2007

Posted by Null in HRM.
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Expatriate failure is a growing concern for many multinationals and has been an area of research by academics and HR practicioners. This is because of high failure rates by expatriates who are being sent for overseas assignments. According to Bird and Dunbar’s study (1991), it has increased to 50 percent and the costs associated with failure are not only financial but also societal. Employees might lose their confidence in assignments and can have decreased motivation and morale. There might be several reasons why many expatriates fail to deliver the objectives assigned by the headquarters. Cultural adjustments, language differences, Foreign Service hardship, length of assignment, etc are some of the failure factors that Dowling and Welch (2004) discussed in their textbook. Expatriate failure not only means the premature return of an expatriate but also the underachievement in that assignment. Eventually it represents the organisational failure to manage human resources internationally.

Since the expatriate failures are mostly related with cultural adjustments, why don’t multinationals emphasize more on cultural awareness training or why don’t they employ a different policy instead of an ethnocentric policy? I believe that adequate emphasis on cultural orientation can reduce the risk of expatriate failure. But it is indeed a difficult job of adjusting to a different culture; hence culture is how we sense everything with our collective views.

Face-to-Face or Gadget-to-Gadget communication? May 18, 2007

Posted by Null in Corporate Communications.
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While many people might argue that technologies are enhancing the communication process but there is no alternative for face-to-face interaction in an organisation. Organisational communication is an essential apparatus for the success of an organisation and thus it would be reasonable to ensure that the communication process does not breakdown .With the help of technologies, communication processes have become faster, convenient and accurate. But technologies are also causing damages to the organisational communication. Due to the widespread use of E-mail, Intranet, Wikis, blogs and other technologies, we are missing the social cue and the etiquette. Electronic communications may create conflicts among people and may lead towards a communication breakdown. The consequences are severe if organisations depend entirely on the electronic form of communication. Therefore organisations must prefer the traditional face-to-face interaction in cases where it is possible to avoid the electronic form of communication.

100 people who shaped our world in 2006 May 4, 2007

Posted by Null in News.
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A little while ago, TIME Magazine unveiled the 100 people who shaped our world in 2006. The list includes musicians, politicians, comedians, writers, movie stars, entertainers and so on. This year’s list has 71 men and 29 women from 27 different countries. But guess what, the most influential Mr. Bush who was once the TIME’s person of the year didn’t make it in the the 100s even this year. Pity on him. However, to me it felt like Americanos who shaped our politics, movies and entertainment this year. Most of them does’t seem to me as influential people. Rather Zimbabwe’s Mugabe looks more influential than many of the listed ones.

Some of them who got into the TIME 100 of 2006 are Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake, Pope Benedict XVI, Cate Blanchett, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Simon Fuller, John Mayer, Michael J Fox, Angela Merkel (German Chancellor), Kate Moss, Raul Castro (Cuba’s acting president), Queen Elizabeth II, Condoleezza Rice, Sonia Gandhi, Hillary Clinton, Hu Jintao, King Abdullah, Barack Obama, Osama bin Laden, Roger Federer, Thierry Henry, Al Gore, Chris Anderson, Richard Branson, Chad Hurley & Steve Chen (YouTube founders), Katsuaki Watanabe, Lakshmi Mittal, Steve Jobs, Philip Rosedale (Seond life cyperspace), Indra Nooyi (Pepsico’s CEO), an many many more. Gosh… I am so lame to write the whole list. If you feel interested, read all the 100 profiles in TIME’s website.

TIME 100 | People who shaped our world

Reflections about IHRM as a field of study May 4, 2007

Posted by Null in Academic.
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International Human Resource Management is a commonly used subject in tertiary institutions. This is due to the demand for HR practitioners who can cope with radical organisational changes. Globalisation, increased competition, information technology, effective communication, workplace diversity are some of the issues that had encouraged many firms to go multinational and conduct international business. However, going multinational is not an easy task because there are several issues such as cultural differences, varying employment laws, and unknown market conditions which challenge a firm when conducting international business. In addition, multinationals face more challenges when aligning their HR practices to the global marketplace. Hence it is worthwhile to have an area of study that will equip managers and HR professionals for the cultural challenges faced with managing human resources globally.

What does effective internal communication means? May 2, 2007

Posted by Null in Corporate Communications.
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Internal communications is a communication process that is held within an organisation and between the members of that organisation. The fact behind internal communications is to enhance the organisational communication process and work relationships so that it enables efficiency in the work processes and bring harmony in the organisation. Traditionally, face-to-face interactions, company newsletters and other printed publications were the most used communication channels. But due to emergence of various technologies, communicators these days get the opportunity of selecting from a pool of communication channels. Nowadays, internal communication channels also include Web 2.0 technologies such as intranet, email, weblogs, wikis, Live TV, podcasts, YouTube, SMS and so on. But the question of effective communication still exists as because internal communication is not being done the way it should be. According to Rodney Gray (a communication specialist), internal communications are failing because most communicators are focusing on the wrong communication issues and methods.

In fact having some general principles might help communicators. Principles such as 1) informality in communication, 2) concentration on the needs of employees and various internal stakeholders, 3) interaction with all levels of function, 4) communicators should think themselves as members of the communication results not as communication specialists as because other groups such as employees and shareholders are now influential media producers, 5) Senior management should support the new form of communication process that can take place by using technologies and interactive communication.

However, technology itself cannot ensure effective communication. There should be a blend of several inputs to achieve effectiveness. On the other hand, communicators themselves cannot ensure effectiveness. Unless everyone is involved in the whole communication process, it would be a one sided story for the management and the communicators. It is worthwhile to look at the basics why communication is going wrong. Most importantly, the satisfaction of employees should be considered as the priority for effective communications because employees now fall in the categories of importance as much as customers and shareholders.

The Best textbook for International HRM May 2, 2007

Posted by Null in Academic, Books, HRM.
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International HRM by Dowling and Welch

When I was being assigned from my University to teach International HRM, I browsed in some online bookstores to find textbooks. But surprisingly, there are not enough of textbooks in this field of study. However, I first tried with some multidisciplinary HR textbooks but those did not help me. Eventually, I found a textbook by Dowling and Welch “International Human Resource Management: Managing people in a multinational context” which I thought to be a general HR textbook with some international contexts and cases. But after reading the book I soon realised the quality of work in that book. The book chapters covered interesting topics like repatriation, cultural adjustments, pre-departure training, etc which are all related with expatriates, TCNs and HCNs. I will definitely recommend this book to all HR practitioners and academics. The book can be bought from Thomson Learning or you also have quick look at their companion website. You can also try International Human Resource Management by Dennis Briscoe and Randall S. Schuler. But I would highly recommend Dowling and Welch’s textbook. If you want to try before you buy, you can download a sample chapter of the book for free.