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Global Team Acclimatization and Cultural Literacy Application

The problems that occurred in AlternativeSource Inc. (ASI) include internal conflicts between team members, the lack of cooperation from the Indian clients, issues of adaptation to the new environment, and questions on hiring processes. The root cause of the problems is that Jorge, their global team manager, was not introduced to the training on cultural literacy, and his experience was limited to working for a gas exploration company in North America. Moving to India, he decided not to hire locals and left the transferred workers and their families without any culture lessons. In addition, Jorge was the only person to make decisions, while with more autonomy in such a large country, teams could have worked more effectively and productively. Hence, the company should review its management concepts from a cultural point of view.

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First, taking into consideration the vast territory of India, ASI should change its decision-making style. To be responsive to local cultural, economic, political, and social realities, the company should rely more on the local workforce. For example, Kumar and Sethi (2016) recommend bringing Indian employees to the corporate headquarters for some training to create between the parent company and its subsidiaries a common vision. In the Indian market, where personal interactions with clients are crucial in gaining relevant information, it would be better to hire Indian expatriates as managers (Kumar & Sethi, 2016). They help to make the corporate culture more transparent and could work as facilitators. Expatriates often gain their colleagues’ trust and persuade the parent company to make effective strategic steps.

From the HR point of view, hiring Indians has its advantages: there are many skilled workers with great achievements and knowledge of English. According to Rao (2016), HRM departments in India stress the value of organizational effectiveness. The Indian entrepreneurs suggest that investment in HRM practices is one of their greatest strengths. The most effective HRM strategies in India include succession planning, acquisition of leadership development, egalitarian practices, family-friendly practices. New team members should undergo talent training programs, learn new behavior strategy and transfer from a power-distance relationship with superiors to more casual culture of meeting with managers at lunches and coffee breaks. In collectivism promotion among new workers, it is helpful to offer cross-training to explore various roles (Rao, 2016). Family-friendly practices create a sense of integration that is a fundamental part of Indian thinking.

Team members from North America have to interact with colleagues with different value systems, and their incongruence may cause a culture clash. To help employees overcome that problem, managers can create workshops with training on leadership and cooperation. The corporate culture should persuade employees to behave ethically to cope with sexual harassment, corrupt payments, environmental neglect. Indian culture is vertically collectivistic, so the Indians respect hierarchy, and the subordinate usually avoids criticizing the superior (Kumar & Sethi, 2016). Indian superiors also hardly tolerate criticism from the staff. In addition, for Indian employees, it is rather hard to initiate relationships with peers. Therefore, these peculiarities should be learned by the transferred workers, while managers should work with locals to help them become more active and adapt to new thinking patterns. Apart from cultural knowledge, intercultural competencies also include being open and reflective, diagnosing the situation, working with emotions, using different behavioral strategies, and managing stress and conflict. Therefore, the pieces of training could be multi-dimensional with the inclusion of psychological techniques.

While hiring team members in India, it is vital to learn from the experience of successful companies. Top managers of the parent company, Jorge, for example, should understand the new culture to cope with emerging conflicts positively and be responsive to the subsidiaries’ needs. The team members and their families should learn psychological tools, strategies, and cultural peculiarities to successfully adjust to India. Utilizing the localization strategy presented in the formula “Think globally, act locally,” every global company could prosper in a new environment.


Kumar, R., & Sethi, A. (2016). Doing business in India. Springer.

Rao, P. (2016). Investment and collaboration: The Indian model for “best” HRM practices. Journal of Asia Business Studies, 10(2), 125-147. Web.

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