Simplification of the organizational structures Because expatriate managers

Simplification of the organizational structures

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Simplification of the organizational structures: Because expatriate managers felt they were mainly rewarded by the corporate management on basis of measurable financial results, they focused on achieving easily attainable short term goals. Accordingly, the organization was stratified in what could be called an ethnically segregated hierarchy with only Danes in the top and only Egyptians in middle positions. A Saudi employee remarked: “ Many nationalities that we have here are not suited to hold managerial positions. Also they do not speak Arabic ”. This statement seemed to be directed toward immigrants from South East Asia. However, most western expatriates in Saudi-Arabia held management positions without any knowledge of the Arabic language. While the stratification was mainly implemented to simplify the management of the diverse workforce, it also fostered discrimination of particular groups. As an example, the Egyptian supervisors would often give the best selling products to Egyptian salesmen, thus making it more difficult for other nationalities to collect their sales bonus. One of the non-Danish employees told the researcher that they felt that there was a kind of ‘apartheid’ in the company, and another said that there was a situation in which “the Danes are divorced from the rest like feudal landlords” . Apart from de-motivating the workforce, the social organization of the subsidiary also had an unintended negative effect on the use of the diverse human resources. As it was mentioned by an Indian employee: I have lost my knowledge and my motivation. My skills are not used here. The most surprising is that everything I do goes completely unnoticed by the management. Nobody shows any interest. My skills are not even used one percent (Indian office staff). 14
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And clearly the social organization of the workplace meant that it was ethnicity rather than skills and knowledge which determined the position of an individual. As one put it: There are so many people here in this company who are less educated. And so many people who are very well educated. The company is not looking after the people who know and not know. If they put the ‘knows’ people in a position where they can use it, it will be the most satisfying part of the employing. Most of the skills are not used. If they utilized them we could be a better company (Egyptian Supervisor). Hence, the ethnical hierarchy as an organizational structure seemed to ease daily management by reducing it to one-way communication from one national group to another. An example of the way the Danes excluded other nationalities from the communication channels was presented to the researcher by one of the Philippine employees. He once told the researcher that ‘ big guests ’ would soon arrive, so we should dress suitably the next few days. When asked how he knew that, he responded that he had just seen the carpets being cleaned. He had noticed that this happened every time ‘big guests’ arrived. At lunch with the Danes later that day it was confirmed that there was to be a board meeting a few days later. Such an event was
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