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Dave S Morse
Dave S Morse
I've completed a Masters of Management in Public Administration at the University of Phoenix and am seeking to enter the field of social and/or environmental justice from the field of education. I am a strong social-justice advocate who has had letters to the editor published in the NY Times etc.


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Posted in Business / Human Resources

Centralized versus Decentralized Staffing and Planning--It Depends

Dec. 12, 2011 1:51 am
Categories: None

In the field of human-resources management (HRM), considerable debate has swirled around the topic of which staffing construct is better, centralized or decentralized staffing. To a considerable degree, it depends on what sort of company, non-profit entity, or governmental agency we’re talking about.

Local Staffers Have a Better Idea as to Real Conditions in Their Area

In terms of diplomacy, as conducted by a nation’s State Department, it would be better, in the main, to have a decentralized staffing function as local consulate office staffers and embassy personnel in the field i.e. foreign countries have a far better idea as to conditions on the ground and what sorts of staff people are the most appropriate i.e. and well-qualified to put forth win-win project, business, and diplomatic proposals in the region or nation in which they’re serving.

Someone Needed for an Interpreter/Translator Position Should be Hired Locally

If, for example, the US State Department needed a fluent Farsi-English-Southern Pashto-Dari (Iranian-English-Afghani-another form of the Afghan language) at their consulate office in Northeastern Iran i.e. Northern Khorasan, Province, they would be well advised to find, recruit, hire, and retain a highly qualified person, from the region, rather than hiring someone from the US in Washington D.C.

Someone Hired Locally Has Important Strengths

First, the very well-qualified person hired locally would probably have a very deep understanding of the cultural and linguistic nuances of the languages mentioned just above, and of the cultures those languages represent. Second, someone hired locally would probably be able to establish rapport and trust with local and regional leaders faster than an American would be able to, no matter how good their (his/her) language skills might be. Third, doing so would show respect for the local and regional cultures and create win-win rapport which would benefit not only the local area and the region, it would also benefit America in terms of the respect gained in that part of the world. Fourth, it would probably be very difficult and time-consuming to find someone in the US who would be able to translate and interpret the languages noted above freely, fluently, and accurately, and with the cross-cultural acumen needed to “read” between the lines and to convey to the US consulate or embassy what is really being said because oftentimes what is left unsaid, in some cultures, is more important than what is said.

Centralized Staffing Works Best with Companies Which Have a Specific Brand or Image They Wish to Commend

Centralized staffing and planning is most effective among companies such as McDonald’s Corporation that has a specific brand, image, and quality that it wishes to communicate in a very cohesive/consistent manner at its stores worldwide. The maintenance of a standard brand, value, and flavor, at an affordable price, can only be achieved through a centralized approach to staffing i.e. recruiting, hiring, on-boarding, training on a regular basis, and retention of loyal good-excellent employees which will commend an image that will continue to strengthen its competitive position vis-à-vis its competitors.

Overseas Branches/Stores Should be Given Sufficient Autonomy to Make Culturally Appropriate Decisions, However

Having said that, however, enough autonomy should be given to local franchisees/owners in other countries to allow them to create McDonald’s food products, for instance, that are delicious to local palettes and would not violate any religious values or mores existent in the host country or region. Subway Sandwich Corporation, for example, would be wise not to try and sell ham sandwiches in Islamic countries which would create offense and perhaps even cause all of their stores in the country to be shut down for good, or for a considerable period of time. To avoid this, they could market to local tastes with Arabic-style garnishments, for example, and non-ham/non-pork sandwiches which would probably be popular and enjoy good success, without causing offense.

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