IHRM Policies and Practices




Write essay explaining the term ‘culture shock’ and discuss the IHRM policies and practices that could be used to manage this.



Culture shock is considered to be the experience of an individual when moving from one cultural environment to another. It might also be considered as the personal feeling of disorientation for a person when migrating to a new place or to a new social environment. The most common cultural shock might be referred to the individuals in the foreign environment.  It can be said that cultural shock involves some common problems such as language barrier, information overload, technology gap, skill requirement, response ability and boredom (Brown, 2016). This paper will highlight the meaning of the term “culture shock” and it will discuss the different HRM practices and policies that are used to manage this in an effective way.  Moreover, an organisational example will also be cited to understand the concept of cultural shock.


It can be said that living abroad can be an exhilarating experience and thus it encourages the views of the new world and increases cultural curiosity and willingness to explore unfamiliar things. This sense of feeling might be lost in the original world. Culture shock is considered to be the most important phenomena and thus it might take a lot of time to develop and thus affects the traveller and the people who stay away from their homes. This culture shock moves through four important phases i.e. the honeymoon, frustration, adjustment and the acceptance phase. The individuals might experience different phases in different stages and it is necessary to adjust accordingly to each of these stages that provide guidelines to adapt and cope with the new cultural situation. In the first stage i.e. the honeymoon stage, it might be overwhelming and thus the travellers might feel to be infatuated with people, language and food in his/her surroundings (Friesen, 2015). On the other hand, in frustration stage, the travellers might find difficulty in adjusting to this and there might be fatigue of understanding the different gestures, language and sets and this might lead to miscommunication. However, in the adjustment stage, the frustrations are considered to be subdued and the traveller tries to find being more familiar and comfortable with the food, people and culture of the particular environment. Thus, navigation might become quite easier for him/her and he/she can adjust to the situation accordingly. In the last stage i.e. the acceptance stage, the culture shock is generally accepted by the people; however acceptance doesn’t mean that it is completely understood by the people. In this stage, the travellers might be familiar and thus be able to draw the resources they feel comfortable at and thus arrive at a particular conclusion (Furham, 2012). 
The HRM policies and practices also lay impact on the cultural shock. It is necessary to provide proper training on the languages and this is considered to be successful for the success of the particular project. On the other hand, it can be said that there are many employees who spent a lot of time outside their work and thus they master themselves in the local language and enjoy the culture of that particular country. It is also necessary to discuss and negotiate on the mother tongue of that particular country and this can give greater advantage of the employees when they are working on oversees project. It can be said that the goal of cultural training is to train the employees so that it becomes easier for them to know the norms of the particular culture in the organisation. These norms might include histories from the pasta and thus help an individual to know the management style, religion, food, geography and the different aspects of logistics in that particular environment. The different implications of cultural training is not expressed or discussed openly in different organisations and this is because it might harm the success of the managers when they work on overseas projects (Ward, Furnham & Bochner, 2005).. An example can be cited of the business expansion of Revlon in Brazil when it has marketed its products Camellia flower for the first time. The managers did not realize that Camellia flowers are used only in funerals and thus the product has failed in the targeted market. Therefore, it can be said that cultural implications such as management style are not considered to be obvious for the organisation. 
It is necessary to provide proper training on the goals and experiences of the particular workers who are engaged in the organisation. The individuals tries to boost themselves when they get engaged in oversees assignment. It is important for them to manage the workload that they would face if they would work in their home country. On the other hand, this kind of stress might also lead to insecurity and homesickness and thus it is necessary to manage the employees in a better way in the organisation. It is necessary to understand that the organisation will provide reward and incentives to the individuals and this will help to prevent the breach of psychological contract (Eze, 2015). The leadership policies that are affected by the cultural shock require proper supervision of the managers and the leaders in the organisation and thus it will be easier for them to manage the employees in a better way in the organisation. There are several practices that can be reviewed and thus it is vital to know the importance of monetary and non-monetary rewards to the individuals. The cross cultural training aims at providing the individuals proper training and thus enhancing their cross cultural arrangement in a better way in the organisation. It is also considered to be the degree of psychological comfort with different aspects of the host country. It is necessary to deal with the affective psychological response and thus this helps in adjusting to the new situation accordingly. This cross cultural adjustment might be psychological, emotional and thus it is necessary to be measured from different perspectives of the individuals who try to experience foreign culture (Briones & Bush, 2015). 
An example can be cited of the Latin countries such as Spain and Italy where the business relationship is considered to be focused. There are meaningful small talks in such businesses and people try to keep themselves engaged in enjoying and free gossips. There is no such room feeling in communication in these Latin countries and thus there are no such differences in ideas and subjective talks of the people and there is mixed feeling among the people of the particular culture. On the other hand, it can be said that the people of Latin countries has deep respect and understanding for the authority figures and thus defer to them accordingly. There must be changes in the communication approach and thus this often leads to different types of disagreement in the meetings and other group conversations. When voiced up, this people automatically line up behind and thus they realise the importance of going in lines rather than in other ways. Therefore, it is necessary to make cross cultural adjustment that is considered to be internal, emotional and thus linked with the psychological state of the individual when they experience foreign culture.

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Therefore, it can be said that the failure or success of different organisations in the international market depends on the expertise performance. This performance depends on many factors and thus it helps in reflecting the outcome of the expatriate. It is necessary for the practitioners to consider the above mentioned points during the HRM practices and thus this will play an important role in enhancing their performance. 


Briones, S., & Bush, K. (2015). A Campus Professional's Guide to Understanding Culture Shock in International Students.
Brown, S. (2016). Effects of Intrapersonal Communication on Reverse Culture Shock.
Eze, E. O. (2015). INTERNATIONAL STUDENT’S STUDYING ABROAD CHALLENGES: CULTURE SHOCK?. International Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities Review, 5(1).
Friesen, H. I. L. (2015). “Surrounded by all these contradictions”: every day culture shock in culturally diverse post-secondary classrooms.
Furham, A. (2012). Culture shock. Revista de Psicologéa de la Educación, 7.
Ward, C., Furnham, A., & Bochner, S. (2005). The psychology of culture shock. Routledge.

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