Decision Making; Solvay Group: International Mobility and Managing Expatriates

December 4, 2017 Young People

Decision Making; Solvay Group: International Mobility and Managing Expatriates Decision making with other members in organization is very important because every action needed decision making, planning a business, managing performances, care the employee and customers, every time every actions based on decision making. Then, how can we make a good decision? Rational choice paradigm Decision making is the conscious process of making choices among alternatives with the intention of moving toward some desired state of affairs.

The ultimate principle of the rational choice paradigm is to choose the alternative with the highest subjective expected utility. And we can use the rational choice decision making process that there’s six step to do. The first step is to identify the problem or recognize and opportunity, and the second step involves deciding how to process the decision. After decided the process, you can identify and develop a list of possible solution, and choose the alternative with the highest subjective expected utility. The fifth step is to implement the selected alternative.

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And evaluating whether the gap is last step of rational choice decision-making process. In this case study that Solvay group, we would like to focus on the decision making process. Solvay Group Solvay, a Brussels based international chemical & pharmaceutical group is doing their business internationally, Europe, NAFTA, Mercosur, and Asia Pacific. And 28,000 employees belong to Solvay group in 2007. Net Sales of three division of Solvay is over € 28,000 millions. Solvay grown by of M&A, and it’s base to form the current divisions and business architectures. Challenges

Marcel Lorent, HR manager for international Mobility at Solvay should have to decide four expat processes, but those four expat is not unusual cases, so he is on dilemma. According to rational choice decision-making process, it’s based on aware the information with member who is relative with decision making. Because of to identify problem and opportunity, they must know about situation exactly. Then you can discuss with other members and find what it happened. But, Solvay and Lorent didn’t follow that rules. To listen the voices of employee, Lorent visit them whole in the world where they worked.

This is very hard to listen the current voices of employee wanted. In additions, employee is hard to talk about their visions because of Solvay organization culture that is too formal. When employee wants to change their career, they should tell their senior manager. But in the organization, this is so hard to tell their senior manager. INTUITION : * Historically, Solvay’s mobility policies had focused on consistency. But with Lorent, HR manager of International Mobility, he himself had experienced as an expatriate who moved to HR part from plant running career for over 25 years.

So the intuition made him to wondered whether should he rethink his groups’ approach to Solvay’s mobility expat process. This can be seen as an intuition, since it is a gut feeling based on his experience. * In response to a changing world and with new and with important developments lying ahead, Solvay began in 2009 to turn a major corner in its history. The paradigm of the pharmaceutical industry has led the BOD to take a crucial strategic decision : to divest Solvay Pharmaceuticals. This decision was allowed to mature slowly and carefully and was finally taken only after a detailed study of alternatives. This kind of strategic decision always require of Leader’s Intuition at some level. In a business world where the uncertainty become an unavoidable part, the intuition becomes more and more important to all organization . ESCALATION OF COMMITMENT : * The decision of quitting Pharmaceutical business is also an simple of not falling to “Escalation of Commitment” before too late. From 1980, Solvay formed its “health sector” and even created its own pharmaceutical division in 1993 for a very simple reason : to reduce the company’s vulnerability to the cyclical nature of oil prices.

In the sense of business, organizations should only do what : 1) can be great at, 2) can make money at and 3) have a passion for doing it. So from this point of view, the Pharmaceutical was a risk taking business since there is no signal of any of those above factors in decision to entrance. * Even though, this decision was made only after almost 20 years. It is definitely that there were some reasons : 1) Self-justification 2) Prospect theory 3) Perceptual blinders 4) Closing Costs and I would like to add one more to this theory : 5) Maybe the Pharmaceutical business itself was not that bad, or even pretty good to get rid of it.

Emotional Influences on Expat Process Expat Process is not simple. An employee will encounter totally different environment work place and he/her personal life. Therefore a company needs to too consider many things. In order to help the process, Solvay Group has the talent roundtables. The talent roundtables are used to identify talented employees based on employee ability, engagement and aspiration. It is useful, however, Andre Petitjean, director, Research & Technology, VCM & PVC, said that he cannot rely on only the talent roundtables.

He thinks that he has to have contact with people to get the human details that are so important in assessing their potentials. The reason is that data doesn’t provide everything he wants; he has to check what he cannot see through the database like characteristics and so on. In expat process, an employee has limited choices. The main reason is that company is the one who decide where to go and what position to take. Thus, in expat process, the opinion of employee’s has less involvement. In this kind of situation, some of employees who will be move to other sectors of company can experience cognitive dissonance.

According to Andre Petitjean, young people are eager for the opportunity to move abroad and get the chance to move in their careers around the world. However, some of employees feel different way. If boss asked that a company will offer great opportunity for you, and you have to move South America or the United Kingdom. At this moment, an Employee feel that he have to say “yes” because a boss expect that answer. Also, an employee knows that a company already has planned his/her expat process. If answer is ” No,” it will cause a problem for the organization. So he/she says “Yes. “

Although an employee are willing to move the other sectors, there are still more problems. Marion, recently returned to Brussels after 13 years in Canada, Mexico and the U. S. said that he have been and expat for 13 years, and several times he prepared for a move that didn’t happen. It’s difficult for a family to handle uncertainty. Ribeim, an employee of solvay Said that he worry about the expat process because his wife cannot work as a doctor when his family move to other sectors. Nobthomb, who was went Korea in the early 1990s, said that for him, everything was trial and error because of language barrier and cultural differences.

In this kind of situation, an emotion is serving as information in decision making process. Traditionally, a company needs to care about maintaining the purchasing power of the home country, remunerating the expat and his or her family for the effort of the relocation and hardship and reimbursing the costs incurred in the expatriation; if a company gives enough money to maintain their lives in new environment, that was enough for the employees. However, now situation is changed. Fundamental challenge of expat process is how to treat the family because that is really important factor to decide to join expat process for an employee.

Areturo Gutierrez, HR manager said, “not only on the financial side, but all the other aspects as wee-schooling, additional coverage, insurances and things like that. ” In 2007, solvay’s annual report noted that “certain fundamental HR aspects need to be managed at Group level for everyone, and also more specifically for those called to work at the international level, even if, in practice, they are attached to a local entity and develop their careers within a local culture. “ Emotional support is so important for employee when he/she is working in the outside of home country.

In order to achieve success of expat process expat package of a company needs to support their family. It will satisfy metal health for its employee and give motivation at work Creativity: According to many researchers creativity refers to refers to the phenomenon whereby something new is created which has some kind of value. What counts as “new” may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs. What counts as “valuable” is similarly defined in a variety of ways.

Scholarly interest in creativity ranges widely: the mental and neurological processes associated with creative activity; the relationship between personality type and creative ability; the relationship between creativity and intelligence, learning and mental health; and ways of fostering creativity through training and technology. The Creative Process Model: Preparation-Incubation-Insight-Verification This model is composed of four stages. First, preparation. During this stage a total understanding of the situation is made aiming to reach some information related to the issue.

The second stage is called incubation. According to the book is defined as `the stage of reflective thought. We put the problem aside but our mind is still working on it in the background`. The third is insight. This stage concerns with the experience where a person suddenly become aware of `unique idea`. The fourth and last stage refers to verification. In this stage the new created idea goes through a deep consideration and experimental verification. Creative People and Work Environments: Charcteristics of Creative people:

There are mainly four characteristics of creative people: intelligence, persistence, subject matter knowledge and experience, and inventive thinking style. First, intelligence is defined as an umbrella term describing a property of the mind including related abilities, such as the capacities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, learning from past experiences, planning, and problem solving. Second persistence. Creative people are always persistent in their attempts to reach any given result.

They may keep trying tens of times before reaching the intended result. The third feature of creative people is that they own a very strong basis of knowledge about the topic or the area of concern. The forth and the most crucial characteristic of the creative people is that they have an inventive thinking style. They are divergent thinkers who like to take risks aiming to reach the intended result. They are not worried about making mistakes or even working with ambiguous information. Activities that encourage Creativity:

Different corporations follow various methods and develop various ways to get the best of their creative people. The most common of those methods is the set of activities that encourages employees to redefine the problems. For example we re-consider some projects that were refused some times before; they can be seen in a different way in the current time. The second set of activities is the associate play; this may include art classes to impromptu storytelling. In this process the employees are encouraged to contribute to the development of characters and storyline.

Morphological analysis is a different associate play activity where the employees are listing different dimensions of a system and the elements of each dimension, then looking at each combination. Cross-pollination is the third set of activities that companies may apply to encourage creativity in the organization. Cross-pollination is the process where different people of from different areas of the company exchanges ideas. Creativity: According to many researchers creativity refers to refers to the phenomenon whereby something new is created which has some kind of value.

What counts as “new” may be in reference to the individual creator, or to the society or domain within which the novelty occurs. What counts as “valuable” is similarly defined in a variety of ways. Scholarly interest in creativity ranges widely: the mental and neurological processes associated with creative activity; the relationship between personality type and creative ability; the relationship between creativity and intelligence, learning and mental health; and ways of fostering creativity through training and technology. The Creative Process Model:

Preparation-Incubation-Insight-Verification This model is composed of four stages. First, preparation. During this stage a total understanding of the situation is made aiming to reach some information related to the issue. The second stage is called incubation. According to the book is defined as `the stage of reflective thought. We put the problem aside but our mind is still working on it in the background`. The third is insight. This stage concerns with the experience where a person suddenly become aware of `unique idea`. The fourth and last stage refers to verification.

In this stage the new created idea goes through a deep consideration and experimental verification. Creative People and Work Environments: Charcteristics of Creative people: There are mainly four characteristics of creative people: intelligence, persistence, subject matter knowledge and experience, and inventive thinking style. First, intelligence is defined as an umbrella term describing a property of the mind including related abilities, such as the capacities for abstract thought, understanding, communication, reasoning, learning, learning from past experiences, planning, and problem solving.

Second persistence. Creative people are always persistent in their attempts to reach any given result. They may keep trying tens of times before reaching the intended result. The third feature of creative people is that they own a very strong basis of knowledge about the topic or the area of concern. The forth and the most crucial characteristic of the creative people is that they have an inventive thinking style. They are divergent thinkers who like to take risks aiming to reach the intended result.

They are not worried about making mistakes or even working with ambiguous information. Activities that encourage Creativity: Different corporations follow various methods and develop various ways to get the best of their creative people. The most common of those methods is the set of activities that encourages employees to redefine the problems. For example we re-consider some projects that were refused some times before; they can be seen in a different way in the current time. The second set of activities is the associate play; this may include art classes to impromptu storytelling.

In this process the employees are encouraged to contribute to the development of characters and storyline. Morphological analysis is a different associate play activity where the employees are listing different dimensions of a system and the elements of each dimension, then looking at each combination. Cross-pollination is the third set of activities that companies may apply to encourage creativity in the organization. Cross-pollination is the process where different people of from different areas of the company exchanges ideas.

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