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Human Resources (HR) in any given establishment are at the core of business operations. The human resource capacity in a business has a direct relationship on the production and efficiency of a business. This is because it is the human resources that run the other factors of production within a business. As such, it is of paramount importance for a business to ensure a vibrant human resource department that will be involved in human resource management. The human resource department is charged with key specific responsibilities. These responsibilities include; recruiting suitable personnel for the business, conduct training to meet the needs of personnel, take care of staff welfare including compensation for work, ensure a conducive and safe working environment and raising general knowledge of laws governing the work place among others. Also, HR in the 21st Century is also involved in conducting Perfomance appraisals as well as developing public relations between the business and the outside world including shareholders and investors. This paper examines the practice of human resource management Marie Airlines.

Organisational HRM, Diversity Management and Culture

Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where people are becoming more and more interconnected”

Kofi Annan.

In today’s world of business, managing diversity and culture could be the difference between a successful business and one that is not so successful. The processes involved in globalisation have caused businesses globally to deal with an increasingly diversified market and clientele. The ever increasing interest in managing diversity is a business strategy aimed at improving market competitiveness (Kim et al: 2015). This strategy is achieved by ensuring an inclusive work environment which appreciates people’s differences. Globally, personnel are recruited and employed from a very wide perspective encompassing diversity and culture. A proper practice of human resource management should plan and strategize on how to manage the merits and challenges that come with diverse personnel. Businesses that pursue relevance in the global market must embrace diversity. At Marie Airlines, this appears to be a big problem. Employees within the organisation do not seem to bond well. Marie airlines are an example of a multinational organisation operating in four different countries that are located in four different continents.

According to the Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) (2010), diversity refers to all the significant variances between people. Such variances include but not limited to; age, gender, regional culture, mental and physical abilities, religion, literacy, functional role and status, geographical location, ideology, sexual orientation, language, ethnicity and many others. These are aspects that shape the way people think and how and why people do things the way they do. Culture on the other hand is a mixture of art, knowledge morality and law shared by members of a particular society (Syemen: 2006). What staff at Marie airlines need to appreciate is that people express their culture through the values that they hold, and their general perceptions about life and work. Fleury (2011)points out that it is in fact these values that influence personnel’s attitude towards say behaviour that may be viewed as being either appropriate or even effective in a given business environment. If there be any national culture, then it relates to values, principles, behaviours and includes every other aspect relating to work and the business. What needs to be done at Marie Airlines is investment in diversity management. Diversity management is “ the ongoing process of incorporating the recognition of workforce and customer differences into all core business management functions , communications, processes, and services to create a fair , harmonious, inclusive, creative, and effective organisation” (AMF 2010:10).

Managing diversity at Marie Airlines will be advantageous for various reasons. First, it will be an important predictor of personnel outcomes such as improved work performance and job satisfaction among others (Choi & Rainey: 2010). Second, it will help foster the principle and practice of inclusion at the airline. Inclusion helps ensure full participation and contribution of personnel towards achieving the goals of the business. Third, this process will enable the airline to identify and capitalize on the advantages of having a diverse personnel base. Fourth, the process will help the airline comply with legal requirements such as equality in employment opportunities. Fifth, it will help enhance the identity and reputation of the business among diverse groups nationally and globally.

According to Lim (2010), managing diversity is a skill harnessed over time. It is a process that involves understanding what motivates and encourages personnel. This is because cultural backgrounds shape people’s values and views of life. That perhaps explains why there is poor quality of goods from China and Vietnam. There also lacks proper organisational structure to ensure uniformity of aircraft parts and acceptable quality. Good organisational HRM should endeavour to understand these factors (Jones & Volpe: 2011). What is crucial here is that diversity management strategies ought to be linked to performance by individuals or even the business. In the process of doing business, these strategies are best exhibited from a functional point of view.

Another crucial aspect that lacks at Marie Airlines is cultural competence According to Buttner et al (2010), cultural competence is the awareness and knowledge necessary for one to operate within a culturally diverse environment and be in a position to interact with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

In diversity management, there are those who believe that it is a process that involves creating a common culture in which the various diversities work together, and where the various differences are hardly felt (Seymen: 2006). To others, it involves creation of a culturally diversified business organisation that brings together all manner of cultures (Kim et al: 2015). The belief here is that a workforce of mixed cultures has the potential of leveraging the business and giving it a competitive advantage over others. There are also those who believe that the merits and demerits of cultural diversity in an organisation ought to be considered separately. Syed (2009) acknowledges that though diversity may have both advantageous and disadvantageous effects on a business, the extent of these effects largely depends on the existing diversity climate as opposed to the existence of the diversity itself. Podsiadlowski et al (2013) suggests that proper management of cultural diversity could have a positive influence on personnel Perfomance at work. This is what Marie Airlines need to focus on. Perhaps that may explain why Sangyong (2015) argues that in the event where culture and diversity is not well managed, personnel may feel excluded hence start developing feeling of suspicion and even hostility in extreme cases. This is suspicion is evident from Ben Brown’s words. Employees at Marie Airlines already do not trust each other. There is shifting of blame instead of a focus on company objectives. While they are involved with this, shareholders on the other hand are threatening to withhold payments due to poor quality products. Hence, it is important to cultivate and develop a strong relationship between culture and diversity, and how the two can be managed.

International Performance Management, Training and Development

The test of an organisation is not genius. It is in its capacity to make common people achieve uncommon performance”

Peter Drucker

The fundamental task of management is to make people capable of joint performance through common goals, common values, the right structure and the training development they need to perform and respond to change

Peter Ducker.

Performance management is the process of setting out goals and objectives on individuals and groups, and which process is coupled with consistently regular review of the achievements (Tee: 2016). Of paramount importance in this process is ensuring that the objectives of the business are prioritised. These objectives in turn should be linked to the organisation’s overall strategy. Mannion et al (2011) opine that within the process of performance management, there are key factors that must never be left out. These include; planning performance, maintaining this performance, reviewing performance and ultimately rewarding performance. This needs to be done at Marie Airlines. There is need for uniformity and communication across all subsidiaries

During performance planning, this is where Key Performance Areas (KPAs) are identified. Also, this is the process through which objectives towards the business strategy and fused in the development plans. Then, there are many activities that go into maintaining this performance. As discussed by Lee (2011), they include; constant monitoring, feedback, mentorship as well as contact sessions where the objectives of the company are regularly discussed. Reviewing performance on the other hand basically involves evaluating performance. Lastly rewarding of performance includes things such as incentives, bonuses, salary increments etc.

Of all these processes, Oyler and Pryor (2011) argue that the planning stage is the most crucial. During this stage, the executive at Marie Airlines may want to consider synchronisation of communication procedures for effective work throughput. Below is a diagrammatic representation of these processes that may be helpful to Marie airlines.


Source: Oyler and Pryor (2011)

The focus under this stage should be on economic factors that affect achievement of business strategies at Marie Airlines. Maamari (2014) agrees with this position and points out the fact that if the focus is misdirected, then it is possible to have undesired side effects such as demotivated personnel and lack of credibility among others.

A good performance management system should include training and development of personnel (Swan et al: 2009). In order for personnel at Marie Airlines to perform and achieve individual and group targets, they require skills and knowledge. Personnel are taken through the skill competencies that are required. In essence, before commencement of any such training usually performance gaps would have been identified. Training therefore is done with these performance gaps in mind. The objective is doing this is so that any planned training should be focussed specific and relevant within the context of performance management, training and development. Riad and Jones (2013) opine that the training and development as well as the entire performance management process ought to be linked to the organisation’s retention strategy.

There are many benefits that are associated with a good performance management system. First it will enhance integration amongst personnel at Marie Airlines. It will open up communication as well as improve performance from individual personnel. This system should help with vertical mobility in careers at Marie Airlines as well as do placement according to abilities, knowledge and competencies.

At certain periods, performance management systems also require to be audited. Auditing is important because it gives room for evaluating relevance and also whether the system is efficient and effective (Goebel& Barbara: 2015). Marie Airlines may make use of focus groups, interviews, questionnaires and document reviews. A good audit therefore should ascertain the existence of a performance management system, training of personnel, ascertain the relevance of objectives, as well as establish the relationship between a business’ ratings against the performance itself.

In terms of rewarding performance, Marie Airlines should have a clear manner of doing this under the performance management system. A good rewarding system should at least include a number of things. First, it should establish a fair culture where remuneration is based on a person’s performance. Second, is should be a system that is acceptable to personnel at Marie Airlines. Third, it should be transparent and known to personnel. Fourth, it should set high standards of performance, but those that are attainable: they should not be unrealistic. Fifth, these set standards should be well spelt out and should be generally acceptable. Sixth, the rewards under this system should be simple and easy to understand. Lastly, they system itself should be administered well.


The paper has underscored the relevance of diversity. It has also explained how this diversity comes about, especially with the advent of globalisation and global mobility of competencies at Marie Airlines. The paper has explained in detail how diversity and culture affect operations at the airlines, and how diversity management will help synchronise operations in all subsidiaries. The paper takes the position that diversity and culture can actually be used to create business leverage hence increasing competitiveness in the market. The paper has also located culture as intrinsic in the people’s perspectives of life and work, and how it influences peoples’ ways of doing things. Unlike in the past where diversity and culture were not readily accepted, the paper has established that capacities to manage these two issues have also become a source of international market placements and diplomacy. The paper advocates for the creation of a good management system at Marie Airlines, which will take care of the issues and challenges associated with culture and diversity at the airline. The paper has enumerated the qualities of a good diversity management system that the airline can consider when creating one.

In terms of performance appraisal, this paper has taken the position that it is paramount for the airline to invest in a good performance appraisal management program. This paper has appreciated the importance of having personnel’s performance and competences to be evaluated regularly. For such competencies to be acquired, the importance of training and development of skills and knowledge within the airline’s personnel structure has been discussed. The paper has also noted the importance of having a performance appraisal system that is transparent, east to understand and one that is acceptable to personnel as a way of motivating airline employees. An effective performance management program should make provisions for training personnel and gradually helping develop their skill competencies. The paper has also underscored the relevance and importance of an audit system. An audit system will help ensure that the system is well equipped and running as expected. The paper has also established factors that a good audit system should look at and how these factors should be linked to the airline’s objectives.

Ultimately, the paper underscores the importance and relevance of keeping with good business practises that are focussed on the airline’s objectives and business strategies. For the success of all these management systems to be achieved, they must be linked to the airline’s strategic plan. Good business practices include a system of monitoring implementation and review of achievements regularly within the airline’s personnel structure.


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