Issue Analysis Paper

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Question

Current IHRM Issues Analysis from the Wall Street Journal:

1. Challenges in Global Labor Market related to Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT workers

2. How Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTs affect Global Staffing and Recruitment and 3. Legal IHRM Issues for Hiring LGBTs

A vital source of your learning about very current issues in IHRM this semester and in the future will be from periodicals such as The Wall Street Journal, which is published every working day. You will subscribe to the Wall Street Journal, and on a regular basis read, label, cut out, and store articles, announcements, advertisements, cartoons, etc., pertaining to HRM in international and multinational situations today. Carefully analyze three or four of the major topic piles you choose with regard to the significance and important implications of each topic for human resource management success in our global economic environment. 

This paper should NOT be merely a descriptive report of the articles on the topic piles that you collect. Rather, you should use sample articles you’ve identified in the course of the semester to illustrate the points you are making on important issues and challenges in international HRM. Your well-supported viewpoints and opinions should be expressed throughout this paper, with personal language like “in my opinion,” and “I believe that…” The paper should reflect your own discovery experience and newly found insights about the issues and concepts associated with global workforce management that you regularly encounter in the WSJ. It should NOT include basic definitions and information from the text or class discussions but should build upon and extend beyond that basic knowledge foundation. 

Your completed paper should be around 5-7 pages (not including cover page) double spaced, with 10-12 pt. font and one-inch margins. Begin the paper with an introduction indicating the purpose of the paper, why it is important, the main topics you will cover, and your source of current information (i.e., the Wall Street Journal during this semester). After your introduction provides an initial “Global Context” section in which you analyze the global context in which today’s international human resource management activities are carried out and which may influence current policies and practices. Then follow with an analysis of your three or four major international HR-related topics that you have identified to focus on in this paper based on your regular review of the WSJ. Finally, end with a brief conclusion section. Footnotes are not necessary—in reference to a particular article, you simply can mention the title and date. No particular writing style or format is required other than to use consistent major topic headings for clarity. Also, be sure to proofread your work carefully—don’t let me be the one to find grammatical errors or careless typos! 

TOPICS CHOSEN BASED ON THE ATTACHED ARTICLES: 1. Challenges in Global Labor Market related to Same-Sex Marriage and LGBT workers 2. How Same-Sex Marriage and LGBTs affect Global Staffing and Recruitment and 3. Legal IHRM Issues for Hiring LGBTs

Answer

Current International HRM Issues: Wall Street Journal Essay

Introduction

The current globalization trend that has changed the entire course the business world has adopted has also brought about contentious issues that need to be addressed with immediate effect. Throughout the semester, I have been able to acquire sufficient knowledge and proficient skills that have proven to be quite useful in my analysis of these current emergent issues. More so, I have sought out viable information from the Wall Street Journal to aid in my analysis of these vital issues. This essay will address the challenges in the global labor market related to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) workers, implications of same-sex marriages on global staffing and recruitment and finally, the legal international HRM issues arising from hiring LGBT workers. All these key issues are intertwined in the sense that they have the power to determine the success or failure of any business, be it local or international. As such, they have implications on human resource management as well as other key aspects in a business context such as overall performance and work ethics. The comprehension of these issues is imperative to international businesses in order to foster a culture of tolerance and peaceful co-existence in workplaces among all workers regardless of sexual orientation. Consequently, this will contribute to the overall success of the business and alleviate conflicts in the workplace.

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Global Context

            Many international businesses have adopted sound strategies and frameworks that are inclined towards improving their performances globally. Most of these strategies incorporate the role played by the human resource department in various businesses in an attempt to improve working relations and to adhere to the work ethics and stipulations laid out. In this regard, the role of human resource professionals cannot be overlooked. They are charged with ensuring that the labor force is sufficient and works effectively towards a common goal to constitute a coherent system of workflow. Human resource management can be well comprehended by closely investigating the issues of hiring and recruitment of workers devoid of biases and prejudices, legal policies and issues as well as the implications arising as a result of employing the legal policies in the work environment.

Moreover, it is equally imperative that human resource professionals foster a culture of tolerance and understanding among all workers, especially where LGBT employees are involved. This approach will go a long way in ensuring that there is a positive shift globally in ideologies and assumptions associated with minority groups so as to embrace more appealing and accommodative policies that acknowledge the existence of and the role played by LGBT workers. The articles selected from the Wall Street Journal to form a basis for my arguments highlight these issues to a great extent and consequently provide meaningful insight on how certain parts of the world deal with them.

Challenges in Global Market Related to LGBT and Same-Sex Marriages

It is a well-known fact that the majority of the populace in the world has not accepted the existence of LGBTs.  This intolerance by people has myriad effects on the labor market precisely on the LGBT community. The challenges that are quite notable range from discrimination, harassment, job dissatisfaction, and inadequate job vacancies. I strongly hold the view that discrimination against these factions brings about job instability that yields unemployment and subsequent high poverty rates among them. Consequently, the wage gap between LGBT workers and their heterosexual counterparts is considerably high. It has been noted that gay workers earn way less than their straight counterparts who exhibit the same qualifications and work experience as them. According to a Wall Street Journal published on May 12, 2015, it is evident that quite a number of states lack protection laws and viable policies for the LGBT community and this leads to termination of employment on the basis of sexuality (Silverman).

Harassment is also obvious in workplaces where gay and lesbian workers have disclosed their sexual orientations. As a result of this, some LGBTs tend not to disclose their sexual affiliations in the Labor market due to fear.  According to them, being open about their sexual orientations hinders career growth and advancement in their respective fields. Furthermore, it can lead to them being fired from work. As such, openly LGBTs are more susceptible to incidences of harassment as opposed to those who choose to conceal their identities. On April 20, 2016, an article titled “Editor of Bangladesh Gay Magazine Hacked to Death in His Home” highlighted gruesome killings of two gay rights activists (Al-Mahmood). This, in my opinion, reveals the intensity of extreme behavior exhibited by humanity towards the LGBT faction. I believe that such extremism hinders efficiency in the labor market since it instills fear among gay people causing them to underperform in their activities. This also affects the overall performance of the firm across the world.

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Additionally, there is job dissatisfaction among employees who come out to declare their gay status. On this basis, it can be argued that LGBT workers have lower job satisfaction as opposed to their heterosexual counterparts. This is primarily due to the disadvantage in a position such workers hold in the labor market. The fact that these workers face prejudices in the wages they receive and subsequent job promotions means that their job satisfaction level is adversely undermined in the contemporary workplace.

Similarly, research carried out in the USA and other EU member countries reveal that there is tremendous bias in the labor market towards LGBTs (Badgett and Frank 26). It has been noted that people who are singled out as gay or lesbians at the time of hiring are discriminated against in preference for their heterosexual counterparts. Further studies reveal appalling statistics, whereby accessibility to jobs for gay men ranges from 3% to 40% whereas for lesbians it ranges from 6% to 27 % (Ahmed et al. 565). In my opinion, all governments should advocate for equal rights applicable to all workers regardless of sexual orientation in order to improve job accessibility opportunities for all.

How Same-Sex Marriages and LGBT Affect Staffing and Recruitment

            Same-sex marriages have several implications for staffing and recruitment. For instance, conflicts and incidences of extremism have cropped up in workplaces. Owing to the fact that not many people have accepted the LGBT community, a wave of conflict and blood baths has been on the rise. Opposers of the LGBT rights instigate such crimes against them as a form of retaliation. Many perceive this community as a scourge, a disgrace to humanity and a mockery of religion. The article titled “Editor of Bangladesh Gay Magazine Hacked to Death in His Home” (20th April 2016) highlights the scope of extremism undertaken by those who despise gays as well as the activists who voice and fight for their rights (Al-Mahmood). In as much as being gay contravenes morals and religious principles, I do believe that such retaliatory behavior is intolerable and equally violates the right to life for every human being. In fact, according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to life and protection applies to every human being on earth.

            Additionally, same-sex marriages have led to the emergence of a new era of corporate social activism across the globe. Proponents of gay rights have challenged employers and multinational firms to adopt policies that advocate for LGBT rights across all platforms. This development will go a long way in promoting a culture of tolerance and understanding among all workers. The article titled “Salesforce’s Marc Benioff Has Kicked off New Era of Corporate Social Activism(May 2, 2016) highlights the need for companies to come out publicly and acknowledge the role of LGBT workers (Langley). Benioff, who spearheaded this movement, challenged the courts for ruling against gay rights and deemed them a “corporate bully” (Langley). In my view, this move was pragmatic in the sense that it called upon CEOs to join in the fight against discrimination against LGBT workers, subsequently causing the law enforcers to cave in due to pressure.
            Similarly, these marriages tend to cause significant alterations to organizational culture. Different firms have their own practices, cultures, and principles which provide bounds for performance and behavior. However, the presence of these marriages jeopardizes these principles in that they coerce the firms to adopt rights that cater to LGBT workers, thus contributing to organizational change. In addition to this, failure to adopt such rights and policies by organizations or even opposition to the proposed changes places the firm under duress and risk of being accused of being intolerant to minorities and this could lead to potential loss in business. However, the article titled “Boards, HR Need Greater Roles in Creating Healthy Culture” (March 6, 2016) advocates for companies to cultivate a culture that builds on strong moral and ethical values in the workplace in order to boost performance (Stein). This assertion concurs with mine – that good morals and virtues are integral to the achievement of organizational success.

Legal IHRM Issues for the Hiring of LGBTs

            There also several key emergent legal issues associated with the hiring LGBT employees. Firstly, there is a lack of well-defined legal statutes that recognize same-sex marriages. As stated earlier, there are several states that have not yet accepted homosexuality in the USA. As such, this results to open criticism on LGBTs who are discriminated against when it comes to applying for a job. In my opinion, everyone is entitled to an equal shot at employment regardless of any disparities whether along racial or sexual lines. The article “Greece Passes Law Recognizing Same-Sex Unions” (December 22, 2015) advocates for equal rights for the LGBT community. According to the author, the recognition of same-sex unions is a step towards achieving tolerance despite the opposition faced by LGBT communities, particularly from the church. This is what tolerance should be founded on the principles of learning to accommodate everyone in society to promote fair play.

            Secondly, employers tend to discriminate against LGBT employees. Employers have been known to underpay gay workers, deny them promotion opportunities and even relieve them of their duties solely due to their sexual orientations. This practice undermines the victims’ abilities, causing them to feel alienated from society and consequently performing poorly in their respective careers. In many cases, no laws are being enacted to protect this demographic group.

Thirdly, there are certain circumstances and directives and legal constraints being imposed on gay couples.  Some states and organizations require gay couples to wedding and produce their corresponding marriage certificates if at all they aim to extend the benefits they derive to their spouses. I am strongly convinced that this is a violation of human rights especially privacy. According to Silverman, many LGBT workers argue that such marriages expose them to the innumerable dangers, leaving them vulnerable to the attacks that tend to occur even at their places of work.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident the issue of same-sex marriages and LGBTs is still one that has not yet been largely accepted. However, in order for businesses to thrive, it is vital that a balance is struck to tackle this issue before it spirals out of control. Sound policies and laws should be established to accommodate this community in the world since its members can have quite a far-reaching impact on the labor market just like everyone else. Gay identity is increasingly becoming an integral component of most communities, and thus, it should be embraced by society. By so doing, a culture of acceptance will be cultivated among humanity and this situation will translate into positive IHRM outcomes.

Works Cited

Ahmed, A., Anderson, M. and Hammarstedt, M. “Are gay men and lesbians discriminated against in the hiring process.” Southern Economic Journal, 79.3 (2013): 565-585. Print.

Al-Mahmood, Syed. “Editor of Bangladesh Gay Magazine Hacked to Death in His Home.” The Wall Street Journal, April 20, 2016. Web.

Badgett, M. and Frank, J. Sexual Orientation Discrimination: An International Perspective. New York: Routledge, 2007. Print.

Bouras, Stelios. “Greece Passes Law Recognizing Same-Sex Unions.” The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2015. Web.

Langley, Monica. “Salesforce’s Marc Benioff Has Kicked off New Era of Corporate Social Activism.The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2016. Web.

Silverman, Rachel. “Firms Tell Gay Couples: Wed or Lose Your Benefits.” The Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2015. Web.

Stein, Mara. “Boards, HR Need Greater Roles in Creating Healthy Culture.” The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2016. Web.

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