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Differences in characteristics of competency profiles of sales managers in multinational companies for the Dutch and Belgian culture Case study of Johnson & Johnson Medical Benelux

Harremeijer, Annemiek (2010) Differences in characteristics of competency profiles of sales managers in multinational companies for the Dutch and Belgian culture Case study of Johnson & Johnson Medical Benelux.

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Abstract:This master thesis was motivated by personal interest in multinational companies and a question put forward by Johnson & Johnson Medical B.V.. The question was whether sales managers should have different competency profiles in different cultures, in this case considering the Benelux. Sales managers are influenced by many elements, including external, internal and personal factors. Based on this the following research question was formulated: ‘What are the differences in characteristics of competency profiles of sales managers in multinational companies for the Dutch and Belgian culture?’. Literature The literature review starts with an overview of the different human resource management approaches in the world, changes over time and cultural adaptations. The current HRM concept was originally conceptualised and developed in the United States of America, discussed by many researchers and put into practice by organizations. European writers were not convinced these practices should be applied in the European cultures, Claus (2003) even states a theoretical or practical HRM model developed in the cultural context of one country should not indiscriminately be applied to another country without testing the cultural biases of its assumptions. The comparison of European and US HRM points also out that in Europe, HRM is less dependent, companies have less autonomy and freedom in action, trade unionism is more important, social partners have more influence, legal regulations are more important, and there is a stronger tradition of employee involvement. Pudelko’s comparative analysis of the HR practices in US, Japanese and German companies agree in this view of European writers. Demonstrated is that the socio-economic contextual factors of the American and Japanese HR systems are in many ways at opposite ends of the spectrum, with the German factors in between. The cultural factors described are conclusive: differences between the nations are present, as well as the regional cultural differences in Belgium. These cultural differences have proven to influence people behaviour and could thus influence the competencies of a job profile. Other influences on sales managers are internal, external and personal factors. As the traditional roles of selling are changing, the role of a sales manager is developing. Sales managers’ goals and company commitment are important in establishing relations and gaining results, and influences the behaviour of those. The right fit between a sales manager’s approach and the salesperson’s wishes is critical for the selling process. Coaching is one of the most important skills for a sales manager, however there are no universal methods for success as well as standards for the supervisor-subordinate relationship. Conclusions The product specialists of Johnson & Johnson Medical Benelux value their HR system as an European HR system with a minor deviation towards an US HR system. This deviation is explainable by a few international influences at the multinational organization. The results also indicate Johnson & Johnson Medical uses a mixture of practices when selecting and recruiting new employees. The competencies of a sales manager are quite similar to a manager in general although the discussion raises when speaking of linking and leading the organization. The most important competencies for a sales manager are coaching, motivation and trust. The influences of culture are present in literature as well as in the results presented by the respondents, the market differences on the other hand influence the job of a sales manager too. These are not included in the cultural differences of a nation because this is branch specific. Both of these influence and/or determine the success or failure of a sales manager and product specialist.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Johnson & Johnson Medical B.V., Amersfoort
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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