HR professionals must increase international recruitment to enable their organisations to compete globally, an international conference heard last week.
Professor Marti Subrahmanyam of New York's Stern School of Business, told delegates that companies need managers from a range of countries ñ not just the one in which they are based ñ to help them take advantage of new markets.
Addressing the Partnership Summit 2001 in the Indian city of Hyderabad last week, Subrahmanyam said having managers who understand cultural differences largely dictates an organisation's ability to do business overseas.
He said, "My view is simply that if you want to compete internationally, you have got to really be sensitised to the local culture and not just that, you have to be sensitised to the nuances of the local culture.
"You cannot do it second-hand and the quick way to achieve that is to get diversity into your senior management."
Subrahmanyam said he advised Deutsche Bank, which five years ago did not have a non-German member on its board, that it could not hope to be a global player without an injection of diversity at the top.
He claimed, "Now it has one Swiss and two Americans on the board and it is a different company."
Although he singled out UK companies as a "little better" than European, American and Asian organisations, Subrahmanyam warned that those companies that do not shape up will pay a heavy price.
By Helen Rowe