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HR Fossils

Building a Pyramid



Consider that building a Pyramid is a project and the Pharaoh King established a kind of Construction Company that will work on building it. What does the King need for the company?!

In the Human Capital Aspect:

  • CEO (The King)
  • Head of Engineers
  • Engineers
  • Head of Foremen
  • Foremen
  • Head of money distribution (Chief accountant)
  • Money distributor (Accountant)

(In Human Resources Management (HRM), this is called a manpower plan)

In the System/plan aspect:

  • Vision, Mission, Goals
  • Strategic plan (recruiting, selection, hiring, training…etc)
  • Manpower plan (mentioned above)
  • W.O.T analysis
  • Budget plan (materials, labor, compensations, rewards, food budget…etc)
  • Feasibility study
  • Marketing

That is the system that runs all the organizations (humans, money, experience, and goals).

You have a goal and the experience and the funding to reach that goal, and now you can start calling people and pay for their efforts and experience to reach your goal. (That is what we can describe as a road map).

Good, now that we have a detailed ABC of Human Resources and Business functions, now what?

Let me mention some information that will help you understand what we are talking about.

The pyramids were built 25 centuries BC, that means the right vision, “trial and error” experience and a good recruiting and training strategy helped in building one of the seven world wonders.

We are going to focus on the great pyramid that took almost 20 years to build and 10 years to construct the corridors and lower parts. (Reference: The Greek historian Herodotus, who visited Egypt in the 4th century BC, more than 2000 years after building the pyramids).

Twenty years of building were definitely not a coincidence, surely they were aware of how long it would take and put that into consideration, and that is what we nowadays call scheduling. Not to mention that they used almost 100,000 workers (engineers, workers, shipbuilders, stone cutters, foremen, well-diggers,…etc.)

Twenty years of building and 100,000 workers, the project surely needed a great Budget plan and the engineers, ministers and King must have put the Feasibility studies into consideration.

The steps where 100,000 workers were chosen, recruited, trained and appointed immediately to the national project (building the pyramid) are called a strategic plan. In addition to that, what would make the people believe that their King would succeed in building such a building except a Vision, Mission, Goals? Finally, spreading that all over ancient Egypt is a benchmark of using Marketing.

Moreover, a port in the Nile near the pyramid is needed for cargo ships to transfer stones from Aswan quarries to quarries near the pyramid. Engineers worked all the time to analyze everything for perfect results in the end: 20 years of hard work. The 100,000 workers needed to eat within work days so they would slaughter thousands of cows every day to feed them, therefore there must have been a Food budget. The King, acted as a god, and let the workers in prayer to keep them motivated. Workers were paid daily for their efforts, which is called Labor. As for those who died during work, their families received compensations.

That is all great but what did they use S.W.O.T analysis for?

The great pyramid was not the first pyramid to be built in history, there were lots of pyramids in varied shapes built before, but engineering had developed and become unique for the first time in ancient Egypt and maybe the world. That happened after many attempts by the King’s engineers to reach perfection by studying previous kinds of architecture in primitive attempts. In modern times, this is called S.W.O.T analysis.

If you look at architecture as example in the ancient world and follow their greatness, you will find primitive forms of HRM, which appeared afterwards as a science in the 18th century, and have now started to become HCM (Human Capital Management).

Human Resources play an integral role in everything in our daily life, starting from one’s personal life and how it can be organized, to organizations and how they can balance everything to reach maximum success.

By: Mohamed Shouman

Photography: Mahmoud Mansi

EDITORS: Mennat-Allah Yasser Zohny & Nada Adel Sobhi


The Digging Technique (DT)



Written by: Hazem Hassan

Edited by : Asmaa Omar Deraaz, Mona Timor Shehata.

Published by: Amira Haytham


This era is not only the era of information but also the accurate detailed information, and the more we get them in the right way, the more we reach the most suitable and effective decisions in  life general and specially in our businesses.

In business and management information means everything. It has several meanings:-

  • “Goals” have to be achieved.

What happens when there is a shortage in detailed information? This is very problematic, and this is the main point of this article.

Let us analyze a more practical case. “Why do I have to work on this task?” How many times did you receive this question from your employee?

This question means that there is a shortage in information and your employee tried to find the benefit or point of the task you assigned to him/her, but he/she came out with nothing, so he/she decided to ask you ‘why?’.

It is a problem, but is this the main problem?

No, the main problem is when you can’t answer his/her question to find the point of carrying out the task.

You as an employerhave to ask yourself this question not only before receiving it from your employee, but also, during setting the organizational and the departmental goals; why does my employee have to work on this task? And what is the point of achieving this task?


Employee Based Management sees the “Why Question” as an important tool for finding out the justifications for the matter.The digging technique is considered the tool for doing so, through asking the “Why-Questions” till reaching the original reasons behind the task.

The more you show the reasoning behind the tasks and goals you assigned to your employee, the more he/she will produce the behavior you want and reach the performance you planned for.

Let us say you created a task (T) for your employee, you can follow the following steps:

  • Find out the surface-reasons which in our case are A, B and C.
  • Answering this question “why do these surface reasons exist?” will produce a new type of reasons with higher degree of depth and importance. TheSecond level reasons here are A1, A2, A3, B1, C1, and C2.
  • The same “Why question” be repeated with the reasons you get from the second level. Here in these third level reasons you will come up with valuable reasons.
  • The third level reasons are not the final stage, but it is an ongoing process till reaching the link between the task and the organizational goals.
  • Find a correlation between the different reasons’ levels, whetherdirect or indirect , and with high or low percentage. (Link first level reasons with second level reasons with third level reasons)


The Digging technique and the Performance.

Knowing more detailed information is not only for what to be done as a “Task” but also for why these results take place? What are the main and deep reasons behind these results?

Let’s say you have an employee-X in your dept.-Y and his/her Performance Equation is:

P = A + B

P: is the employee-X’s performance

A and B: are the components of the performance which you know.

The question here is; to which degree you know both components?

If you know A by 70% and B by 80%, so we can say that you control P by 75%, which means 25% of your employee’s performance is not controlled by you, and what you cannot control, you cannot predict its future.

So how to get this 25% ratio back to the controlled area?

When you start working on your employee’s performance (I mean the strategic analysis that leads to the perfect domination) try to find new areas to measure and new ratios to get…The more you break the performance into its initial reasons and causes the more you control it and the more you reach new levels.



After  deep analysis would come up with new reasons, wif there are more factors that cause the performance or play a direct role in shaping the performance but you do not know them.

Let’s say

P = A + B + C

A, B and C here are performance causers.

The next stage after finding the roots and the reasons is to translate them into numbers.

For example:-

A represents 33.75%,

B represents 58.68%

C represents 7.57%.

That is the best way to know where you have to focus and where you have to invest your time and your resources.


What are the benefits of using the Digging Technique (DT)?

  • Finding out the justification for the task will help you give a meaning to your employee’s task.
  • Engaging your employee with the organization will be based on realistic reasons.
  • Your employee will feel with the importance of the tasks created for him/her.
  • It is a practical implementation of “My Employee is My Strategic Partner.”
  • Your employee will be useful and effective to the organization and you will have his/her input which means he/she will add value to the organization, which also means “innovation”.


The Digging technique is an approach to know more about the way to perfectly control.

Don’t forget to keep on digging↓↓↓↓↓↓

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The Company’s Information System as a Factor for Cultural Differences in Multinational Companies (Part 3 of 3)



© 2017 Martin Zafirov, PhD Student, New Bulgarian University (F29144)

Edited by: Yara Mohamed, Mona Timor Shehata

Published by: Amira Haytham 

A key factor with definitely internal origin for the organisation is the information system in the company. Essentially, this system is a set of interconnected elements (components) for gathering, processing, and presenting data and information to help achieve the company’s goals. The main functions of a given company’s information systems are the following: securing the transactions, process control, and activities automation; ensuring routine and strategic managerial solutions; providing the necessary information to the non-managerial staff, opportunities for communication between the employees, and the units and coordination of the activities.

As for the human factor, it is both the subject of this system—since its work is related to gathering, processing, and using the data—and its object—since the information gathered with this system is related to the mentioned human factor.

The things listed above give a good reason to claim that the successful managing of the human factor requires the managerial team of a given organisation to pay serious attention to not only the physical health of the organisation’s employees, but also to their mental state and health. This is achieved by taking into consideration the interconnection between the physical and mental states of the human resources employed by the organisation.

Existing cultural differences within a transnational company place specific requirements to the company’s managerial activities as a whole. These requirements are at the heart of the existing and currently in use various management practises and styles, and the background of the managerial staff. Serious attention needs to be paid to the attitude of the human factor concerning their conception of fate.

Different nationalities (or cultures) have different views on fate, which requires of the managerial staff to take

The existing cultural differences caused by the external and internal factors lead to the four distinct management styles: exploitative authoritative; benevolent authoritative; consultative; and participative group.

  • Exploitative authoritative: typical feature of this management style is autocratic leadership, where employees are motivated by punishments and only occasionally by rewards. In this management style, communication goes downhill; i.e., there is a lack of horizontal communication. Teamwork is limited and the control over decision-making is in the hands of the senior management.
  • Benevolent authoritative: characteristics of this management style is very similar to those of the exploitative style; however, the benevolent style is more of a patronage-based type. When applied, the employees are given more freedom compared to the previous style. Despite that, the scope (the limit) of interaction, communication, and decision-making are determined by the management team.
  • Consultative: the case of this management style, employees have more opportunities for interaction, communication, and decision-making. They (the employees) are given the role of consultants, but despite that the final decision is made by the management team of the transnational company.
  • Participative group: The typical feature of this management style is active encouragement of the employees to participate in teamwork. They are given the opportunities to set on their own the goals, as well as to make decisions, improve their work methods, and assess the results of their work. In the case of this management style, communication is vertical and horizontal.

The classic management styles are now unsuitable for the current conditions of development of the world and the business organisations in particular, although they brought good results in the past. The problem of leadership and management style in the transnational companies is becoming more multidimensional in the context of the dynamic social and historical changes which occurred in the last decade of the 20th century. The transition from the industrial to the information age forces us to forget the bureaucratic type of organisations and increases the necessity of coping with the crisis in the adaptation to the changing external environment. The new trends in effective organisational culture management set a requirement for discussing and solving key problems, such as:

  • Emphasizing human potential management instead of on the strict resource structuring system.
  • Using the advantages of horizontal organisation, rather than the hierarchical one.
  • Strategic management and new organisational philosophy, instead of short-term planning of profits

These problems are also the main challenges to human capital management in the information age. The ongoing changes in human capital management caused by the existing cultural differences inevitably lead to changes in the value, meaning, and importance of the management process in the organisations.


Martin, R., The 3 Simple Rules of Managing Top Talent, published on: 24 February 2017., accessible at:

A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mentalcondition. It is a relation that connects the agent with a proposition. Several of these states are a combination of mental representations and propositional attitudes.

Mental health: a state of well-being. Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.

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The Company’s Information System as a Factor for Cultural Differences in Multinational Companies (Part 2 of 3)



Keywords:  Legal, Economic, Corporate and Organizational Culture

© 2017 Martin Zafirov, PhD Student, New Bulgarian University (F29144)

Editor: Yara Mohamed, Mona Timor Shehata 

Publisher: Amira Haytham

The group of legal aspects (legal factors), which influence the formation of cultural differences are the following: the legislation which settles the employment relations in the respective country. This includes various standards for safe and healthy working conditions, setting or not setting a minimum wage, length of the work week, paying of overtime, health and social benefits, right of breaks and vacations, protection of the employees from discrimination, misuse of their labour, the right to strike, and labour market regulations (unemployment offices, training and recruiting organisations).

The group of economic aspects includes indicators related to the development of a given company’s business activity, includinag those related to the management of the human resources in the organisation. The objects of interest are: the country’s minimum wage, the average level of wages in the respective sector and in the economy as a whole, the consumer expenses/savings ration, price indices, GDP per capita, Human Development Index, unemployment rate, inflation, interest rates, business development and exchange rate, and exports and imports.

The internal factors which lie at the heart of the cultural differences appearing in a given transnational company, and in turn exert a strong influence on the system with which the company’s human resources are managed, are the following: corporate culture, organisational structure, and the corporate information system.

The influence which these factors exert on the company workforce is direct (immediate); on the one hand, they are an integral part of the daily work of the employees. On the other

Corporate culture as a factor is defined as a “systems of values, customs, traditions and meanings which make a given organisation unique”.

Organisational structure, as a culture differences factor, is defined in two aspects: The first has to do with the organisational structure of the international company – the main principles and corporate values established in the process of its business operations, while the second has to do with the organisational structure in a given country, where the transnational company has a branch. Language is the main problem in the organising and managing of a transnational company; it is also the main difference between the company’s employees from different countries.

Each language is characterized by specific features; for example, consistent word groups whose meaning manifests in a specific context; differences between the interpretation of individual facial expressions and gestures; the existence of a multitude of synonyms for one and the same word; the usage of more than a word which have the same meaning. For this reason, the knowledge of the language of the respective country is a carrier of useful information and an opportunity to establish contacts with the local population. As for language within transnational companies, the local language is widely used in the local branches of the companies and it might make communication with the headquarters more difficult. Thus, in-depth knowledge of the language should allow easier understanding of the local cultural context.

The mixing of several religious communities within a single country where the company operate is also a challenge for the company’s management.

In order to conduct successful business, a given transnational company needs careful monitoring of the changes in the behavior and customs of their employees. Globalization also has an impact on behavior; thus, taking this circumstance into consideration can be an advantage for the international company. Monitoring the behavior of the employees, in this case, means both monitoring the habits of the consumers (usage of the products, preferred packaging, etc.), and their habits in the local offices of the company. Differences could influence the relations between the management and company employees, as well as between the employees themselves on the same managerial level.

The management of the human factor in a company—in particular its management in the conditions of a presence of cultural differences—is influenced greatly not only by the organisational structure of the mother company, but by the structure of its country branches. Each organisational approach is distinguished by its specific characteristics in relation to formalization, complexity, and centralization. Formalization is determined by the degree of standardization of the activities; complexity, by the degree of differentiation which can be horizontal, vertical and spatial; and centralization, by the degree in which decision-making is concentrated in one point in the organisation.


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