Globalizing Human Resource Management

By Paul Sparrow; Chris Brewster et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project


Organizational drivers of globalization


We noted in the last chapter that there has been considerable interest in the global strategies of firms but the current consensus is that firms are not as global or international as is often assumed. It is evident that there is a clear country-of-origin effect. US MNCs, for example, tend to be more centralized and formalized than others in their management of HRM issues, ranging from pay systems through to collective bargaining and union recognition. They tend to innovate more and import leading edge practices from other nation-states. Japanese MNCs on the other hand have been at the forefront of work organization innovations through lean production, but expect their subsidiaries abroad to fit in with this approach and even though standard worldwide policies and formal systems are not as apparent as in US MNCs, there is stronger centralized direction and ethnocentric attitudes. In short, "MNCs, far from being stateless organizations operating independent of national borders in some purified realm of global economic competition, continue to have their assets, sales, workforce ownership and control highly concentrated in the country where their corporate headquarters are located" (Ferner and Quintanilla, 1998:710). In our validation workshops this view was clearly supported by international HR directors:

In reality most multinationals have a culture which may be US-global (e.g. IBM) or Japanese-global (e.g. Panasonic) or European-global (e.g. Shell). So any moves towards centralization or decentralization operates in the context of what these respective national business systems/corporate governance systems need to see. In Japan, for example, they have to trust in your competence before they will decentralize.

(Senior international HR director)

This results in there being tensions between the forces of globalization - which were also held to be self-evident - and the characteristics of MNCs that still bear their "nationality effects." So what exactly is meant by globalization or internationalization in this context? Globalization of industries? Internationalization of the firm? How might these be measured? It is important to understand this because international HR functions only arise in, and need worry about the implications of, more global operations. The more basic the level of internationalization of the markets the firm operates in, the simpler need


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Globalizing Human Resource Management


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 227

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?