Globalizing Human Resource Management

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

9


Developing global HR professionals

Introduction

We believe that we have covered much ground in this book and have shown the complex issues that face most IHR professionals. We began by defining what is meant by globalization and examining the debate surrounding its impact. We demonstrated that a universalist perspective within the field of IHRM is not appropriate. The field has to operate currently across highly nationalized contexts. Nonetheless, changes are afoot. We examined our survey data and developed a model of the processes involved in globalizing HRM. We analyzed the effect that technology is having on the delivery of HR services on a global basis through shared service models, e-enablement of HR and a series of other technical developments. Our review of the impact of technology and the automation of much of the transactional activity of HR professionals alongside shared service models highlighted a significant challenge, which is the need to re-professionalize the HR function. Moreover, we argued that this process has to happen within a fairly short time span. We then considered the challenges of global knowledge management and knowledge transfer within the IHR function, through such things as the role of expatriates, IJVs and mergers and acquisitions. We also considered the nature of HR knowledge that needs to be transferred from one IHR professional to another and concentrated on the role of global expertise networks and the development of centers of excellence within the HR community. We have considered a series of global themes that in practice have been used to provide a degree of consistency to organizations' people management worldwide through the use of global competencies or capabilities, initiatives in the area of employer branding, and talent management. We have addressed the pervasive problem of fostering heightened levels of international mobility and the need to manage the implications for individuals of various forms of mobility, including short-term and commuter assignments and frequent flying. Yet in delivering all of this, we have shown that IHR functions are under tight cost control and need to deliver strategically-relevant HR services. The evaluation of their function has become a central concern. So, what does all this mean for IHR professionals? In this last chapter we turn back to the IHR community and consider the challenges for their own development. We address a number of questions:

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