Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies

Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies

Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies

Multinational Companies and Global Human Resource Strategies


Comprehensive, in-depth analyses of human resource strategies pursued by today's multinational organizations worldwide, as they struggle to deal with an increasingly competitive and complex global marketplace.


William Cooke

Over the last two decades there has been an eightfold increase in the number of multinational companies (MNCs) worldwide. Today over 60,000 MNCs have ownership in over 800,000 foreign subsidiaries dispersed and integrated all around the globe. These foreign subsidiaries currently hold approximately U.S.$21 trillion in assets, generate roughly U.S.$16 trillion in annual sales, and employ over 45 million employees. If the rate of growth and expansion experienced just over the 1995–2000 period is maintained through 2010, there will be more than 90,000 MNCs holding roughly U.S.$41 trillion in assets across 1.8 million foreign subsidiaries (UNCTAD, 1995, 2001).

The ever-expanding transnational reach and influence of MNCs in an ever-increasingly competitive and uncertain global marketplace raise a complex set of global human resources issues for companies, workers, unions, public policy makers, and concerned citizen interest groups. Indeed, along with environmental concerns, transnational workplace issues have become central to a widening public debate about the effects of corporate globalization, which at the extreme has surfaced into highly visible social protests (à la the mass demonstrations in Seattle, Melbourne, Seoul, Barcelona, Washington, D.C., Quebec City, Genoa, and elsewhere) over the perceived unfettered, reckless power of large multinationals. Stepping away from the glare of headlines and emotion-laden debates, the primary objective of this book is to systematically examine MNC global human resource management and labor relations (HRM/LR) strategies; the effects on, and response of, workers and unions to these strategies; and the influence of public policy on both the strategies pursued by companies and unions and workplace outcomes.

Our purpose is to provide a balanced and objective understanding of these workplace issues, that is beneficial to executives and managers as they develop and refine their global HRM/LR strategies, to union leaders as they . . .

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