The Human Resource Challenge of International Joint Ventures

The Human Resource Challenge of International Joint Ventures

The Human Resource Challenge of International Joint Ventures

The Human Resource Challenge of International Joint Ventures

Synopsis

Human Resource Management (HRM) plays an important and strategic role in the success of international joint ventures. Based on information collected from progressive, successful international joint ventures involving companies such as Chrysler, Ciba-Geigy, Corning, Mitsubishi, and Siemens, the author delivers chapters rich in verbatim quotations from executives and other joint venture employees. Each chapter concludes with a summary of key points that are a guide for attaining excellence in joint ventures. Evaluating effective joint ventures, the author considers the subtle people dimensions involved in these operations. A special feature of the book is the treatment of human resource management from the interorganizational viewpoint of parent corporations and the joint venture firm. The author addresses such interesting issues as (1) how parent strategic goals influence HRM in the venture, (2) the importance of HRM operational assignments with the JV management contract, (3) the strengths and limitations of various HRM policies and practices, (4) the role of culture, and (5) organizational learning at strategic and operational levels in each venture. Valuable knowledge into "best practices" for strategic HRM allows practitioners to enhance their joint venture success.

Excerpt

While much has been written about the way that strategic human resource management (HRM) is supposed to operate, little is actually known about the way that it does operate in practice. Based primarily on in-depth research on four successful joint ventures in the United States and Canada, the book provides a rich storehouse of information about hrm operations in five key areas: communication, staffing, reward and recognition, training, and performance review.

In addition to the description of strategic human resource management, this investigation seeks to shed light on the more elusive questions regarding how and why the human resource management function operates as it does in the more specific context of international joint ventures. Given these objectives, the author has studied four ventures, each representing a marriage of partners from different national cultures. Three of the companies are 50/50 ownership ventures, while the fourth was a 60/ 40 split between the partners. All four ventures were in the manufacturing sector of the economy, although in different market niches. Moreover, all four practice Total Quality Management and high employee involvement as strategies for enhancing product quality and innovation. the companies aimed to be challenging and satisfying places in which employees could work.

Instead of choosing a sample of convenience, Dianne Cyr used a number of specific criteria to screen companies for inclusion in the study. the criteria were stringent, and certainly aggravated the problems normally associated with the conduct of field research. in fact, it took six months of intense effort to secure the companies for the investigation. I admire her fortitude and persistence in adhering to the criteria originally estab-

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