|• Centralization: where decision-making is left in the hands of a core group of executives|
|• Formalization/standardization: where decision-making is structured around a set of rules and procedures|
|• Socialization: where decision-making follows a set of norms and values established in the firm.|
We have already outlined Kostova's (1999) model of factors involved in the successful transfer of cross-national ideas when we examined the role of networks and knowledge management systems in shaping this transfer. We noted that this involves the articulation of rules across operations, the attribution of a common meaning to these rules and finally their subsequent "internalization" into the minds and activity of employees. Effective global implementation requires the diffusion of sets of rules to subsidiary employees (an example of Ghoshal and Gratton's (2002) operational integration), the following of these rules is implied by the presence of the practice and the reflection of these rules in objective behaviors and actions.
However, we argue that when one takes a more process-based approach to understanding the nature of global HR knowledge or HR practice transfer, any distinction between centralization, formal rulesets and socialization through norms and values, whilst conceptually neat, does not actually fit the data. We argue that, in practice, global HRM seems to revolve around the ability of the organization to find a concept that has "relevance" to managers across several countries - despite the fact that they have different values embedded in different national cultures and despite the reality that these global themes may end up being operationalized with some local adaptation.
Organizations use these superordinate themes to provide a degree of consistency to their people management worldwide and as an attempt to socialize both employee