International HRM in PracticeInternational HRMInternational Human ResourceManagement Dissertation
Cultural and Gender Issues in International HRM
Much of the work in the international HRM area concerns ways innational cultureimpacts employment practices in host countries and the limitationsculturecreates regarding the ability of MNCs to transfer employment practicesto hostcountries.National culture may be thought of as the values, beliefs, perceptualorientations,and norms typical of the members of a particular society. Theintroduction of management techniques inconsistent with national culture can lead tothe failureof the method, not to mention conflict between an MNC and itsemployees and,perhaps, the broader society. Comparative studies of national cultureacross alarge number of countries is limited because of the significant costsassociatedwith data collection. A study by Hofstede (1991), using data collectedin around60 countries in the late 1970s, remains influential despite controversyover hismethodology and interpretation of the findings. However, other work(e.g., Triandis, 1995), would tend to support the general findings of Hofstede. There are various dimensions of culture that have been identified andcan bemeasured (via survey questionnaires) cross-nationally. Hofstede’s workfocuseson four such dimensions, all of which are related to work behaviors:
: The extent to which personal versus groupobjectives govern a person’s life. Most industrialized Westerncountries have individualist cultures, while much of the rest of theworldis collectivist, including virtually all developing countries.
: The extent to which a low-status persons accept andlegitimize the power and influence of high-status persons. Powerdistance and individualism/collectivism are correlated, so thatindividualist cultures are generally low on power distance (lesshierarchical) and collectivist cultures are typically high on power