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International HRM in Practice

International HRM in Practice

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Published by: bakkiwgl on Apr 02, 2010
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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:
Individualism/collectivism
: 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.
Power distance
: 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
 
distance (more hierarchical). Again, industrialized Western countriesare generally lower on power distance and most other countries arehigher.
Masculinity/femininity 
: The extent to which aggressiveness andmaterialwell-being are valued in a society versus good interpersonalrelationships and general quality of life. "Masculine" cultures may alsotend to be more patriarchal, while "feminine" cultures tend to havegreater inequality between the sexes. This dimension does not seemto be related to economic development or even geographical location. Japan has the highest score of any country on the masculinitydimension, though several other East Asian countries score in themiddle of the scale. Egalitarian societies, such as the Scandaviancountries, tend to be have more feminine cultures.
Uncertainty avoidance
: Cultures where people are troubled by changeand risk.Work specifically on gender issues in the international HRM field issomewhatlimited. A book edited by Adler and Izraeli (1994) contains several casestudiesof countries from all parts of the world; the authors discuss the extentto whichwomen have achieved managerial positions in these countries andconsider therole factors such as national culture have played in promotingopportunity forwomen.More quantitative work by Deva and Lawler (1998), using aggregatenationaldata from the UN database on women, combined with Hofstede’snational culturenorms, suggests that culture certainly plays a distal, but perhaps not aproximate,role in generating employment opportunities for women. Ironically, themasculinity/femininity dimension seems unrelated to the proportion of managersin a country that are women; more important is the degree to whichthe country’sculture is individualist or collectivist. Individualist cultures tend toemphasizepersonal achievement and merit as a basis for mobility, whereascollectivistcultures are more ascriptive. Thus, individualism is positively related toemployment opportunity for women in managerial positions.Some work suggests that workforce gender composition in subsidiariesof MNCs
 
tends to conform to host-country norms (Rosenzweig and Nohria,1994).However, some of our work suggests that the national culture of anMNCs homecountry, which presumably influences the firm’s corporate culture,carries over topolicies regarding employment opportunities for women in adeveloping countrythat imposes no specific limitations on gender-based employmentdiscrimination(Lawler and Bae, 1998). This study was conducted in Thailand, thoughmorerecent work we have done finds similar relationships in Taiwan.
USA
Job Seekers Want Money And Job Security
 August 20 2006 
- Senior managers believe that pay and job security are the most importantfactors when workers consider job offers according to a recent survey developed by Robert Half Finance & Accounting. 27 per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) polled believed that salarywas the biggest consideration for prospective new hires and 24 per cent highlighted companystability. The results were similar to a 2001 survey asking the same question.Over 1,400 CFOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 20 or more employeeswere asked, "In your opinion, which one of the following is the most important consideration for  job candidates today when evaluating employment offers?" CFOs responsed:Salary levelStability of the companyWork environment/corporate cultureCareer advancement opportunitiesEquity incentives/stock optionsOther Don't know/no answer 200627%24%22%17%4%3%3%200123%28%20%21%4%0%4%"Businesses that have a successful track record and offer competitive compensation are at anadvantage during the hiring process," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International Inc. and author of Human Resources Kit For Dummies(R) (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)."Employers should emphasize all the factors that distinguish their firms, such as exceptional payand benefits, a history of stability and growth, and a supportive corporate culture."Max Messmer considers that small and newly emerging businesses that cannot afford premiumsalaries can highlight their other qualities such as the strength of their leadership team. "The bestcandidates tend to base at least part of their employment decisions on how much they can learnon the job. During the recruiting process, hiring managers are selling potential employees as

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