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Emergence of IHRM

Emergence of IHRM

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This article was downloaded by:[The University of Manchester]
On: 8 February 2008
Access Details: [subscription number 762490791]
Publisher: Routledge
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954
Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

The International Journal of Human
Resource Management
Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713702518
The emergence of international human resource
management
Peter J. Kidgera
aLecturer in Human Resource Management, University of Salford, UK

Online Publication Date: 01 September 1991
To cite this Article: Kidger, Peter J. (1991) 'The emergence of international human
resource management', The International Journal of Human Resource Management,
3:2, 149 - 163
To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/09585198100000003
URL:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585198100000003

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
Full terms and conditions of use:http://www.informaworld.com/terms-and-conditions-of-access.pdf

This article maybe used for research, teaching and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, re-distribution, re-selling, loan or sub-licensing, systematic supply or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.

The publisher does not give any warranty express or implied or make any representation that the contents will be complete or accurate or up to date. The accuracy of any instructions, formulae and drug doses should be independently verified with primary sources. The publisher shall not be liable for any loss, actions, claims, proceedings, demand or costs or damages whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with or arising out of the use of this material.

DownloadedB
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rsityofManc
hester]At:1
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T he e m e r g e n c e o f in te r n a tio n a l h u m a n
resource m anagem ent
P e te rJ . K id g e r
In tr o d u c tio n
M anagem ent
is b e c o m in g
in c re a s in g ly
w o rld -w id e
in

o u tlo o k . A s in te r- n a tio n a l c o m p e titio n in te n sifie s it is n o lo n g e r su ffic ie n t to u n d e rs ta n d th e local context. T he vision

m ust be w ider. This is particularly
t h e c a s e in
Europe as a consequence of the approach of the single m arket in
1 9 9 2 .
T h e in te rn a tio n a liz a tio n o f m a n a g e m e n t a ls o in v o lv e s th ed e v e lo p n ie n t
a n d
e x c h a n g e o f id e a s a n d
p ra c tic e s a c ro s s n a tio n a l
b o u n d a rie s .
In
th e .
g lo b a l
v illa g e
th a t
c o m m u n ic a tio n s te c h n o lo g y
h a s
c r e a te d ,
id e a s
a n d
techniques are traded as m anagers learn
fro m

in te rn a tio n a l c o m p e tito rs . W ill th e re s u lt b e th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f a n in te rn a tio n a l c o n s e n s u s o f g o o d m anagem ent? T o what extent is such a developm ent constrained

b y
th e
d iv e rs ity o f n a tio n a l c u ltu r e , h is to ry a n d p o litic a l s tru c tu re s ?
B ritish
m anagers
h a v e
fre q u e n tly
b c c n
u rg e d
t o
le a rn
fro m
th e
m a n a g e m e n t p ra c tic e s o f o th e r c o u n trie s th o u g h t to b e p e rfo rm in g b e tte r
th a n
th eU K . A t d iffe re n t tim e s th eU SA , S w e d e n , W e st G e rm a n y
a n d ,

m ore recently, Japan have been the com parators. However, any m anager c o n s id e rin g w h e th e r to in tro d u c e w h a t is a p p a re n tly a su c c e ssfu l id e a fro m a n o th e r

c o u n try
h a s
t o
c o n s id e r
w h e th e r
a c c o u n t
s h o u ld
b e
ta k e n
o f
n a tio n a l c u ltu re d iffe re n c e s . A r e m a n a g e m e n t p ra c tic e s c u ltu re -b o u n d o r
c u ltu re -fre e ?
S im ila r q u e s tio n s fa c e th e m a n a g e r in a m u ltin a tio n a l c o rp o ra tio n

w ith s u b s id ia ry v e n tu re s a r o u n d th e w o rld . C a n m a n a g e m e n t p o lic y d e v e lo p e d w ith in

th e
c u ltu re
o f
th e
m u ltin a tio n a l's
hom e
c o u n try
b e
t r a n s f e r r e d

e ls e w h e r e ? C a n p o lic y a n d p ra c tic e b e u n iv e rs a lly a p p lie d o r m u s t th e y b e a d a p te d to fit th e lo c a l c u ltu re ? A re n a tio n a l c u ltu re a n d c o rp o ra te c u ltu re p o te n tia lly

o p p o s i n g f o r c e s in
th e m u ltin a tio n a l o rg a n iz a tio n ? A n d

w hat a r e th e im p lic a tio n s o f th is o n th e q u e s tio n o f w h e th e r a n d h o w t o d e v e lo p a c a d r e o f in te rn a tio n a lly

orientated m anagers?
T hese are som e of the practical issues faced by m anagers w hich relate to
th e d e v e lo p m e n t o f in te rn a tio n a l h u m a n
resource m anagem ent. 'H um an
DownloadedB
y:[TheUnive
rsityofManc
hester]At:1
4:038Februa
ry2008
Peter K idger
resource m anagem ent', o r H R M , is fast replacing 'personnel m anagem ent'
as the general E nglish-language term
fo r th e p o lic ie s a n d p ra c tic e s in v o lv e d
in
m a n a g in g
p e o p le
in
o rg a n iz a tio n s .
A lth o u g h
th e
p h r a s e
is
n o t
c o m p le te ly
new ,
it
h a s
b e e n
s a id
t o
h a v e
re c e n tly
ta k e n
o n
a
s p e c ia l
s ig n ific a n c e w h ic h
im p lie s a g r e a te r re c o g n itio n
b y
m a n a g e rs th a t p e o p le
really are critical to success (Storey, 1989). H R M
c a n

how ever represent d iffe re n t th in g s to d iffe re n t p e o p le , a n d th e re a re se v e ra l m o d e ls o n o ffe r (K eenoy,

1 9 9 0 ). W h ile
th e
t e r m
is
u s e d
h e re
in
i t s
g e n e ric
s e n s e , its
c o n n o ta tio n s
o f
s e e k in g
e x c e lle n c e
in
e m p lo y e e
m anagem ent
a n d

o f representing leading-edge practice also m ake hum an resource m anagem ent th e a p p ro p ria te te rm

in relation to the questions raised
a b o v e .
H R M
has been called an A m erican concept w hich 'also overlaps in so m e
r e s p e c ts
w ith
th e
stereotypical view
o f
J a p a n e s e
m a n a g e m e n t'

(G uest, 1 9 8 9 ). T o th a t e x te n t it m a y; ~ l r e a d y b e c o n s i d e r e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l . H o w e v e r , in

in te rn a tio n a l
b u s in e s s ,
th e
p e rs o n n e l-re la tio n s
fu n c tio n
is an
a r e a
o f

activity w hich has been thought to be m ost affected by cultural differences (G lo b e rm a n . 1 9 8 6 ). In c o n s id e rin g th e e m e rg e n c e o f in te rn a tio n a l h u m a n resource m anagem ent, it seem s useful firstly to review

th e c u ltu re c o n te x t
o f
H R M
b e fo re
c o n s id e rin g th e
e x te n t to
w h ic h
practices m ay
b e g in
t o
c o n v e rg e o n th e w o rld s c e n e .I t is a rg u e d th a t, d e s p ite c u ltu ra l d iffe re n c e s ,
there are grounds for suggesting thatab o d y o f id e a s o n g o o d
p ra c tic e is
e m e rg in g o n a w o rld -w id e b a s is . T h e fie ld o f in te rn a tio n a l h u m a n re s o u rc e
m anagem ent
s h o u ld
em brace
b o th
in te rn a tio n a l
d iffc rc n c c s
a n d
in te r-
n a tio n a l c o m m o n a litie s .
T he c u ltu r e c o n te x t
T he
p ra c tic e
o f
hum an
r e s o u r c e
m anagem ent
in
a n
o rg a n iz a tio n
is
c o n te x tu a l a n d
should not be seen
in
universalistic term s (Sisson, 1989).
T he
c o n te x ts
c a n
c o n v e n ie n tly
b e
d iv id e d
in to
th e
e x te rn a l,
s o c ie ta l
e n v ir o n m e n t ( th e c u ltu r a l, le g a l, p o litic a l. so c ia l a n d

e c o n o m ic c o n te x ts ) a n d th e in te r n a l, o rg a n iz a tio n a l e n v iro n m e n t (s iz e , te c h n o lo g y , o b je c tiv e s , resources, etc.) (N egandhi, 1 9 8 3 ). O r g a n i z a t i o n s in t h e s a m e e n v i r o n m e n t w ill not necessarily act in the sam e w ay because of differences in corporate cultures and in managers'p e rc c p tio n s o f th e m e a n in go f e x te rn a l e v e n ts .

T h e r e is n o w
w id e a c c e p ta n c e o f th e c o n c e p t th a t a n o rg a n iz a tio n
m ay
h a v e its o w n d is tin c t c u ltu r e . T h is m a y
h a v e d e v e lo p e d
o v e rap e rio d
o f
tim e.
b u t
c a n
b e
c r e a te d
o n
th e
b a s is
o f
w hat
is
a p p ro p ria te
t o
th e
o rg a n iz a tio n 's
needs and
e n v iro n m e n t
a n d
c a n
b e
m anaged
th ro u g h
th e
p r o c e s s e so f
re c ru itm e n t, in d u c tio n , a p p ra is a l a n d
rew ard
(Sathe, 1983;
H u n t,
1 9 8 4 ). L ik e
a n y
s o c ie ty , a n
o rg a n iz a tio n
m ay
h a v e
v a rio u s
s u b -
c u ltu re s , b u t
in
th e
s tro n g c u ltu re c o m p a n y
th e re
is an
o v e rrid in g
a n d

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