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International HRM vs. HRM

June 11, 2008 1

How This Course on IHRM Will Be Conducted
 Comprehensive introduction to International Human Resource
 Knowledge acquisition and application of subject matter to real-life
 Course literature (see the „must read“ section)

 Use of multimedia visual aids (MS PowerPoint slides)

 Reference to case studies later in the semester

 Encouragement of questions, comments and constructive criticism from

course participants
 Analytical and critical thinking, inquisitiveness as well as common sense
from course participants also expected

June 11, 2008 2

The DO‘s and DONT‘s Catalogue for Course Participants

• listen attentively • be late to class. We start at 6 PM

• be considerate and amenable PM sharp!
• be inquisitive, analytical and critical • distract the attention of other
in your approach to learning course participants
research methodology • use mobile phones or send SMS
• mention if you do not understand messages in the class
something and seek clarification • follow a rote-learning approach.
• read the prescribed course There is zero tolerance for this in
literature. It is the basic all classes taught at CIIT!
requirement for comprehending • feel afraid to bring up any relevant
research methodology and point for discussion
succeeding in this course • hesitate to visit me at my office,
• start reading from the beginning individually or as a group, if you
of the course and not towards the have a course-related problem and
end! seek counseling in this regard
• (Room N4, Tel. Ext. 297)

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Fundamental Course Objectives
• To acquaint course participants with all salient aspects of IHRM in accordance
with the current body of scientific literature on this interesting area of
management science

• To show that the subject of IHRM has matured into a substantive body of
knowledge, an indepth understanding of which is crucial for ensuring the
success of commercial or non-commercial organizations

• To show and encourage the course participants that the theoretical knowledge
acquired in this course can - with the appropriate context-related modifications
- be applied to numerous real-life situations in business, public-sector and non-
profit enterprises

• To stimulate interest in HRM and IHRM as a prospective career field

June 11, 2008 4

Demands on Course Participants

The essence of knowledge is having it to apply it - Confucius

 Acquisition and careful application of knowledge

 Analytical and critical thinking, innovation, inquisitiveness
 Holistic perspective

• Quizzes & (proof that the course participant is familar with the essentials
Sessionals of IHRM)

• Project Work (each course participant is expected to show that he or she

is able to apply the research skills learned in this course)

• Examination (case study in which each course participant is expected to

demonstrate his or her indepth understanding of IHRM and
apply the knowledge acquired in the course to a real-life

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Important Information for Course Participants – (1)
 You MUST read the course literature from the beginning of the semester.
Relying on the PowerPoint slides is NOT sufficient! The purpose of these
slides is to provide you with a broad and general introduction to research
methodology. Kindly note that the slides are intended as a supplement
to, and NOT as a substitute for the prescribed course literature

 The prescribed course literature will be used as a reference for the quizzes,
sessionals and final examination. Failure to read and understand the course
literature could mean that a course participant will fail the course! An
automatic passing grade in this course is NOT guaranteed, rather, a course
participant‘s marks will reflect his or her effort and performance in the

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Important Information for Course Participants – (2)
 The project work to be undertaken in this course will be chosen by the
course instructor and must be undertaken by the course participant
according to the project guidelines which will be distributed in paper form
seperately. It is essential that primary data is collected, analysed, evaluated
and recorded by the course participant in his or her project report.
Plagiarism will NOT be tolerated! If caught, zero marks will be given

 The course lectures, discussions etc. will be conducted exclusively in

english! The use of Urdu language in this course is strongly discouraged

 Specific questions on the subject of HRM and IHRM may be asked from
candidates in the Viva oral examination at the end of their MBA programme.
Failure to answer these questions will definitely result in a deduction of
examination marks

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What is HRM?
Human Resource Management (HRM) is a general term used to
describe a variety of functions aimed at effectively managing an
organization's employees or "human resources"

The goal of HRM is to assist organizations to achieve their

strategic goals by attracting and retaining qualified employees,
and managing them effectively while ensuring that the
organization complies with all appropriate labor laws

HRM professionals oversee the "people" side of an organization

including compensation and benefits, career development, training,
hiring, and many other functions

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Typical HRM Functions


Employee Human
& Labor HUMAN RESOURCE Resource
Relations MANAGEMENT Development

Safety & Compensation

Health & Benefits

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International Human Resource Management

• International Human Resource Management is the

procurement, allocation, utilization, and motivation
of human resources in the international context

• Strategic IHRM is the human resources management

issues, functions, policies and practices that result
from the strategic activities of the multinational
enterprise and the impact it has on the international
concerns and goals of that organization

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HRM versus IHRM

 The basic functions (procurement, allocation,

utilization and motivation) of HRM and IHRM are the

 The main difference between HRM and IHRM lies in

their different levels of inherent complexity

 IHRM is characterized by a comparatively, and

normally considerably, higher level of inherent
complexity and uncertainty than HRM

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The Internationalization of HR Management

• Globalization
• Freer movement of the factors of production (capital,
labour, information)
• Growth of international trade and investment
• Opening of new markets (e.g. East Europe)
• Emergence of trading blocs
• Competition and cost reduction pressures
• Multiculturalism, immigration

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Challenges of IHRM

All organizations – particularly smaller and

medium-sized entities with comparatively
smaller resource bases - operating in an
international, culturally heterogenous
context, face numerous challenges in regard
to effectively managing their human
resources to some extent

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A Model of IHRM

HR Other
Procure Allocate Utilize

Home Countries
Host Country Nationals (HCNs)

Types of Parent Country Nationals (PCNs)

Employees Host

Third Country Nationals (TCNs)

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IHRM: The Dimensions of Complexity

Peter Dowling specifies the following six factors that

differentiate IHRM from HRM:

 More HR activities
 The need for a broader perspective
 More involvement in employees’ personal lives
 Changes in emphasis as the workforce mix of
expatriates and locals varies
 Risk exposure
 More external factors

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IHRM: The Dimensions of Complexity
(More HR Activities – (1))
IHRM typically requires numerous additional
activities to be performed, which are unnecessary in
a national (domestic) context. Important Examples:

 Taxation considerations - Are there tax incentives /

disincentives? National taxation systems tend to
differ significantly and taxes may still be due after
elapse of an assignment period

 International Relocation and Orientation –

Predeparture training, immigration and travel details,
housing, shopping, medical care and schooling
information, determination of compensation and
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IHRM: The Dimensions of Complexity
(More HR Activities – (2))
 Administrative Services for Expatriates – Provision
of assistance to expatriates for dealing with various
administrative issues, for example, acquisition of
visas and work permits for expatriates

 Host-Government Relations – Ensuring compliance

with the regulations and procedures mandated by
the government of the host country

 Language Translation Services – Providing

translation support for expatriates where and when

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IHRM: The Dimensions of Complexity
(Need for a Broader Perspective)
The diversity of employees – i.e. human resources –
necessitates a broader perspective for organizations
operating internationally as opposed to those
operating solely nationally

For instance, should employees from the

organization’s parent country receive special
benefits for taking on international assignments,
while the organization’s employees from other
countries be denied these same benefits?

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IHRM: The Dimensions of Complexity
(More Involvement in Employees’ Personal Lives)
For organizations operating nationally, their
involvement in their employees’ personal lives is
normally confined to issues such as arranging and
administering employee insurance programmes and
relocation assistance if a shift from a workplace in
one city to another becomes neceessary

For organizations operating internationally, a

comparatively significantly higher of support may,
and often is, required, for instance, helping find
suitable accommodation for the expatriate’s family
to live, helping find a school for his or her children
to attend and arranging recreational programmes
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IHRM: The Dimensions of Complexity
(Risk Exposure)
The element of “expatriate failure” is comparatively
higher for organizations operating internationally. The
costs of expatriate failure can be quite substantial:

e) Direct Costs: Salary, training, travel and relocation

f) Indirect Costs: Loss of the organization’s market
share, reputational damage

Other high-cost risk factors are terrorism and political

instability, e.g. targeted bombings, assassinations,
civil and social upheavals, military conflicts
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IHRM: The Dimensions of Complexity
(More External Influences)
• Government-Driven Factors, for example, affirmative
action programmes intended to increase
employment for, and increase the skill level of their

• Local business practices (is it acceptable to accept

“gifts” to facilitate operations? (ethical issues)

• Local regulations, especially in regard to labour,

health and safety, taxation, the environment

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Additional Important Considerations in IHRM

The industry (or industries)

The Cultural within which the multinational
Environment is primarily involved

Domestic and International

Activities of the HRM Function

Extent of Reliance of the Complexity Involved in Operating in

Multinational on its different countries and employing
home country or domestic market different national categories of employees

Attitudes of Senior Management

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IHRM and the Cultural Environment (1)

Culture is a distinct way of life, set of values, attitudes and

behaviours which members of a society internalize over time
and through the process of socialization. Some visible
manifestations of culture are dress, food, language, hygiene,
attitudes towards other members of society and to time and

IHRM requires an appreciation of the prevailing differences in

the cultural environments in which an organization operates.
There is now a broad awareness, that culture is an important
impact determinant in the HRM equation

Differences between the parent and host country cultures can

be a source of conflict (e.g.: problem of nepotism)
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IHRM and the Cultural Environment (2)

The “Culture Shock” refers to the situation in

which an expatriate is unable to adjust
emotionally to a new cultural environment in
which he or she is expected to work. Some
typical manifestations of a culture shock are:

– Psychological disorientation
– Negative feelings for the host country and its
– Strong desire to return to one’s home country
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IHRM and the Type of Industry

Multidomestic Industries – Competition is essentially national.

Examples are retailing, distribution and insurance

HRM basically domestically oriented, IHRM services may

be only occasionally required

Global Industries – Competition is essentially multinational and

interlinked. Examples are the aircraft and semi-conductor

HRM has ideally to reflect the local environments while

seeking to maintain some overall global consistency

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IHRM and Reliance on the Home-Country
Domestic Market
The size of a country’s domestic market may have
considerable influence on the extent to which its
multinationals are oriented. Multinationals based in
country’s with large domestic markets offering the
benefits of high consumer demand, such as the
United States of America, would be inward-looking
and their HR practices structured accordingly. Small
countries (e.g.: Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland,
Canada), who may be largely reliant on foreign
markets for their growth, may have different (i.e.
more outwardly-oriented) HR practices
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IHRM and Attitudes of Senior Management

A “global mindset” is strongly recommended by

which the development of a globally-oriented staff in
an organization is encouraged and facilitated by
senior management

Typical Reasons for failure to develop a global

mindset by organizations are:

– Ethnocentrism
– Inward-Orientedness
– Lack of Information
– Cultural Insensitivity

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