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Multinational Corporations - Essay Example

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Examine why multinational corporations seek to transfer their home-country human resource management policies to their overseas subsidiaries. Use examples to explain the difficulties that firms might encounter in the transfer process. 1. Introduction The strategies of multinational organizations are quite complex having to address a wide range of issues related to different cultural and economic conditions…
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Multinational Corporations Essay
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Download file to see previous pages At a first level, this practice can be possibly considered as justified allowing the easier establishment of the organization in the host country, at the level that no time is wasted on the preparation of locals for working in key positions of the organization’s branch in the host country. The reasons for which organizations transfer their home-country human resource management policies to their overseas subsidiaries are presented and evaluated in this paper. Emphasis is given on the difficulties of this project and on the possible ways for resolving the problems involved. 2. Why multinational corporations seek to transfer their home-country human resource management policies to their overseas subsidiaries. The most common reason for the transfer of home-country human resource management policies to overseas subsidiaries is the need of organizations for promoting homogenous policies in all their sectors so that conflicts and failures are minimized. Such issue is highlighted in the study of Wilton (2010) where reference is made to the example of Japanese firms that had to establish branches and operational units abroad. Japanese firms tend to promote team working and task sharing; however, after entering the US market the Japanese firm had to align their HRM strategies with the US laws and ethics (Wilton 2010). In order to avoid conflicts with local laws and culture, the Japanese firms transformed their HRM policies promoting ‘task demarcation and functional specialization’ (Wilton 2010, p.141). From a similar point of view, Sparrow (2009) notes that firms may chose to transfer their home-country human resource management policies to their overseas subsidiaries in order to reduce costs related to training of new employees. Such perspective can be valuable only if the time during which the home country HRM policies are used in the overseas subsidiary is limited; if such practice is continued for a long period of time, then the cost involved would be much higher compared to the development of new HRM policies, aligned with the local culture. This means that expatriates who are send to work to overseas subsidiaries for supporting the transfer of their firm’s HRM policies to these units, should be given a time framework for finishing their tasks. On the other hand, it is perceived that the promotion of policies, which have been already tested in the home country, should be preferred (Stahl and Bjorkman 2006). Introducing new policies is always risky, especially if taking into consideration the physical distance between the mother company and its subsidiaries (Stahl and Bjorkman 2006). Most important, the HRM policies developed in the home country are fully aligned with the organization’s mission and values (Stockhammer 2011). This means that these policies have been structured in such way so that they support effectively the needs of the organization in regard to the achievement of its targets. It is also assumed that these policies cannot harm the organization’s image in the market, being aligned with organization’s ethics and beliefs (Stockhammer 2011). A different perspective of the efforts of firms to transfer their HRM to their overseas subsidiaries is presented in the study of Tempel (2001). According to the above researcher, through the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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