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Chapter 17

Chapter 17 BU354.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
John Coffey

BU354 Chapter 17 – Managing Human Resources in a Global Business Week 11 The Globalization of Business and Strategic HR -Workforce mobility – the focus on managing the recruitment, relocation, and retention of employees who complete work-related tasks and activities outside of the core or primary head office or region of the company -These programs are enabled by technological advancements, globalization, tight labour markets, and customer demands and have a direct impact on company profits -Expatriate – employees who are citizens of the country where the parent company is based who are sent to work in another country -Immigrant – a person residing in Canada who was born outside of Canada (Excluding temporary foreign workers, Canadian citizens born outside of Canada and those with student or work visas) How Intercountry Differences Affect HRM -A troubling issue is the need for tight security and terrorism awareness training for employees sent to countries with an increased risk of kidnapping of foreign executives Cultural Factors -The first step is understanding the differences in underlying cultural values in different societies -Societies also differ when it comes to individualism vs. collectivism – the degree to which ties between individuals are normally loose rather than close -Societies differ in their attitudes to gender egalitarianism -HR practices of training and pay plans need to be adapted -Sensitivity is also an issue that HR will have to deal with Economic Systems -Differences in economic systems among countries also translate into intercountry differences in HR practices Legal Systems -Labour laws vary considerably around the world – Ex. China vs. USA -Health and safety laws also vary considerably -When it comes to employee termination, the amount of notice with pay to be provided, continuation of benefits, notification of unions, and minimum length of service to qualify for severance payments vary significantly and can in some bases have a major impact on labour costs Labour Cost Factors -Differences in labour costs may also produce differences in HR practices -High labour costs can require a focus on efficiency and on HR practices aimed at improving employee performance Industrial Relations Factors -Industrial relations, and specifically the relationship among workers, the union, and the employer, vary dramatically from country to country and have an enormous impact on HRM practices Global Relocation -Relocation policies are becoming more flexible, as the majority of all services are provided on a case-by- case basis -Family issues rank as the number one concern when it comes to employee relocations -Some of the most pressing challenges are techniques used to recruit, select, train, compensate, and provide family support for employees who are based abroad, such as: BU354 Chapter 17 – Managing Human Resources in a Global Business Week 11 -Candidate identification, assessment, and selection -Cost projections -Assignment letters -Compensation, benefits, and tax programs -Relocation assistance -Family support -Strategic HR involvement in the design and implementation of a global expansion strategy is required right from the start Why Expatriate Assignments Fail -Expatriate assignment failure – early return of an expatriate from a global assignment -Personality is one factor -The person’s intentions are important -Non-work factors like family pressures usually loom large in expatriate failures -Many employers have tried to eliminate issues that lead to expatriate assignment failures by shortening the assignment length and having the family remain at home -Short-term assignment alternatives include frequent extended business trips with corresponding time spend back at home, short-term assignments of between three months and a year with frequent home leave, and the dual household arrangement – where the employee’s family remains at home and the employee sets up a small household for himself in the foreign country Considerations in Global HRM Global Staffing Policy -Ethnocentric staffing policy – policies that align with the attitude that home-country managers are superior to those in the host country -Polycentric staffing policy – policies that align with the belief that only host-country managers can understand the culture and behaviour of the host-country market -Geocentric staffing policy – policies that aligned with the belief that the best manager for any specific position anywhere on the globe may be found in any of the countries in which the firm operates Selection for Global Assignments -International mangers can be expatriates, locals, or third-country nationals -Expatriates represent a minority of managers -Many people simply prefer not to work in a foreign country Orienting and Training Employees for Global Assignments -Cross-cultural training is very important for creating realistic expectations -A four
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