Functions of International Human Resource Management

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FUNCTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Paolo Carlucci
Atanas Atanasov
Aneta Cholevová
Content

FUNCTIONS OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT1
THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF BUSINESS2
The Growth of International Business2
HR and the International Business Challenge3
How Intercountry Differences Affect HRM4
IMPROVING INTERNATIONAL ASSIGNMENTS THROUGH SELECTION5
Why International Assignments Fail5
International Staffing: Sources of Managers5
International Staffing Policy6
Selecting International Managers7
TRAINING AND MAINTAINING INTERNATIONAL EMPLOYEES8
Orienting and Training Employees for International Assignments8 International Compensation8
Performance Appraisal of International Managers10
International Labour Relations10
Safety and Fair Treatment Abroad12
Repatriation: Problems and Solutions12

THE INTERNATIONALIZATION OF BUSINESS

The Growth of International Business

As a result of this internationalization, companies must increasingly be managed globally, but this confronts managers with several challenges. Market, product, and production plans must be coordinated on a worldwide basis, for instance, and organization strutures capable of balancing centralized home-office control with adequate local autonomy must be created. For example, Ford Motor Company today is managed as a global business. Activities such as product development and vehicle design are conducted on a worldwide basis, rather than in regional development centers. Manufacturing and purchasing are also handled globally. Ford approaches HR on the same global basis, "moving employees from anywhere to anywhere if they're the best ones to do the job." At Ford and at other global companies, this kind of global HR perspective "requires understanding different cultures, what motivates people from different societies, and how that's reflected in the structure of international assignments." As a result, some of the most pressing challenges companies face concern the impact of "going global" on the employers' human resource management systems. This is because all those HR activities are complicated by the sorts of cultural and political differences that characterize different countries around the world.

HR and the International Business Challenge

Companies have gone global, the number of their employees abroad has increased. In terms of employees overseas, for lnstance, a recent survey of 351 companies found that virtually every firm had at least one employee on international assignment; about 67% of the firms had between 1 and 40 employees abroad, while the remaining firms have 41 or more employees on international assignment. About 20% of the assignments were short term, up to 1 year, while 50% were for up to 3 years, and about 30% were for up to 5 years or more. With more employees abroad, HR departments have had to tackle new global challenges. For example, senior international HR managers in eight large companies were recently asked questions such as, "What are the key global pressures affecting human resource management practices in your firm currently and for the projected future?" The three broad global HR challenges that emerged were as follows: • Deployment: Easily getting the right skills to where they are needed in the organization regardless of geographicallocation; • Knowledge and innovation dissemination: Spreading state-of-the art. kowledge and practices throughout the organization regardless of where they originate; and • Identifying and developing talent on a global basis: Identifying who has the ability to function effectively in a global organization and developing these abilities. Dealing with such challenges means most employers have had to scramble to develop HR policies and procedures just for handling global assignments. This process itself can be very complex: For example, consider some of the factors you´d need to address just in deciding...
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