International and Comparative Human Resource Management

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ASSIGNMENT 1
Do you think that intercountry differences affect HRM practices and strategies? Discuss and debate the specific activities an international HR manager typically engages in, using cases and examples.

TABLE OF CONTENT

1. INTRODUCTION
2. COMPARING DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIOAL HRM
3. IMPACT OF INTERCOUNTRY DIFFERENCES ON HRM PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES: 4.1 EFFECTS OF CULTURAL DIFFERENCES ON HRM PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES 4.2 EFFECTS OF ECONOMIC DIFFERENCES ON HRM PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES 4.3 EFFECTS OF LEGAL AND POLITICAL DIFFERENCES ON HRM PRACTICES AND STRATEGIES

4. FUNCTIONS AND ACTIVITIES OF AN INTERNATIONAL HR MANAGER 5.4 HUMAN RESOURCE PLANNING
5.5 JOB ANALYSIS
5.6 STAFFING
5.7 TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
5.8 REMUNERATION
5.9 PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
5.10 EMPLOYEE/INDUSSTRIAL RELATIONS
5. CONCLUSION
6. REFERENCES

INTRODUCTION

Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the management function within an organization concerned with recruitment, management, and provision of direction for the people who work in the organization. According to Heathfield (2013) effective HRM enables employees to contribute effectively and productively to the overall company direction and the accomplishment of the organization's goals and objectives. As stipulated by Harzing and Pinnington (2011), it can be argued that an organization’s strategies and actions should be closely related to the organization’s overall corporate strategy and should be coherent in all its operations. However, this might prove impossible or very difficult for companies operating in more than one country. This could be due to country specific attributes such as cultures and economic conditions. However, the debate still continues as to whether such intercountry differences really do affect HRM practices and strategies.

The functions, strategies and practices of human resource management are varied depending on the nature of the organization as well as the skills of managers and the environment/country in which the organization is found (Laurent, 2006). The human resource is the most important asset of an organization as compared to technological and financial resources. Therefore they should managed effectively, equitably and ethically, and all their needs satisfied, if organizational objectives are to be achieved. (ibid).

COMPARING DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL HRM

The complexity of operating in different countries and employing different national categories of workers is the key variable that differentiates domestic from international HRM. According to Dowling, Festing and Engle (2008), the complexity of international human resource management can be attributed to factors such as: more HR activities; more involvement in people’s personal life; risk exposure; broader external influences and most importantly changes in emphasis as the workforce mix of expatriates and locals varies. This therefore implies intercountry differences do have an impact on HRM strategies and practices as HRM practices in the domestic market varies from those in the international market for the reasons cited above.

While operating in an international environment the HR department often engages in certain activities which would not be necessary in domestic environment such as taxation, language translation services and administrative services for expatriates. Equally, there is the necessity for a greater degree of involvement in employees’ personal lives for selection and training and management purposes. The HR department is usually responsible for providing suitable housing and schools for employees and in some cases develop and even run recreational programs for staff and their family which is not usually the HR’s department’s primary responsibility in the domestic environment but that of the employer.

The emphasis put on various human resource activities usually...
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