International Human Resource Management

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IHRM concerns the extent to which the core tasks change when HRM is practiced across national boundaries. On this basis, Morgan (1986) presents a model of IHRM based on the interplay between human resource tasks or activities, the national or country categories involved in HRM and the categories of employees in an international firm: • the tasks of HRM (human resource planning, etc.)

• national/country categories involved in HRM tasks:
1. the host country where a subsidiary may be located
2. the home country where the firm is headquartered
3. ‘other’ countries that may be the source of labour, finance and other inputs • categories of employees of an international firm:
1. host-country nationals
2. parent-country nationals
3. third-country nationals.
In this model, internationalisation adds layers of complexity to the task of HRM within a particular firm. Based on the work of Perlmutter MNCs then face three strategic choices to cope with this complexity: * ethnocentric,

* polycentric and
* global/geocentric
An ethnocentric strategy is where a company uses the same HR practices overseas as it does at home. By contrast, a polycentric strategy involves a company following local HR practice in its overseas operations. A global strategy is where a company attempts to implement common HRM policies for all its overseas operations . Of course, this implies an element of choice for senior managers and the reality is that hybrid strategies will emerge. Torrington et al. (2005: 695) argue that International HRM is also concerned with decentralisation: As an organisation increases its international activities, it inevitably steps up the degree of decentralisation, but internationalisation is not simply a form of decentralisation. It is the most complex form of decentralizing operations and involves types of difference – language, culture, economic and political systems, legislative frameworks, management styles and conventions – that...
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