A Resource-Based View of International Human Resources: Toward a Framework of Integrative and Creative Capabilities

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Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS)

CAHRS Working Paper Series
Cornell University ILR School Year 2005

A Resource-Based View Of International Human Resources: Toward A Framework of Integrative and Creative Capabilities Shad S. Morris
Cornell University

Scott A. Snell
Cornell University

Patrick M. Wright
Cornell University

This paper is posted at DigitalCommons@ILR. http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cahrswp/284

CAHRS at Cornell University 187 Ives Hall Ithaca, NY 14853-3901 USA Tel. 607 255-9358 www.ilr.cornell.edu/CAHRS

WORKING PAPER SERIES
A Resource-Based View of International Human Resources: Toward a Framework of Integrative and Creative Capabilities Shad S. Morris Scott A. Snell Patrick M. Wright
Working Paper 05 – 16

International Human Resources

CAHRS WP05-16

A Resource-Based View Of International Human Resources: Toward A Framework of Integrative and Creative Capabilities Shad S. Morris Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations 393 Ives Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 (607) 255-7622 ssm27@cornell.edu

Scott A. Snell Cornell University Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) 393 Ives Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 (607) 255-4112 scott.snell@cornell.edu

Patrick M. Wright Cornell University Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) 393 Ives Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 (607) 255-3429 pmw6@cornell.edu

http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/cahrs This paper has not undergone formal review or approval of the faculty of the ILR School. It is intended to make results of Center research available to others interested in preliminary form to encourage discussion and suggestions. Most (if not all) of the CAHRS Working Papers are available for reading at the Catherwood Library. For information on what’s available link to the Cornell Library Catalog: http://catalog.library.cornell.edu if you wish.

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International Human Resources Abstract

CAHRS WP05-16

Drawing on organizational learning and MNC perspectives, we extend the resourcebased view to address how international human resource management provides sustainable competitive advantage. We develop a framework that emphasizes and extends traditional assumptions of the resource-based view by identifying the learning capabilities necessary for a complex and changing global environment. These capabilities address how MNCs might both create new HR practices in response to local environments and integrate existing HR practices from other parts of the firm (affiliates, regional headquarters, and global headquarters). In an effort to understand the nature of such capabilities, we discuss aspects of human capital, social capital, and organizational capital that might be linked to their development.

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International Human Resources Introduction

CAHRS WP05-16

Few will argue against the importance of international human resource management (IHRM) in today’s multinational corporation (MNC). A wide range of issues—that varies from global sourcing and off-shoring to regional trade agreements and labor standards to strategic alliances and innovation—all point to the vital nature of IHRM in today’s global economy. In fact, some observers have suggested that how firms manage their work forces is among the strongest predictors of successful versus unsuccessful MNCs (cf., Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1989; Doz & Prahalad, 1986; Hedlund, 1986). Researchers have adopted a number of different theoretical approaches for studying IHRM. Not surprisingly, the resource-based view (RBV) of the firm has emerged as perhaps the predominant perspective (Wright, Dunford, and Snell, 2002). RBV is particularly attractive to IHRM researchers in that it focuses directly on the potential value of a firm’s internal asset stocks for conceiving and executing various strategies. This perspective departs from traditional I/O economic models of competitive advantage that focus on the structure of markets as the primary determinant of...
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