How Cultural Differences Affect International Human Resource Opertions

Topics: Human resource management, Management, Culture Pages: 8 (2616 words) Published: January 6, 2012
This task was set to explore the importance of cultural differences and how they influence how people are valued within organisations operating on a global scale. While there is sufficient text on International Human Resources Management (IHRM), the matter of how organisations and HR are influenced by these cultural differences has not yet been sufficiently discussed. Therefore, the aim of this essay is to discuss how cultural differences have an impact on HRM on a global scale and how the processes of recruitment and selection and employee reward affect employees. Through this discussion the following elements will be discussed: International Human Resource Management, how cultural differences influence organisations, how people are valued on a global scale and how the practices of recruitment and selection and training and development have an effect on the cultural values and differences of an organisation.

International Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management has become an evolutionary aspect of global business today. As the rapid expansion of global business increases, so does the efforts of Human Resource teams everywhere. As more and more companies start to operate on a global scale, there has been a more pronounced impact on various business functions. HR representatives must develop skills, knowledge and experience in the international markets to ensure their organisations are successful in this challenging and perhaps turbulent environment. Effective people management skills are paramount, as international expansion and operation can place large amounts of pressure on resources and people. Ultimately, IHRM needs to be “responsive to the changing context within which it has been operating and to key events in the external environment.” (Reilly, P. & Williams, T., 2006) Today, many HR representatives working in a global business world face the same difficulties, but also face other new challenges that relate to geography. For example staff may be working in remote locations for their bosses that operate transnationally. Businesses now have to look at the regional, national and global perspective of operating. So therefore, the nationality of an employee is incidental and not central to operations. Therefore, this has a direct impact of the decision making of managers and the HR teams. Decisions made in the home country of an organisation may need to be implemented across a number of countries and using different methods. Likewise, the economic impact of these decisions may have differing effects from country to country. Management and HR must take into consideration the legal, organisational, cultural and economical implications of working globally. How cultural differences influence organisations and how employees are valued In today’s cross cultural modern society, HR managers are increasingly involved in situations such as the operations of parent-company overseas; employing foreign persons and also the operation of foreign businesses in the home country. In order to operate successfully in this global market with these differing situations, an HR manager must have the ability to manage and interact with people from other cultures. HR managers must have the ability to “…integrate and co-ordinate activities taking place in diverse environments with people of diverse backgrounds.” (Joynt, P. & Morton, B., 1999) These cultural differences influence how HR operates, how HR policies are discussed and formed and ultimately how they are implemented from country to country. As Joynt and Morton states, “…the greater the differences between one country and another, and the more significant these differences are relative to the nature of a product of service, the greater the need for localisation.” Localisation is the process of adapting a product of service to a particular language, culture and desired local ‘look and feel.’ This can assist HR when implementing their policies and...

References: ARMSTRONG, M., 2001, A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 8th ed, Kogan Page:London
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CALIGIURI, P., “Selecting expatriates for personality characteristics: A moderating effect of personality on the relationship between host national contact and cross-cultural adjustment.” Management International Review, 40, pp.61-80
ESTIENNE, M., 1997
JACKSON, T. 2002. International HRM: a cross-cultural approach. SAGE Publications:London
JOYNT, P., & MORTON, B., 1999
REILLY,P., & WILLIAMS, T., 2006. Strategic HR: Building the Capability to Deliver. Gower Publishing Limited:England.
ARMSTRONG, M., 2001, A Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 8th ed, Kogan Page:London
ESTIENNE, M., 1997. “The art of cross-cultural management: ‘an alternative approach to training and development.’” Journal of European Industrial Training.
REILLY,P., & WILLIAMS, T., 2006. Strategic HR: Building the Capability to Deliver. Gower Publishing Limited:England.
TAYLOR, S., 2008 People Resourcing, CIPD:London
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