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Human Resources Management

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Simply put, IHRM is Human Resources Management (HRM) that cuts across national boundaries. It is important that the IHRM policies are congruent with the firm’s strategy and its formal and informal structures and controls. IHRM has to ensure that the firm has the right people in the right places at the right times. The task is complicated by profound differences between countries in labor markets, culture, legal and economic system. (Adler 1-7)
We will illustrate how the IHRM policies f a multi-national company should be in line with its overall strategy and complement its existing structure and controls by focusing on the staffing policies. The training and development, performance appraisal and compensation policies should be similarly aligned with the overall strategy and consistent with each other. However, because f the constraints on time and space, we have focused only on staffing policies.
Broadly classifying, international organizations can be said to have one f the following strategies or models: Multi-domestic, International, Global, and Transnational. These strategies and the structure and controls to implement them are listed in the following table:
It is quite obvious that all companies must strive to be transnational. However, becoming transnational is a difficult goal to achieve because the coordination required and thus the costs associated are very high.
Now the staffing Now the staffing policy f an IHRM is concerned with selecting individuals – across different countries in which its operations are located – with the requisite skills to do a particular job. Clearly, staffing policies are important tools for developing and promoting a common corporate culture across all nationalities in which the company is present.
Culture Shock
It refers to the overall sense f difficulty in coping with a foreign locale and sometimes upon retuning home as well. It is also used when employees move from one company to another in their own country, for organizational cultures can vary greatly.
According to Philip Harris and Robert Moran, differences in culture (particularly national or ethnic) can be contrasted along the following ten dimensions:
1. Sense f self and space
While self-identity and appreciation is shown by a humble demeanor in one culture, another culture exhibits it through macho behavior. While one culture appreciates group cooperation, another might stress independence and creativity. Americans like more physical space between individuals while the Latin and Vietnamese prefer to be much closer.
2. Communication and language
Various gestures have different meanings in different countries. Some nations have as many as 15 different languages and within those different dialects, accents, slang and jargon.
3. Dress and appearance
Garments and body decorations vary by culture. Examples would include Englishman’s bowler and umbrella and the Polynesian sarong.
4. Food and eating habits
Selection, preparation and eating habits vary across nations. While beef is a favorite f many Americans, it is forbidden in the Hindu culture. The manner f eating also varies across cultures. Eating with one’s hands is customary in some while use f chopsticks or a full set f cutlery is a rule in others.
5. Time and time consciousness
The sense f