Culture and Commitment
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Human Resource Management in a Business Context

Human Resource Management in a Business Context, 3rd edition
by Alan Price
 Human Resource Management in a Business Context provides an international focus on the theory and practice of people management. A thorough and comprehensive overview of all the key aspects of HRM, including articles from HRM Guide and other sources, key concepts, review questions and case studies for discussion and analysis.
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Cultural differences and HRM


This section examines the concept of culture at international, national and organizational levels. Human resource literature places considerable emphasis on the role of corporate culture in achieving high performance levels. In particular, people working within a culture of commitment are prepared to work longer, apply greater ingenuity to resolve a problem and try that much harder to win an order.

 Culture and international HRM

The market place is global and the key players are the multinational organizations. Modern human resource managers cannot confine themselves to an understanding of people management in their own countries. Everyone must develop an awareness of international HRM.

Further notes: The main perspectives on international HRM are:

* The global approach - using analytic frameworks or broad thematic interpretations to understand HR issues on a global scale.

* The comparative approach - comparing and contrasting the different ways in which HRM is practised in the light of culture, history and other factors.

Torrington (1994) concluded that international HRM is not simply human resource management on a grander scale. He considered that several familiar aspects of HRM, such as recruitment, selection and employee realtions are actually outside the scope of international HRM because of the different (primarily national) legislative frameworks to which they must adhere. For example, he stated that:

"Employees are selected in one country or another, and wherever the selection is undertaken there are a range of conventions and legal requirements that have to be met. The person appointed will usually have a contract of employment that will fit within the legal framework of one country but probably not another".

Of course, supra-national bodies such as the European Union are attempting to 'harmonize' such differences out of existence.

  Respecting cultural differences

There is a misleading assumption that the social, class and cultural values underlying management ideas are - or should be - 'normal' for every country. (...) Rooted in nineteenth century imperialism, this misconception is based on the belief that important ideas are conveyed in one direction - from western 'civilization' to less developed countries.

For a treatment of some of the issues, see Employment Relations in the Asia Pacific edited by Greg Bamber ( site)

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