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.
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
For a treatment of some of the issues, see edited by Greg Bamber (bestbooks.biz site)