International Human Resource Management
As companies continue to globalize their operations, management of international human resources in a strategic and effective manner becomes critically important in contributing towards the overall organizational performance (Brewster et al, 2016). This paper will focus on the international training and development of India within the broader context of international human resources management (IHRM). It will respond to relevant questions relating to this topic and also compare and contrast with other countries including the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Japan.
What are the relevant employment laws in each country which influence the HR issue you have chosen?International Human Resource Management
India is one of the most regulated labor markets worldwide. It has strict laws regarding workers’ retrenchment. Whereas this laws were devised with the primary goal of protecting employees, it has had far-reaching implications on the IHRM practices in the country. Companies have resorted in more flexible types of employment so as to avoid the costs and administrative complexity linked on these laws (Aswathappa, 2014). Since it is nearly impossible to retrench employees, firms greatly rely on outsourcing and temporary workers. This form of practice is similar to that of UAE where employees are often engaged on temporary basis. Therefore, companies are less focused on training and development due to the perceived or real temporariness of employment (Harzing & Pinnington, 2011). This practice differs significantly with HRM oractices in the United Kingdom and Japan where there is limited employment protection. Despite there existing a limited protection of workers, there is a negotiated and coordinated relationship between employers and employees resulting in long-term engagement and training and developmental focus (Brewster et al, 2016).
What role does culture play in shaping the key differences between the countries?International Human Resource Management
Culture plays a significant role in shaping the key differences between the countries’ IHRM practices. Hofstede’s dimensions of national cultures is critical in explaining these differences, particularly the individualism vs collectivism dimension. Individualistic societies like the United Kingdom and Japan have less protection on employment of workers and instead focus more on their individual performance (Harzing & Pinnington, 2011). This explains why firms in these countries are more interested in coordinated relationship with employees based on proven performance. That is, they are interested on an employee for as long as he is productive. On the other hand, collectivistic societies like India and UAE are aware of the tightly integrated relationships among people. Therefore, they have laws that seek to protect employment considering that it has impact on many people dependent on the employed person. However, this has opposite effect on firms who deem it as a burden and therefore prefer to have employees on temporary basis (Aswathappa, 2014).
What are the similarities?
The similarities among firms in India, Japan, UAE, and the United Kingdom relate to their goal of working around the countries’ laws to achieve their primary objective of better performance and profitability. Regardless of whether a country has stringent protection of employment or not, firms employ strategies that seek to minimize costs and increase profitability (Harzing & Pinnington, 2011). This situation is explained by the functionalist theory of IHRM which holds that human resources management policies, practices, and functions are a result of strategic activities of firms and they are designed to impact on their goals (Brewster et al, 2016).
What are the differences?
The differences in IHRM practices in India, Japan, UAE, and the United Kingdom relate to the approaches used in managing the human resources. The approaches used in different countries are based on the laws in those countries. For example, in a country like India with stringent laws of protecting employees, firms depend on temporary workers so as to avoid the legal implications associated with permanent employment (Aswathappa, 2014). On the other hand, countries with less stringent laws on employees’ protection prefer a more coordinated approach in engaging employees with the view of sustaining them for a longer period as long as they are productive and contribute towards the attainment of set goals and objectives. These differences can be explained using the critical theory or IHRM which underpins the essence of control and power exercised by employers (Harzing & Pinnington, 2011). Employers tend to use the control and power at their disposal to implement human resources practices that ensure they achieve their objectives, the existing laws notwithstanding.
What are some of the challenges?International Human Resource Management
The similarities and differences emanating from the varied IHRM practices in the aforementioned countries present some challenges in respect to the international training and development. In the performance-oriented and individualistic cultures like the United Kingdom, training and development is viewed as being critical to individual development as it results in improved organizational performance (Brewster et al, 2016). However, in a collectivist society like India, it is seen as a means of increasing employees’ loyalty and commitment, as well as motivating them. It is on this understanding that challenges emerges. The IHRM practice of engaging employees on temporary basis as a way of circumventing the laws on employment protection defeats this very objective of enhancing loyalty and commitment in the long term (Aswathappa, 2014). As such, firms tend to engage in training and development that is more targeted towards a particular objective within a certain time context rather than the holistic personnel development.
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