This paper addresses the convergence/divergence debate in personnel management in Europe by drawing on an international, longitudinal, database of information on human relogicalTitle management. In particular, the paper explores the issue of a convergence towards concepts of HRM that have come to Europe from the USA. It finds that while there appears to be some degree of convergence taking place, much is unchanged, and the explanatory power of the national institutional contexts remains strong.
This paper illustrates the usefulness of applying a cross-national perspective in HRM research, here exemplified by a study of organizational flexibility. We compare numerical and functional flexible work practices in the United States and Norway. We explain the greater use of numerical flexible work practices in Norway by the stricter regulations on employers' access to terminate regular contracts, and the substantial use of leave of absences. The use of functional flexible work practices is equally prevalent in both countries; only the use of self-directed teams seems to be more widespread in Norway. While this may reflect a convergence between the countries, we emphasize that the content of these work practices depends on the institutional settings. Furthermore, we suggest that the implications of flexible work practices may differ in these countries. Because fringe benefits, such as health insurance, are provided to people based on their residency in Norway, not their employment status, holding a temporary job may have less unfortunate implications in that country.
This paper explores the possibility of combining rational-economic and institutional approaches to understanding the diffusion of human relogicalTitle management and industrial relations practices within MNCs. I propose one broad and one focal research question: "In what circumstances is the competitive context more salient than the institutional context to managerial decision making (and visa versa) and how do they interact?" and "In what circumstances, by what processes and with what effect are HR/IR practices and routines transferred from MNC parent company to subsidiary?" I go on to discuss some possible methods for addressing these questions empirically.
This paper examines the international diffusion of HRM practices and aims at building a model of the role of expatriates in the international diffusion of HRM practices. We focus on expatriates who are in a position to transfer HRM practices, such as managers and HRM professionals. The dependent variable of this model is the diffusion of HRM practices, through both implementation and internalization. The purpose of this model is to describe this diffusion of HRM practices as the result of two distinct forces, one conveyed by parent company management, the other by the subsidiary's locals, revolving around expatriates.
The subsidiaries of multi-national corporations (MNCs), when selecting their Human Resource Management systems (HRMS), usually face two options: adaptation of locally designed HRM practices or diffusion from the parent company. Firstly, this article argues, from a knowledge characteristics perspective, that the transfer of the HRM system as a whole rather than individual HRM practices can create a competitive advantage for MNCs. When an MNC succeeds in transferring the entire HRM system, it would be more difficult to imitate for competitors. Secondly, it proposes that the diffusion of an HRMS can be conceived to be the diffusion of an innovation. Thirdly, we propose that cultural characteristics of the host country impact whether MNCs pursue local adaptation or diffusion. We propose an analytical model and examine the local adaptation vs. diffusion issue using cultural similarity and four organisational attributes. Finally, suggestions for future research are discussed.