Premium Essay


In: Business and Management

Submitted By gururaj733650
Words 10968
Pages 44

Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources

2004 42(1)

Human resource management strategies in practice: Case-study findings in multinational firms Irene K.H. Chew* Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Frank M. Horwitz* University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Competitive pressures have increased the strategic value of a skilled, motivated and adaptable workforce, and the HRM strategies to support and develop it. A strategic perspective of HRM requires the firm to identify and adopt human capital initiatives likely to enhance competitiveness and shareholder value. A key question considered here is the extent to which multinational firms adapt internally consistent human resource strategies across national boundaries to address these issues. Case-study data on how eight multinational firms in Singapore apply strategic approaches to human resource management are presented. Findings show that while some adaptation considering local context occurs, the diffusion of headquarters and centrally initiated, but competitively differentiated strategies across cultural boundaries, is significant. Effective human resource strategies were understood as ‘configurational’, integrated both vertically and horizontally.
Keywords: convergent/divergent practices, human resource strategy, multinational firms

There is a paucity of empirical, especially case-study research on human resource management (HRM) strategies of multinational corporations (MNCs) in South East Asia in general and Singapore in particular. The economic

* The authors acknowledge the research assistance from Chang York Hiang, Andrew Fung, Lo Tat Keong, Lee Chee Meng, Liaw Hin Hao, Uwe Kriegshauser, Oliver Palmert, Bernd Rupflin, Kenichi Sakayama, Peter Wee and Zhuang Jing. Correspondence to: Associate Professor Irene K.H. Chew, Nanyang...

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