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International human resource management is a rather complicated process because of the many additional factors that have to be put into consideration. These factors are mainly influenced by the fact that a global market is both influenced and directed by many different laws and regulations from participating countries. Furthermore, cultural and other social conditioning factors play a major role in influencing the methods that will be used in recruiting human resource. Even after adhering to the various laws and regulation, there is still the challenge of getting the human resource from different countries to work together in the organization while at the same time ensuring optimum results (Eric, 1999). Other issues also arise in the later stages of global human resource management which also have to be put into consideration. These include the issues of repatriation of managers sent abroad and also employee compensation. This paper outlines how the growth in international market affects human resource management.
There are many factors which influence the human resource management in international markets. But the three factors that have the strongest influence and impact on the decision making process are namely; the labour market, policy or regulations, and the working conditions. The first major factor which is the international labour market has greatly changed in the last few decades. The need to adapt the labour skills to the requirements of global organizations has meant that drastic changes had to be made. The managerial capacity of different countries, especially the developing nations has also changed significantly over the years (Carroll et al, 1996). An example of this is whereby, in the earlier years, multi-national organizations used to send managers from the base country to work as expatriates in the subsidiary countries. However, the capacity for the local managers to effectively run these subsidiaries means that the human resource recruitment procedure for these branch managers has changed greatly.
The second equally strong factor that influences human resource management in the international markets is the various policies and regulations concerning labor, which exist in different countries. Some of these policies tend to have a direct impact on the staffing capabilities of an international organization. For instance, some countries such as those in Latin America have policies that tend to empower union. This poses a direct challenge to the foreign investors (Ashridge, 2008). Alternatively, some countries have a quota regulation over the number of expatriates in the country or in a given organization. Therefore, the human resource management process in these international organizations has to put all of these policies into consideration or else face legal consequences. The policies in some countries also influence the decision making process of some international organization as to where to do their operations and where not to. Some of these complexities brought forth by regulations in the subsidiary countries have been minimized through the adoption of a nongovernmental of establishing human resource regulations in companies owned by foreign investors.
Beyond the above factors which directly influence human resource management in international organizations, there are also differences between countries which affect human resource planning. The differences may range from social, cultural, policy and even political factors that have a direct impact on the organizations with international operations. The first major difference in countries is that of nationality, identity and culture (Klein, 2008). In a given subsidiary of an international organization, the human resource often will consist of people from differing cultural backgrounds and social environments. Therefore, the problem of identity crisis will immediately be recognizable in such circumstances. Furthermore, the national and cultural backgrounds of the management or executives in these subsidiary countries are very important (CIPD, 2002). This is because the universality of the management principles and theories being employed in human resource planning has a direct effect on the international operation of the organization.
While conducting a typical human resource planning process for a given international organization, there are several factors to consider and put into action for the process to be effective and efficient in addressing the differences between the different countries represented in the staff. For instance, there should be careful planning, organization and control of the work that will be done by employees from different countries. This will help minimize the cultural conflict within the organization. There should also be clearly defined human resource management systems that will ensure the people in the organization are indiscriminately managed, motivated, communicated with and guide. The process and company policies guiding the processes of employee selection, training and compensation should put into consideration the differences in home country regulations concerning such matters before being implemented (Bernadine et al, 1998). There should also be a comprehensive and a clearly guided system for evaluating employee performance, handling labor relations and other occurrences such as unionization and collective bargaining.
In the human resource planning process, the differences in the countries has a significant impact on how staffing is done. For instance, in most international organizations, it is common to find an organizational hierarchy that clearly demarcates the different countries involved. The top level or management will often consist of people from the home country of the organization (Brenda et al, 2006). It is almost a rule to find the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer in a subsidiary branch hailing from the home country (Harvey, 1982). The main reason why this is the case is the fact that many international organization like to control the subsidiaries in the foreign countries much more closely as they are more vulnerable. However, this approach also has its share of disadvantages. For instance, there have been many cases in the subsidiary branches where the expatriate managers struggle with adapting to the foreign culture and also stress in their family life as they try to get acquainted with a new society. This also has a direct impact on the expatriates’ charting of their career plans and eventually making them ineffective at their current assignments.
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