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BUS851 Comparative Human Resource Management

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BUS851 Comparative Human Resource Management

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Course Code: BUS851
University: Macquarie University

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Country: Australia


1. With reference to relevant IHRM theoretical and research material, critically analyse ways in which IHRM is shaped by institutional and cultural/societal factors. How can firms balance the need for global integration of HR strategies, policies and practices with the pressures to adapt to host country requirements?
Discuss the following statement:
Working in a global landscape, multinational organisations are faced with challenges that are related to human resource management. Identify and evaluate a selection of these challenges. Suggest ways in which multinationals can work to address or deal with these challenges.


International Human Resource Management is used to assure that business must procure, motivate, retain and offer services to people locally as well as globally. The process of allocating and utilizing the human resource team of an organisation is termed as international human resource management. It can be said as a set of activities that are used to achieve organisational objective and also helps in achieving competitive advantage over competitors at national and international level. The interest of IHRM is increasing due to mobilisation of resources in the global market. It helps in managing the human resource department of an organisation. It also minimizes the risk of failures in overseas assignment. In simple terms, it can be said as human resources are managed at international level to meet organisational objective. It includes functions like employment, selection, training and development, performance assessment and dismissal done at international level and additional activities such as global skills management, expatriate management and many more. In this report some of the challenges that are faced are discussed along with actions that could be taken are listed.
It is true that while working in a global landscape, multinational organisations faces various challenges related to human resource management. Multinational organisation can be any company that owns and controls the production and services in two or more countries. They are the global organisations who spread their services and products in all the lines. It can be seen as a mixture of two or more organisational structures. But there are various challenges that are faced by the company while exploring their services in global market (Taylor,  Doherty and McGraw, 2015). The challenges related to human resources management is there exists different philosophies between MNCs and host countries. This causes cultural difference and which in turn can cause conflicts (Jackson,  Schuler and Jiang, 2014). Thus, a proper control covers all the global operations are related by human resource management team. In many cases, human resource management team is not bale to resolve ethical issues which tends to be a worst case scenario. The challenge arises in multinational organisation due to volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity.  The major issues faced by HR directors are creating a mindset to build much better links between international mobility and global functions. They face risk in their management due to increasing uncertainty in the global market (Imani2 and Babu1, 2017). Theses uncertainties do not allow them to integrate their functions. It is difficult for the HR team to transfer skills and operations among the people of different country as they follow entirely different beliefs and culture. Human resource department is also facing a challenge for hiring more talented employees. As, the demand of employees have decreased due to increasing use of automation services.
Multinational organisation has diversified their business units all over the globe. Thus, due to the presence of business units in different countries human resource management face a challenge in maintain uniformity among the policies of the company. Thus, HR department need to look out for the ways through which uniformity is maintained among different branches of an organisation (Bratton and Gold, 2017). It is also important for HR department to have knowledge about local laws so that workplace of an organisation is kept safe from natural disaster, cybercrimes or terrorism.
For HR department, to assure that no challenges would be faced some steps should be taken to maintain unity across international business units (Bratton and Gold, 2017). This can be done by building up a global employee community by having strict rules and policies for hiring and recruiting. The challenges faced in these processes are difference in role of processes ad system. Thus, a common and a similar information technology system should be used by all the units so that employees related information are handled productively. It is true that, in a multinational organisation there will be employees and staff from entirely different background. Thus, the challenge for HR department is to make sure that cultural divides won’t exist (Brewster, Houldsworth, Sparrow and Vernon, 2016). The diversified language, customs, belief and culture is the hindrance for the growth of an organisation. Thus Human resource management team need to look for ways through which conflicts are eliminated (Festing and Schäfer, 2014). This can be done by creating global employee community that overlooks all the difference and assure that all the employees are treated equally. Apart from that, it is often seen that company promote employee of their local region and often overlook employees from overseas who are performing criticality (Bailey,  Mankin, Kelliher and Garavan, 2018). Thus, Hr department need to promote the employees within the home office as well as from international market. It is important to give opportunity to all the employees equally so that they can bring new perceptive to the workplace.
HR department also face challenge while encountering legal and ethical laws. As every branch has its different laws according to the place to maintain equality and met environmental concerns (Bennett, et. al, 2015). Thus, it is the duty or responsibility of HR department to balance the complaints of employees with the laws related to the organisation. Still, linking the laws and regulations leads to conflicts (Bondarouk and Ruël, 2016). One of the most difficult challenges for HR professionals in multinational companies is maintaining safety and security (Collings,  Wood and Szamosi, 2018). In today’s era, with the increasing cybercrimes and attacks it has become difficult for human resource management team to protect employees and workplace from all such critical events. Multinational companies have higher risk as compared to others.
With the globalised workforce the challenges for HR department is increasing day by day. One such challenge is adapting to new hiring as well as retention strategies so that a better tomorrow could be designed (Sheehan, 2014). While hiring candidates human resource management is unbiased and should give equal importance to all the cultures and gender. Thus, it is difficult to prepare hiring strategies for managing and integrated employees globally. Nowadays social media is used for hiring and recruiting candidates but these platforms due not offer equality to employees of all the country (Sheehan, 2014). Thus, it is recommended that multinational organisations should undertake a holistic approach so that recruitment is done in a step by step process.
The other challenges faced by the firms are decision making in the corporate sectors. The major challenge here is to analysis and understand the situation critically s that decisions are taken to avoid the risks (Futurehrtrends, 2017). The challenge for HR team is to gather and access information regarding all the complexities so that opportunities could be predicted by taking right decisions. It is difficult to take decision for all the business units as it completely depends upon the market value of that particular area. The success of an organisation is dependent on maintain integrated at the workplace (Kokemuller, 2017). This is done by integrating all the complexities together and then making a plan to overcome the barriers and risk.
Apart from all the challenges it is suggested that the barriers can be resolved by proper training programs that helps in understanding the customs and beliefs of other culture. It avoids the chances of cultural conflicts in an organisation (Futurehrtrends, 2017).
The other challenge faced by human resource department is making the business case for CSR. It was found that corporate social responsibility is one of the major challenges multinational companies are facing in today’s time. This challenge is faced when an organisation tries to enter new market. As these are various actions that are accepted in local markets but do not work in international market (Marchington, Wilkinson,  Donnelly and Kynighou, 2016). Thus, to resolve the issue between social responsibility Hr departments need to take various steps.  This issue can be solved if HR department gain a detail understanding of the local environment and practices that would be accepted in global market (Marchington, Wilkinson,  Donnelly and Kynighou, 2016). Therefore, protocols need to be established so that every branch of an organisation can communicate with each other through these protocols.
It becomes difficult for the Hr department to have a detail understanding of the business practices thus human resource department makes sure that integrity is maintained by considering all the economic value.  The other challenge is balancing all the corporate and social cultures while promoting cultural differences (Jennings and Stadler, 2015). Some of the cultural values cannot be compromised as every individual has a different way through which they communicate with each other. Thus, human resource department make sure all the cultural values are maintained and assure that community consistence is maintained across the organisation.
While laws are defined for betterment of an organisation still they differ from country to country. For example, in some countries part time workers are treated as full time workers and receive same benefits. Thus, it becomes very challenging for the human resource team to understand the beliefs of different countries and then design action (Sekiguchi,  Froese and Iguchi, 2016). 
Thus to be more presided, major challenges faced by human resource management in multinational companies are compliance with laws and regulations (Otto and Dalbert, 2017). The solution for this issue is that common law should be designed for local, state and federal regions.
The other challenge is due to management changes this arises with new strategies and change in internal process. Changes in the management decrease the overall productivity which can be controlled by conducting regular training and meetings. It is seen that multinational organisations suffer from leadership issues this can be resolved by investing time in training and development programs (Sekiguchi,  Froese and Iguchi, 2016). It helps in removing eth conflicts in the organisation. For the Hr department it also becomes difficult to adapt to innovation and offer equality to all the employees.
Some of the ways through which these challenges can be resolved is by identifying the issue through which conflicts can arise (O’Sullivan, 2016). Human resource management team should keep a track of databases so that annual reviews can be analysed (Albrecht, Bakker, Gruman,  Macey and Saks, 2015). Thus, Hr department should focus on creating innovation at the workplace so that employees can be retained. The retention can be improved by offering positive working environment or offering rewards. Thus, effective global human resource management system should be developed by implementing all the transnational business strategies (Albrecht, Bakker, Gruman,  Macey and Saks, 2015).  Human resource team uses training sessions to remove the chances of cultural conflicts and it make sure that positive advertisement is done. Policies are designed that adopt all the changes so that company can grow (Wood, 2015). Some of the roles that are accomplished by human resource management are managing concerns such as employer branding, talent development, performance management, project team-working, and rewards and succession planning to develop a force of international managers.
In this report, the complete discussion is over the challenges that are faced by human resource management team while working in global landscape. The major challenges that were identified are problem with adapting to changes taking place globally. It is found that it becomes difficult for Hr department to maintain integrity over all the processes. This can be resolved by maintaining a proper database through which integrity is maintained. The other issue is lack of motivation or different recruitment processes. This can be resolved by making strategic planning that supports flexibility, adaptive and responsive to the direct requirements. The recruitment process should also be cost effective and offering equal opportunities to the employees. Some of the challenge faced in global working environment is cultural conflicts that can be resolved by HR managers. As they have the ability to remove conflicts without hurting employees. These conflicts can be resolved by undertaking training sessions so that employees can communicate with each other in order to avoid future conflicts.
It is recommended that, human resources management team should design laws so that conflicts should be resolved between cultures. The policies are designed to avoid the chances conflicts and reducing the gaps between demographic regions. It is the role of human resource management team to maintain a positive environment at the workplace. This can be done by understanding the beliefs of different countries and then designing action.
Albrecht, S.L., Bakker, A.B., Gruman, J.A., Macey, W.H. and Saks, A.M. (2015). Employee engagement, human resource management practices and competitive advantage: An integrated approach. Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 2(1), pp.7-35.
Bailey, C., Mankin, D., Kelliher, C. and Garavan, T. (2018). Strategic human resource management. Oxford University Press.
Bennett, E.M., Cramer, W., Begossi, A., Cundill, G., Díaz, S., Egoh, B.N., Geijzendorffer, I.R., Krug, C.B., Lavorel, S., Lazos, E. and Lebel, L. (2015). Linking biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human well-being: three challenges for designing research for sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 14, pp.76-85.
Bondarouk, T. and Ruël, H. (2016). Electronic Human Resource Management: challenges in the digital era. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(3), pp.505-514.
Bratton, J. and Gold, J. (2017). Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave, 14, pp.6-25.
Brewster, C., Houldsworth, E., Sparrow, P. and Vernon, G.(2016). International human resource management. Kogan Page Publishers, pp.176-185.
Collings, D.G., Wood, G.T. and Szamosi, L.T. (2018). Human resource management: A critical approach. In Human Resource Management (pp. 1-23). Routledge.
Festing, M. and Schäfer, L. (2014). Generational challenges to talent management: A framework for talent retention based on the psychological-contract perspective. Journal of World Business, 49(2), pp.262-271.
Futurehrtrends, (2017). What’s Next Future Global Trends Affecting Your Organization. Available from https://futurehrtrends.eiu.com/report-2015/challenges-for-human-resource-management-and-global-business-strategy/ Accessed on 06 Sept 2018.
Jackson, S.E., Schuler, R.S. and Jiang, K., (2014). An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. The Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), pp.1-56.
Jennings, B. and Stadler, R. (2015). Resource management in clouds: Survey and research challenges. Journal of Network and Systems Management, 23(3), pp.567-619.
Kokemuller, N. (2017). WHAT ARE KEY COMPETENCIES NEEDED BY HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGERS. Available from https://careertrend.com/key-competencies-needed-human-resource-managers-33698.html Accessed on 06 Sept 2018.
Marchington, M., Wilkinson, A., Donnelly, R. and Kynighou, A. (2016). Human resource management at work. Kogan Page Publishers.
O’Sullivan, S. (2016). International human resource management challenges in Canadian development INGOs. European Management Journal, 28(6), pp.421-440.
Otto, K. and Dalbert, C. (2017). New challenges for human resource management: readiness to perform a mobile job and its antecedents. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(4), pp.600-614.
Sekiguchi, T., Froese, F.J. and Iguchi, C. (2016). International human resource management of Japanese multinational corporations: Challenges and future directions. Asian Business & Management, 15(2), pp.83-109.
Sheehan, M. (2014). Human resource management and performance: Evidence from small and medium-sized firms. International Small Business Journal, 32(5), pp.545-570.
Taylor, T., Doherty, A. and McGraw, P. (2015). Managing people in sport organizations: A strategic human resource management perspective. Routledge.
Wood, J.F. (2015). Meeting the Challenges of Human Resource Management: A Communication Perspective 4, pp.76-85.

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