Human Resource Management

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Examining the Effect of Globalisation on Human Resource Management (HRM) Practices in UK


Globalisation has achieved significant importance in the last century; specifically in terms of the manner business is conducted at the global level. Brewster and Hegewisch (cited in Jackson & Schuler 1995, 237-264) states that the globalisation of national economies and the evolution of multinational enterprises have resulted in the increased awareness and documentation of the differences in how human resource (HR) is managed among countries (Adler & Bartholomew 1992, 13-21). The changes brought about by globalisation led to the need to change HR practices in order for firms to remain competitive in the global market. The specific aspect of HRM in UK that serves as the integral part to this study would be keeping sound employee-firm relationship.

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of globalisation, specifically illustrated in the expansion of firms in UK and other countries through multinational companies, in business operation particularly in HRM. The focus of this study would be how HRM practices, particularly in establishing good employee-firm relationships for companies that are expanding their operations from the domestic to the global level, overcoming almost all territorial boundaries. Given this condition, HR is considered as integral to facilitating the transition of the company's operation towards the global scale. Thus, this research will seek to examine the effect of globalisation in HR practice, especially in terms of fostering sound employee-firm relations despite cultural differences. In line with this, the development of International HRM (IHRM) will also be presented as the direct consequence of globalisation to HRM.

The relationship between the two variables identified for this study, namely globalisation (independent variable) and HRM (dependent variable) will be examined through the use of a survey questionnaire, to be distributed to 300 British respondents from multinational and transnational companies, and using the comparative case study research design. The findings of the survey questionnaire will be analysed using a one way chi-square test (x2). Meanwhile, the results of the comparative case study will be subject to document analysis.

Problem Statement and Research Questions

In order to establish that globalisation caused remarkable improvements in HRM through the development of IHRM, and address the issue of transgressing cultural differences between employees and firms amongst multinational companies. This study will be guided by the following research questions:

What specific factors of globalisation significantly affected HRM?

How did the expansion of firms to different countries affect employee-firm relationships?

What are the major differences between HRM and IHRM?

What are the beneficial and detrimental effects of globalisation to HRM and how are these manifested in the employee-firm relationships?

Research Hypotheses

In order to evaluate the means by which globalisation affected HRM, particularly in the domain of promoting good employee-firm relations in the context of multinational companies expanding in UK and other countries, which accounts for the recent development of IHRM. In order to address the problem identified for this study, the following hypothesis is fundamental to this study:

The number of successful expansion of multinational companies in numerous countries is ...
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