Chapter 16: Workforce Diversity in Iran: Some Case Study Evidence of Private Sector Organisations
* Ebrahim Soltani, Hugh Scullion and David Collings Introduction From Bach’s (2005) point of view, human resource management (HRM) is unitarist (employer and employee interests should coincide) with an emphasis on organisational effectiveness. To enhance organisational effectiveness, HR managers are responsible for overseeing the functions relating to recruitment of capable, flexible and committed people, managing and rewarding their performance and developing their key competencies. While such tasks are far from easy in developed countries, the demand for a highly skilled workforce in developing countries raises a particular dilemma. While developed countries benefit from an inflow of highly trained and educated workers from the developing nations in terms of sustaining both prosperity and economic growth, developing countries suffer from brain drain or the outflow of their skilled labour force. This is particularly the case for the Middle Eastern countries and a significant issue in Iran. In a recent survey of 90 countries by the International Monetary Fund, Iran appeared to have the highest rate of brain drain (Harrison, 2006). Furthermore, the costs associated with such migration of skilled workers have been estimated to be over $50 billion every year (Thomas, 2006). While a thorough discussion of the reasons for such a high rate of brain drain is beyond the scope of this chapter, one thing is clear-cut: the current Iranian management’s approach to managing organisations has resulted in a considerable underinvestment in human resources compared with major neighbouring countries (see Ali and Amirshahi, 2002; Javidan and Dastmalchian, 2003; House et al., 2004;...
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