Managing Global Organizations
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Managing Global Organizations

A Cultural Perspective

Rabi S. Bhagat, Harry C. Triandis and Annette S. McDevitt

The globalization of business is a reality that confronts organizations of all sizes from different nations and cultures. This book serves as a comprehensive guide for understanding the nature of cultural variations that affect important aspects of organizational behavior.
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Chapter 12: Cultural variations in international human resources management

Rabi S. Bhagat, Harry C. Triandis and Annette S. McDevitt


During the 1980s, the idea of international human resources management (IHRM) began to evolve. In its current forms, human resources management including its international aspects is relatively recent. “Personnel management” provided the foundation of selecting, appraising, rewarding, and developing people in work organizations for much of the 20th century. However, as a concept in its own right, human resources management started emerging in the US during the late 1960s and early 1980s and personnel management as a branch of management began to diminish in importance. Books providing specific frameworks (Beer, Spector, Lawrence, Mills, & Walton, 1985; Fombrun, Tichy, & Devanna, 1984) urged a shift away from personnel management to managing people as human resources. The idea of people as human resources who can be utilized like capital, raw materials, or other factors of production which can be bought or sold in the labor market and whose value must be maximized and exploited was seen to be an American idea. Indeed, as Schneider & Barsoux (2003) note, HRM practices of the type that are found in America are essentially culture-bound. Many question the applicability of US-based HRM principles and practices to other national and cultural contexts.

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