Exploring standardisation and knowledge networking processes in transnational human resource management.

Dickmann, Michael and Muller-Camen, Michael and Kelliher, Claire (2009) Exploring standardisation and knowledge networking processes in transnational human resource management. Personnel Review, 38 (1). pp. 5-25. ISSN 0048-3486

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Abstract

Purpose – It is argued that a key step in becoming a “transnational” company is to implement transnational HRM (THRM). However, what is meant by THRM and how can it be assessed? The purpose of this paper is to develop the characteristics of THRM along two dimensions: standardisation and knowledge networking, in contrast to many existing studies which focus on IHRM strategies and structures. Standardisation and knowledge networking are to be examined at both the meta and operational levels. Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on two case studies of major German MNCs, both with significant operations in Spain and the UK. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with senior managers, HR managers and labour representatives. Findings – The findings show that THRM can be operationalised using knowledge networking and standardisation on a meta level, in terms of principles, and at an operational level in terms of practices. The two firms show differences in the process and intensity of HR knowledge networking which have implications for the level of standardisation, local autonomy and innovation capabilities. The findings also suggests that THRM is more about processes than outcomes. Research limitations/implications – A limitation of this study is that the cases were only drawn from Western Europe. The patterns of THRM structures and processes may differ significantly in MNCs from other regions. Originality/value – This paper extends existing research by exploring international HR beyond strategies and structures and focuses on communication and coordination processes. It advocates a refined view of the transnational firm.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:Business School > Leadership, Work and Organisations
Citations on ISI Web of Science:3
ID Code:4208
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Deposited On:23 Feb 2010 16:22
Last Modified:21 Jul 2014 17:29

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