Wednesday, 6 May 2020
International Human Resource Management Theory and Practice
Question: Discuss about the International Human Resource Management for Theory and Practice. Answer: The essay consists of a solution of a case study related to Flextronics company. The company is an electronics company based on Singapore. The country has its operations across many countries of the world. International human resource management is defined as the process of allocation, procurement and utilisation of the human resource in a company. The HR manager of multinational corporations integrates their policies in the subsidiaries of the company. It is done in order to accomplish the organisational goals that are set for the parent company. The policies are to be implemented by keeping in mind about the benefit of the employees. The flexibility of the international regulations is to be maintained as per the laws of the country. For expanding a business in a particular country, it is mandatory to abide by the rules of the country. Specifically, international human resource management deals with these issues of a multinational company. The essay describes the issues faced by Fle xtronics in its international business operations. The case study describes the operating procedure of the company along with its cultural and employee related issues. Solutions are also provided related to the problems mentioned in the case study. The European operation of Flextronics is known as Central and Eastern European branch. The headquarters of the strategic business unit are located in the countries of Austria and Vienna. However, the problems had arisen in the branch of Hungary. The new plants of the country are characterised by normal set up problems. The startup problems are known as inexperienced personnel, high volatility in the sales market, lack of adaptability and high fluctuation (Alfes et al. 2013). However, Flextronics is very keen in mitigating the identified issues in the Hungarian manufacturing plants. Whenever a company expands in the international market, apart from the external environment issues there are many internal environment issues. Internal environmental issues of a company include process, system, employees, and management (Armstrong and Taylor 2014). Flextronics in its Hungarian new manufacturing plants are facing issues in terms of employees, business processes and management. The problems are mentioned earlier that reflects the cultural problems and institutional forces that affect the profitability of the company as well as lower productivity in the new plants (Bratton and Gold 2012). The employees of Hungary are of different nature and mindset that are not identified by the human resource department of Flextronics. The HR director of the CEE is much focused on the issues faced by the workers of the Hungary manufacturing plants. It is the responsibility of the HR department of the company to manufacture policies abiding by the regulations of the country as well as the rules of the organisation. Employees are considered as the assets of a firm. Hence, the policies of a company are to be formulated for the benefit of the employees (Brewster et al. 2016). The employees of the Hungary division of Flextronics are not so much competent enough for increasing the productivity of the new plants in the country. However, the company has changed its HR policies to improve the condition of the people associated with the company. The issue of cross-cultural communication is prevalent in this situation. Cross-cultural problems are very common in organisations in different parts of the world (Buller and McEvoy 2012). Flextronics, on the other hand, is emphasising the cultural issues of it but the mitigation process is of no use. The HR Department of Flextronics develops a training module. The company has developed the module by taking help of an external consultancy. Apart from that, technical skills along with soft skills developmental program are formulated for the Hungarian employees. The approach of the HR department is not commenced in a right direction. The mindset of the people of Hungary is different from that of Austrian people (Jackson e t al. 2014). The case study mentioned differences between the approaches of Austrian employees and the Hungarian workers. The programs that are set for the overall development of the employees of Flextronics are not at all satisfactory in terms of improvement of the skills of the workers. However, it is seen that the employees of Hungary are not responding to the training module developed by the company. The participants of the country are showing very low responses towards the programs. They are not interested in completing the full session of the course of the grooming and training of Flextronics. There is an implicit assumption between the two concepts of best practice and best fit. The two concepts are interrelated with each other but are different in the field of implementation. The first term is related to theoretical frameworks while the second one is related to the implementation in real life. Both the terms are related to strategic human resource management. The approach of best fit in strategic HRM identifies the close knit relationship between HRM and strategic management. It considers the nature and influence of vertical integration (Keho and Wright 2013). In the case of vertical integration, a gain of advantage is done by maintaining a close relationship between the policies of HR and goals and objectives of the business. Many types of research about improved and effective HR practices suggested that models of the best fit should be flexible enough to implement the benefits of the employees of a certain organisation. The best-fit theory illustrates that HR policies of a firm become effective only when it is integrated with the external environment of the business. The best-fit approach emphasises on the fact of alignment between the systems of business with the organisational strategy. Companies must start its business by formulating an organizational strategy at first (Kramar 2014). The strategy of the organization includes performance levels, strategic management goals, etc. On the other hand, the approach of best practice illustrates the influence of business strategy in the performance of the company. High commitment management is the concept that is positively related to the theory of best practice in human resources. The theory of best practice forecasts the relation between the organisational performance and good practices of human resources in an organization (Marler 2012). In the case study, the difference between the concepts of best fit and best practice are clearly mentioned. Flextronics wants to implement many theoretical models in its organisational level for solving the problems. However, Flextronics have found that the effectiveness of the theoretical models is very different in real life implementation. Organisations must modify the theories according to the requirements and nature of the problem faced by it. For instance, Flextronics have started the approach of "One Flextronics" in order to solve the customer complaints regarding their p roducts and distribution of the products (Marler and Fisher 2013). The aim of the approach is to standardise the level of production at a global scale. To implement this practice in the company, Flextronics have gained an idea about different theories that will help in mitigating the production problems. Theories that are selected by the HR department and operation department of the company for mitigating the issues are program management, six sigma, material and quality management, finances, training and engineering. However, many other issues of production and supply chain are prevalent in the company except the cultural issues. Initially, the company is unable to figure out the best practice theories that will serve the purpose of problem-solving in the company. In the later part, it is noticed that by conducting extensive research Flextronics have successfully chosen best-fit theories in its production problem. Failure in choosing best-fit models in the cultural issues results in a lack of productivity of the employees at the organisational level. If a company implements same policies in two different countries then the expected result would not be same. The institutional and cultural specifics of a country are different from another country. In the case study, Flextronics had applied same training and developmental program for the two countries. However, it does not portray fruitful results in Hungary. The difference in national culture is well explained by Hofstede in his theory of cross-cultural communications. The theory of Hofstede describes the cultural differences in a detailed manner. The companies should always keep it in mind that one solution should not serve the purpose of the problems of all countries (Martin et al. 2016). There are many differences in cultural, political, social, legal and many other differences. Firms must keep in mind about the factors mentioned above. Firms should gain a deeper understanding of the factors affecting the productivity in different scenarios. The main motive of a company is to ea rn a substantial amount of profit from the market. Apart from that, they are committed to providing quality services and products to the customers in order to gain trust and reputation from it. It is also a part of the branding of the company. Delivering quality product to the customers will lead to earning a substantial profit for a company in the near future. Globalisation is the process that is adopted by many domestic companies to expand its business operations in many target markets. Most of the firms are facing issues in the cultural fields (Mitchell et al. 2013). The strategic management department of the parent companies must focus on the external issues of a country. However, internal issues are equally important like that of the external factors. Researchers had shown that most of the firms that have adopted internalisation are facing issues in cultural aspects. A firm can face many problems in its business operation in a particular target market. Apart from the cultural aspects, other challenging factors are disruptive technological change, geopolitical instability, business risk management, people management, innovation, environmental issues, etc. There are many gaps in skills in the global market such as disconnection of skills between the needs of the organisation as the educational system (Mondy and Martocchio 2016). Talent identification, international ethics, deployment, innovation and knowledge dissemination, language, internal ethics are the cultural issues that are faced by companies in its international locations. In the case study, it is mentioned that Flextronics is suffering from decreased productivity due to diminished employee re lations as well as talent gaps. It is already discussed that the qualifications of the employees of new plants of Hungary are very low (Morgeson et al. 2013). They are not able to perform well in the Hungary location. However, the mitigation programs formulated for improving the performance of Hungary branch is not giving expected results. The HR department lacks in maintaining a communication between the employees of the branch. For formulating any policies, it is necessary for the personnel of the HR to consult the employees. This is important because the developmental programs are formulated only for the benefit of the workers. It will help in forecasting effective progress of the employees in the company (Paill et al. 2014). The company is a technology based company and is suffering from many challenges in its different international locations. Countries of Europe faced most of the challenging issues regarding cultural aspects and other production processes. It is mentioned in the case study that the company is not only facing issues in terms of employee relations but also in the facility sites of the new plants in Hungary. However, due to lack of effective HR practices, Flextronics have recruited people that are not competent enough from the people of other countries (Purce 2014). A comparison with Austria is illustrated in the case study that points out the issues and problems of Flextronics in a detailed manner. Apart from that, it is also found in the case study that the HRM practices that are formulated for solving the employee related skill gaps are universal in nature (Storey 2014). The modules and developmental programs are not modified as per the deficit of the employees in their skills. The ele ctronics company mainly runs on the dearth of technology. Countries that have more feasibility in the usage pattern of latest technologies tend to develop more than that of countries with the low feasibility of the technology. European countries are very developed. Hence technological aspect is very developed. The company on its usage of more powerful information and technologies in its project can develop the prospects in a particular country. Technology has always positive and negative impacts on every aspect. Technology no doubt helps organisations to grow faster in many perspectives such as production, innovation, etc. Innovation and development are the key area of differentiation followed by most renowned companies across the globe. However, Flextronics is also trying to follow the path (Swart and Kinnie 2015). The company is trying to adopt much innovative and updated training module for development of skills for it employees. Training modules are formulated using ideas from different theoretical frameworks as well as from other organisations. Many organisations of United States are following various developed and modern training and developmental modules and programs for the enhancement of skills of their employees. Investment in the training department will not only develop the car eer of the employees but also the productivity of the manufacturing sites of Flextronics in Hungary (Truss et al. 2012). Implementation of technology in terms of increasing the production of the manufacturing facility of Hungary will give positive results in the company. But if the people are not so much efficient enough in handling the modern technologies using in the manufacturing sites of Flextronics in Hungary location, then the reaction will be opposite. The dearth of skills in the employees of Flextronics is a disadvantage of the companies. In this scenario, there will be a divergence of the situation. The reason for the divergence is the unskilled employees in Hungary (Ulrich 2013). Despite training modules, the employees are not interested in completing the whole session of the grooming classes and training session of the company. It is the reason of divergence in the field of implementation of technology in the company as well as in the new manufacturing plants. The company has worldwide operations in many countries of Europe, Asia and North America. The company is facing many cultural and institutional problems in its business operations. Flextronics is an electronic company that is not able to manage its all business operations smoothly in all countries. The company in the operations of Hungarian branch faces many problems specifically in the international human resource management aspects. Performances of the employees are not up to the mark in the branch compared to the performance of the other countries of Europe. However, the firm is focused in pointing the errors that are prevalent at the organisational level of the Hungarian branch. After pointing the errors, many training modules are also proposed by Flextronics by the implementation of the theoretical models regarding the problem. Research has also done regarding the feasibility of the theoretical frameworks used by the company in the real life world. The case study has pointed var ious issues in the Hungarian branch. The essay describes many concepts of strategic human resource management that help companies in increasing the effectiveness of the production of the company as well as their employees. The concepts of best fit and best practice are explained in a detailed manner in terms of the case study analysis. References Alfes, K., Shantz, A.D., Truss, C. and Soane, E.C., 2013. The link between perceived human resource management practices, engagement and employee behaviour: a moderated mediation model.The international journal of human resource management,24(2), pp.330-351. Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014.Armstrong's handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers. Bratton, J. and Gold, J., 2012.Human resource management: theory and practice. Palgrave Macmillan. 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