The Global Human Resources Management (GHRM) has traditionally examined the way in which international organisations manage their human resources across these different national contexts. Early research in the field of GHRM reflected that in the broader field of international management, and focused on the role of MNCs and MNEs. Research has since focused on understanding those HRM functions that had to change when firms went international. Finding and nurturing the people able to implement international strategy was seen as critical for such firms, and considerable attention was given to the management of expatriates.

Organisations that address GHRM therefore have to deal not just with a variety of practices but also with a range of policy and even strategy issues. Global HRM explores how MNEs manage the demands of ensuring that the organisation has an international coherence in and cost-effective approach to the way it manages its people in all the countries it covers, while at the same time ensuring that it is responsive to the differences in assumptions and in what works from one location to another. This includes, in particular, the management of those people who have to work internationally.

Global HRM has the same main dimensions as HRM in a national context, but is understood to operate on a larger scale, with more complex strategic considerations, more complex coordination and control demands.

Global HRM research has also identified the important contingencies that influenced the HRM function as it became more internationalised, such as the country that the MNC operated in, the size and life-cycle stage of the firm, and the type of employee (parent-company national, home-country national and third-country national). Global HRM, then, is focused on how different organisations manage their people across national borders.

The international context adds extra complexity to the management of people beyond that found in a purely national setting. Some additional HRM functions were considered necessary to accommodate four additional pressures when going international (Dowling et al, 1998):

  • Module 1: Culture
  • Module 2: Globalising International HRM
  • Module 3: Managing Diversity
  • Module 4: Managing International Expatriation
  • Module 5: Global HRM Theory & Practices
  • Module 6: The Role of GHRM Department
  • Module 7: Learning & Development
  • Module 8: Rewards
  • Module 9: Performance Management
  • Module 10: Recruitment & Selection
  • Module 11: Flexibility & Work-Life Balance
  • Module 12: The Organisation of Work
  • Module 13: Comparative HRM
  • Module 14: Employee Relations & Communication

Sources: International Human Resource Management (3rd Edition) by Chris Brewster, Paul Sparrow, Guy Vernon and Elizabeth Houldsworth.

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