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Title: Human resource management in regional headquarters regarding their affiliates in the Peoples Republic of China
Author: Braun, Werner H
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2004
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The thesis looks at the issue of Strategic International Human Resource Management (SIHRM) orientations and functional HRM practice integration of regional headquarters (RHQ) of Western multinational enterprises (MNE) regarding their affiliates in the People's Republic of China (PRC). These are two key constructs discussed in the literature on SIHRM. Following recent conceptual and empirical work in the field, these two variables are treated as independent from one another in this research. The purpose of this PhD is theory generation and not theory testing. No previous study has so far investigated the HRM function within RHQs in the Asia Pacific region and the role of the HRM function within these organisational units is still unclear. The research therefore contributes to the emerging knowledge both on HRM within RHQs in general and HRM practices within MNEs in the PRe in particular. A questionnaire survey was administered to 67 large Western MNEs with extensive operations in the PRe. In line with the theory-generating purpose of the study, cluster analysis was used as a principal statistical method. This method was complemented with logistic regression analysis and a two-way repeated measure ANDV A. The study produced the following key findings: First, MNEs consider their PRe affiliates' HRM policies and practices significantly less similar to those of PRe manufacturing companies than to PRC-based MNE companies as well as parent company and regional operations. Performance appraisal systems and policies are significantly more similar to parent company and regional operations and less similar to local PRCbased companies. Selection and recruitment practices are significantly less similar to parent company and regional operations but more similar to local PRe-based companies. Secondly, MNEs vary much more with regards to their level of functional HRM practice integration rather than their SIHRM orientations. The large majority of MNEs show an element of transnational SIHRM orientation for at least one HRM functional area. This indicates that in the large majority of MNEs, the presence of RHQs does not lead to the development of regional HRM strategies, rather RHQs seem to be utilised to implement global or transnational IHRM strategies. Thirdly, the variations among MNEs in their functional HRM practice integration was explained primarily by two independent 14 variables: The degree to which top management at corporate headquarters prefer to transfer HRM policies and practices regionally (e.g. on an East Asian, Asia Pacific level); as well as the RHQ age and founding date. Overall, the research documents the importance of the HRM function for many MNEs concerning the integration of affiliates in a strategically important market such as the PRe.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available