Human Resource Management in the Global Environment

Today’s job market is rapidly becoming globalized and more companies are entering into international markets in a variety of ways. Some companies are building plants in other countries, some companies are exporting products overseas, and some are entering into alliances with foreign companies. No matter how the involvements begin, the reality is that in today’s world, managing global human resources is something that is growing.Global competition is driving changes in organizations throughout the world. Companies are attempting to gain a competitive advantage and a way to accomplish this is to expand internationally. When a company decides to enter into a foreign market, whether to develop plants or other facilities in other countries, it is no simple task and many human resource issues surface.

Doing business globally requires that adaptations be made to reflect cultural and other factors that differ from each country.Human resource regulations and laws vary among countries in character and detail. Equal employment legislation exists to varying degrees. In some countries, laws address issues such as employment discrimination and sexual harassment. For example, in the United States, Title VII established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to administer and enforce the Civil Rights law at work. The commission consists of five members who have been appointed by the president with the consent and advice of the senate.The main objective of the EEOC is to investigate job discrimination complaints from aggravated individuals.

If a complaint is found justified, an agreement is attempted to be made through conciliation. (Dessler, Gary (2011). Equal Employment Opportunity 1964-1991. In Human Resource Management Twelfth Edition (pp. 32). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. ) There are various approaches which can be utilized when recruiting and managing employees from different countries.

Three different approaches are

  1. Ethnocentric,
  2. Polycentric and
  3. Geocentric.

In the ethnocentric pproach, the staffing and managing approach used is one consistent throughout the world. Companies which use this approach assume their home country approach is the best and that any employee around the world should follow it. The polycentric approach is applied when a company assumes each country is different than each other and employees in each country develop appropriate practices according to their surroundings. The last approach the geocentric approach tries to combine the best from headquarters and the subsidiaries to develop consistent worldwide practices.This practice shifts the power back to headquarters for hiring managers. (http://www.

buzzle. com/articles/managing-global-human-resources. html) Some advantages of using local employees, but are not limited to are lower labor costs and familiarity with the political and legal environment and with business practices in the host country. Some disadvantages are aligned with the difficulty in recruiting qualified staff and communication difficulties in dealing with the parent company personnel.There are advantages to using transferred employees, as well. Some of the advantages are that the employee is familiar with the parent company’s policies and procedures and it permits closer control and coordination of international subsidiaries. A few disadvantages would be the difficulty in adjusting to the foreign language and the creation of personal and family problems.

( Treven, Sonja (March 2006). Human Resources Management in the Global Environment. The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge. Vol. 8, Num. , 120-121) Five major functions of global human resource management are

  1. recruitment and selection,
  2. development and training,
  3. performance evaluation,
  4. remuneration and
  5. labor relations.

When recruiting new employees, the classification of the employee is very important.

The company should focus on allowing a balance between the practices of their own country and others to ensure the person they hire fits the personal characteristics fit for the job. It is very important for companies to have managers with a global perspective.Providing various trainings and developmental opportunities is a way to ensure managers are kept familiar with current procedures and current events. The ability to learn what others are doing in another country can be found beneficial to others, as incorporating new techniques can allow for growth and development. Performance evaluation is going to depend on the overall strategy set forth by human resources. Companies must evaluate employees from different countries which can be a very difficult task because consistency for performance comparisons is conflicted with the background of people of different cultures.There are two major concerns when formulating compensation for employees from different countries.

The first is the complexity which arises when trying to give a comparable and competitive package within the marketplace. The second concern is cost because companies strive to reduce their costs and this is challenging when bringing in employees who need to be compensated for their relocation expenses, etc. The last function of global human resource management is the function of labor relations. Many countries allow the government to regulate the labor relations practices. Treven, Sonja (March 2006). Human Resources Management in the Global Environment. The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge.

Vol. 8, Num. 1, 121-125) Human Resource Management in the Global Environment requires us to understand our employees and their individual personality and abilities. No matter what country the business resides, managers should focus on what is best for the employee. The understanding and acceptance that there will be some level of diversity in an organization should make for a better work environment.


  1. Dessler, Gary (2011). Equal Employment Opportunity 1964-1991.
  2. In Human Resource Management Twelfth Edition (pp. 32). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, and Wright; 534. Treven, Sonja (March 2006). Human Resources Management in the Global Environment. The Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge.
  3. Vol. 8, Num. 1, 120-125. http://www. buzzle. com/articles/managing-global-human-resources. htm http://www.orcworldwide. com/readroom/Herod_IHRJ2007. pdf

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