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Introducing Western-style HRM practices to China: Shopfloor perceptions in a British multinational

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  • Gamble, Jos

Abstract

The management of host country employees is often portrayed as a particularly fraught dimension for multinational firms. The problems involved are considered exponentially greater when there are substantial institutional differences and "cultural distance" between the host country and a multinational firm's parent country, as is assumed to be the case for Western firms operating in mainland China. Based upon detailed case study research conducted at a UK-invested firm in China between 1999 and 2003 and a comparative study of a Chinese state-owned firm, this paper explores the veracity of such assumptions. The findings indicate that Western human resource management (HRM) practices can be transplanted successfully and questions the degree to which foreign-invested enterprises (FIE) need to adopt "the Chinese way of doing things". Indeed, such practices can be innovative in the Chinese context and provide a competitive source of differentiation for multinationals as employees.

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  • Gamble, Jos, 2006. "Introducing Western-style HRM practices to China: Shopfloor perceptions in a British multinational," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 328-343, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:41:y:2006:i:4:p:328-343
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhu, Cherrie Jiuhua & Cooper, Brian K. & Fan, Di & De Cieri, Helen, 2013. "HR practices from the perspective of managers and employees in multinational enterprises in China: Alignment issues and implications," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 241-250.
    2. Chaney, Isabella & Gamble, Jos, 2008. "Retail store ownership influences on Chinese consumers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 170-183, April.
    3. Hartmann, Evi & Feisel, Edda & Schober, Holger, 2010. "Talent management of western MNCs in China: Balancing global integration and local responsiveness," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 169-178, April.
    4. Jos Gamble, 2010. "Transferring Organizational Practices and the Dynamics of Hybridization: Japanese Retail Multinationals in China," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 705-732, June.
    5. Jing Yang & Frank Tipton & Jiatao Li, 2011. "A review of foreign business management in China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 627-659, September.
    6. Reimann, Felix & Ehrgott, Matthias & Kaufmann, Lutz & Carter, Craig R., 2012. "Local stakeholders and local legitimacy: MNEs' social strategies in emerging economies," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-17.
    7. Welch, Catherine & Piekkari, Rebecca, 2017. "How should we (not) judge the ‘quality’ of qualitative research? A re-assessment of current evaluative criteria in International Business," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 714-725.
    8. Kawai, Norifumi & Strange, Roger, 2014. "Subsidiary autonomy and performance in Japanese multinationals in Europe," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 504-515.
    9. Jos Gamble & Qihai Huang, 2009. "One Store, Two Employment Systems: Core, Periphery and Flexibility in China's Retail Sector," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 47(1), pages 1-26, March.

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