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Do national cultural differences affect the nature and characteristics of HRM practices? Evidence from Australian and Hong Kong construction firms on remuneration and job autonomy

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  • Florence T.T. Phua

Abstract

Human resource management (HRM) plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining talent. However, there is growing recognition in international HRM literature that the adoption of the widely accepted US/Harvard-inspired HRM model ignores the influences of cultural contexts on HRM practices in different countries. This notion has not been empirically investigated in the construction industry. Based on survey responses from 604 construction professionals from Australia and Hong Kong, this study examines whether: (1) national cultural differences influence individuals’ preferences for types of remuneration and job autonomy; (2) actual organizational HRM practices reflect such preferences; and (3) gaps between individuals’ preferences and actual organizational HRM practices affect job satisfaction. The results showed significant differences in HRM preferences between Australian and Hong Kong respondents and these are reflected in the distinct types of HRM practices adopted by construction firms in the two countries. The findings further indicated that the gap between individuals’ preferences and actual organizational HRM practices is associated with job satisfaction. The results support existing mainstream research and highlight the deficiency of the acultural treatment of HRM that is still apparent in construction management literature. An uncritical literature in the area not only hinders theory development but also potentially undermines the ability of construction firms to attract, recruit and retain scarce talent.

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  • Florence T.T. Phua, 2012. "Do national cultural differences affect the nature and characteristics of HRM practices? Evidence from Australian and Hong Kong construction firms on remuneration and job autonomy," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(7), pages 545-556, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:30:y:2012:i:7:p:545-556 DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2012.682074
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