The world has become more globalised and more competitive than ever before, and as more firms begin to operate in the international marketplace there is an extensive search for different elements of competitive advantage (Beck, 2011). A major component of gaining an advantage over competitors could be in terms of human resource management and especially in international human resource management. The quality of management seems to be more critical in international, than domestic human resource management too, making it even more vital that firms are effective in this area (Monks et al., 2001). Human resource management “refers to those activities undertaken by an organisation to effectively utilise its human resources” (Dowling et al., 2008: 3). These activities include those such as staffing, performance management, compensation, training and development and human resource planning. Indeed, human resource management is key for any organisation. Ozbilgin et al., (2014) assert that human resource management is a function which encompasses the methods of compensating, appraising, training and selecting employees within an organisation, as well as complying with health and safety, labour and equal employment laws. International human resource management can be seen as the worldwide management of these human resources (Brewster and Suutari, 2005). Schular and Tarique (2007:717) claim that the field of international human resource management is concerned with “understanding, researching, applying and revising all human resource activities in internal and external contexts as they impact the processes of managing human resources”. This essay will look at human resource management, and see what is similar and what is different when human resource management goes international. This is important due to the fact that there are many challenges in managing overseas activities for companies, and this is why the third section of this essay will be addressing the issue of best practice in international human resource management. Finally, the conclusion will draw these sections together to look at how the challenging aspect of international human resource management.
This first section of the essay will look at the similarities between domestic and international human resource management. Human resource management is similar in both the domestic and international marketplaces as they have similar basic functions in businesses as mentioned within the introduction. All human resource functions have the key aim of to effectively utilising the human capital which is present within the organisation. Aswathappa (2008) asserts that human resource functions are basically the same whether they extend to several countries, or if they are specific to one single country. Regardless of the countries human resource managers are in, the HR manager still needs to plan the human resources, train and develop people, compensate them, hire the correct employees in the correct number, as well as maintain and motivate the workers in the company, and this still stands true whether or not this is in a domestic or global setting (Aswathappa, 2008). As well as this, the environmental forces which impact upon the functioning of a human resource department are the same,
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