اتخاذ سیستم های کار با کارایی بالا در شعبه های خارجی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22219||2012||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7767 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 47, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 106–113
This study examines the determinants and outcomes of the adoption of high performance work systems (HPWS) in foreign subsidiaries of multinational corporations (MNCs). Region-of-origin of MNCs, headquarters (HQ) influence, and strategic human resource management (SHRM) orientation are expected to determine subsidiaries’ use of HPWS, which affects firm performance via organizational climate. We found that HQ influence, SHRM orientation, and HPWS adoption varied among foreign subsidiaries originating in different regions. HQ influence and SHRM orientation were positively related to the adoption of HPWS. HPWS had a positive effect on subsidiaries’ performance, and this positive effect was partially mediated by organizational climate.
Managers in multinational corporations (MNCs) operate in a dynamic global environment. They have developed sophisticated human resource management (HRM) systems to assist in managing their diverse workforce (Taylor, Beechler, & Napier, 1996). Subsidiary development and performance is beneficial to the corporate parent and the host country (Birkinshaw & Hood, 1997), thus subsidiaries, and their employees, are acquiring greater strategic importance in the MNC's global success (Taylor, Levy, Boyacigiller, & Beechler, 2008). It is crucial to explore the relationship between a subsidiary's HR practices and its organizational performance, as well as how this relationship varies under different conditions. With the increasing use of high performance work systems (HPWS) in MNCs, more studies have been devoted to examining its determinants and outcomes (e.g., Gunnigle et al., 2002, Marchington and Grugulis, 2000 and Yalabik et al., 2008). To extend this line of research, we argue that the relationship between headquarters (HQ) and its foreign subsidiary affects the decision making regarding the subsidiary's adoption of HPWS. In particular, we expect strategic human resource management (SHRM) orientation, and internal control and resource allocation from HQ (HQ influence), to vary among MNCs of different regions-of-origin. Additionally, although the HRM–performance relationship has been well documented in the existing literature, the processes underlying this relationship are still not fully understood (Bowen and Ostroff, 2004 and Wright and Gardner, 2003). We accomplish several objectives in our study. We test whether SHRM orientation and HQ influence are different in subsidiaries originating in different regions of the world, and we evaluate the effects of these factors on the adoption of HPWS in foreign subsidiaries. We also examine the linkage between the subsidiary's use of HPWS and its performance, and the mediating role of the subsidiary's organizational climate in this linkage. To control the impact of cultural, legal, and institutional factors, our study focuses on foreign subsidiaries of MNCs operating in one commercial center in Asia, Hong Kong. During the last decade, an increasing number of MNCs from different countries use Hong Kong as their Asian base to coordinate their business in the region (Meyer, 2008).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this study, we investigated the determinants and outcomes of the adoption of HPWS in Hong Kong subsidiaries using data collected from HR managers. We proposed that variations in the region-of-origin pose different HQ–subsidiary relationship contexts, which subsequently affect HPWS adoption in foreign subsidiaries. Hence, the relationships between MNC region-of-origin, HQ influence, SHRM orientation, and the adoption of HPWS were explored. Additionally, we also examined the effect of the adoption of HPWS on subsidiary performance and how this effect is mediated by organizational climate. We found significant differences in SHRM orientation, HQ influence, and adoption of HPWS across region-of-origin of MNCs, with subsidiaries of American origin having the highest levels. Those originating from the EU had the next highest levels, followed by Asian-origin subsidiaries. In other words, the ways of managing HR are remarkably different among MNCs originating from different regions. Consistent with previous studies, we found that American MNCs tend to exercise greater control over their foreign subsidiaries, adopt a strategic orientation in managing the workforce, and employ HPWS in these subsidiaries. Regarding the findings for Asian MNCs, we suggest that, given the lower cultural difference between Asian countries, more trust and fewer formal control mechanisms are used in Hong Kong subsidiaries. Asian HQ may use other methods to manage and monitor the operation of the Hong Kong subsidiary, such as appointing the CEO and other senior managers. In addition, similar management systems (that emphasize paternalistic authority, strong management, and internal stability and harmony) are likely to be used in both Asian HQ and Hong Kong subsidiaries. Thus, in these Asian firms HRM is less strategy-oriented and high performance work practices are used the least. We found that SHRM orientation was positively related to adoption of HPWS. An SHRM orientation is consistent with the use of HPWS in organizations, as both target the leveraging of a firm's HR as a source of competitive advantage (Wright & Gardner, 2003). Thus, it is natural to find an empirical linkage between these two constructs. In addition, we also found HQ influence had a significant and positive relationship with HPWS adoption. This finding supports the argument that the implementation of HPWS in foreign subsidiaries requires substantial financial resources, effort, and commitment provided by HQ. When the HQ closely monitors the development of foreign subsidiaries, a sophisticated HRM system such as HPWS is likely to be adopted. Turning to the outcomes, we found that the adoption of HPWS was positively related to subsidiary performance. To shed light on the ‘black box’ of the processes that link HRM with firm performance (Legge, 2005 and Wright and Gardner, 2003), we further tested whether organizational climate acts as an intervening variable. Our findings revealed that HPWS exerts an indirect effect through fostering a positive organizational climate, which in turn improves the performance of subsidiaries. This mediating effect, however, was only a partial one. As the relationship between HPWS and firm performance is more complicated than typically thought (Schuler & Jackson, 2005), more research is called for, particularly in the MNC context. 5.1. Managerial relevance Our study contributes to a better understanding of the management of foreign subsidiaries in several ways. First, it provides a framework to help the HQ of MNCs appropriately design HPWS for their subsidiaries. Some organizational contextual factors (e.g., SHRM orientation and HQ influence) have been identified to affect the adoption of such systems. Second, our findings illustrate the importance of treating the foreign subsidiary as a unit of analysis in studying HRM and its outcomes. In particular, we shed light on how, within the MNC, the use of HPWS in a foreign subsidiary can lead to higher performance. Our study also highlights that each HQ–subsidiary relationship presents different constraints, opportunities, and outcomes for HRM, and thus should be managed in a differentiated manner. Third, by focusing on organizational climate, this study promotes our understanding regarding the dynamics of firm performance in MNCs. Lastly, our findings indicated that nationally established patterns of managing human resources have not disappeared in the face of globalization. The differences between American-based and Asian-based subsidiaries lend support for this notion. Even as firms become multinational, their orientation and strategies continue to be shaped by their origins. There are some practical implications that can be drawn for HRM practitioners, especially those in foreign firms operating or planning to operate in Hong Kong or other Asian cities. For any organization wanting to improve the processes of HRM, it is important to identify the intervening variables that lie between HRM and organizational outcomes. To improve firm performance, management should use HPWS to generate a positive organizational climate. Managers can do this by creating important linkages, such as between employee training and desirable organizational values, the reward system and cooperation, or the performance appraisal system and fairness. HPWS supports the development of “relational coordination” (i.e., shared goals and knowledge, and mutual respect) and internal communication (Gittell, Seidner, & Wimbush, 2010, p. 491), which helps to create a positive organizational climate. In addition, managers should also pay attention to the HQ–subsidiary relationship when designing the HR system in foreign subsidiaries. For example, HR managers in Asian-based subsidiaries should keep in mind that subsidiaries of Asian-origin, in general, use fewer HPWS, thus they are likely competing with subsidiaries originating from other regions that employ more HPWS. Asian-based subsidiaries may be operating at a lower baseline, and their HR managers should consider adding more HPWS to effectively compete. 5.2. Limitations Despite its contributions, several limitations of the present study should be acknowledged. First of all, only HR managers at the Hong Kong subsidiaries were included in this study—the perspectives of the HQ, line managers, and the employees were not measured. All information was provided by the same respondent and thus our study may be subject to common method bias. In addition, the measure of subsidiary performance was perceptual whereas objective performance data is more desirable. Second, our theoretical framework did not incorporate variables exogenous to the MNC–subsidiary relationship. Thus, we did not consider the possible impact of the external environment, particularly economic and cultural conditions. Third, this study is cross-sectional in nature. Thus our findings hold at a given point in time across foreign subsidiaries, but do not address the dynamic nature of HPWS adoption. A longitudinal study design is more desirable, particularly because HRM orientation and the HQ–subsidiary relationship may evolve over time (Gooderham & Nordhaug, 2006). In addition, our data were collected in 2006, before the global financial crisis, thus potentially limiting their relevance for managers today. Fourth, we used the macro categories of “Asia” and “EU” for our region-of-origin variable, thus precluding the investigation of within category differences. Lastly, our response rate was low. The advantage of postal questionnaires is that they can be designed around a specific research question, and as such, they are a valuable research device, well suited for quantitative statistical analysis, however, return rates in an international context are often low (Jaussaud & Schaaper, 2006). 5.3. Concluding remarks This article builds upon recent work investigating the MNC–subsidiary relationship (e.g., Taylor et al., 1996 and Yu et al., 2006) by integrating characteristics of the MNC–subsidiary relationship in a theoretical model of the determinants and consequences of HPWS in foreign subsidiaries. We addressed Schuler and Jackson's (2005) call for analyzing and interpreting the impact of context in global HRM research, and the use of data and theory for research advancements and contributions. In conclusion, our study advances theoretical understanding of the linkages between organizational contextual variables and HPWS, as well as between HPWS and subsidiary performance.