From a paternalistic model towards what? HRM trends in Korea and Taiwan

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Purpose ‐ Human resource management (HRM) practices have been re-evaluated under the pressures and constraints of factors such as globalization, inward and outward investment patterns, multinational companies (MNCs), indigenous cultures and institutions. This paper aims to compare changes and continuities in key aspects of HRM in South Korea and Taiwan. It examines the impacts on HRM policies - particularly employment security, extensive training, performance based pay and employee influence - and the role of a core-periphery model. Time effects, country effects and the interaction between them are explored. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The research was undertaken across a decade at three time periods between 1996 and 2005 and in both locally-owned firms and MNC subsidiaries using questionnaires. Findings ‐ The authors find, first, recognizable general patterns over time; second, significant interaction effects of country and time; third, some HRM practices more culturally bounded than others. Practical implications ‐ These include issues relating to companies using more core-periphery and performance based employment. Originality/value ‐ The paper makes use of an under-used perspective, both comparative and longitudinal, at three time periods in two under-researched contexts of South Korea and Taiwan.

Keywords: Comparison; Human resource management; Korea; Local firms; Longitudinal; Multinational companies; Taiwan

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 20, 2011

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