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A comparative study of human resource management practices in international joint ventures: the impact of national origin

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This paper presents a comparative study of the effects of national origin, a company's strategic orientation and its investment profile on preference for the application of human resource management (HRM) practices as conducted in international joint ventures (IJVs). The approach extends understanding by offering a broader exploration of how national differences generate additional barriers that impact on specific HRM practices. The evidence from the study presented suggests that there is little support for national origin being a major independent influence. National distinctiveness does define the types of integration between parent companies and IJVs, but these collaborations do not necessarily reflect any specific national institutional bias. Examination of eighty-seven IJVs suggests that IJV management has a high degree of organizational autonomy in the implementation of a company's task-related inputs regardless of the national background of the foreign partner. The presence of a company's task-related effects on HRM practices plays a significant contextual role where the major attributes are the technology, management development and the compatible use of an IJV's resources. The results confirm that there is little evidence to suggest that partner-related influences derived from the partners' complementary resources and competences in the field of HRM development that are national origin specific have had significant influence over HRM development in the IJVs studied.
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Keywords: International joint ventures; human resource practices; investment profile; national origin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: G 7501, Faculty of International Business, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, PRC [email protected])., Tel: +852 2788 7974, Fax: +852 2788 9146

Publication date: 01 June 2003

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