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Chris Brewster

  1. 1. ATHENS UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS   5 rd INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IN EUROPE : TRENDS AND CHALLENGES Thursday , May 27 , 2010 Athens <ul><li>Globalisation and the Embeddedness of HRM: Questions … and “Answers” </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Brewster </li></ul><ul><li>Professor of International HRM </li></ul><ul><li>Henley Business School </li></ul><ul><li>University of Reading, UK </li></ul>
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Human resource management: levels of analysis </li></ul><ul><ul><li>fundamentals, policies, practices and experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Looking back to look forward </li></ul><ul><li>Our research base </li></ul><ul><li>National differences in HRM </li></ul><ul><li>Are the differences reducing (globalisation)? </li></ul><ul><li>The present – and the future: and Greece </li></ul><ul><li>What does this mean for our understanding and our research? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Human resource management: levels of analysis <ul><li>HRM: The planned management of the people resources within an entity </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental paradoxes: treating people as people or as resources? </li></ul><ul><li>Differences: national, sectoral, size and individual </li></ul><ul><li>Policies, practices and experience </li></ul>
  4. 4. As someone once said… <ul><li>“ Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it” (Edmund Burke 1729-1797) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” (George Santayana 1863-1952) </li></ul><ul><li>HRM: The planned management of the people resources within an entity </li></ul><ul><li>HRM: a source of employment and income for specialists, consultants, writers and teachers… </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Cranet surveys <ul><li>42 countries (24 in Europe): partner in each (Uppsala in Sweden) </li></ul><ul><li>repeating “every 3/4” years, since 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>Thousands of responses each round; balanced for sector and size (over 100 employees) </li></ul><ul><li>Questionnaire to senior HRM specialist </li></ul><ul><li>“ factual” not perceptual </li></ul>
  6. 6. We expected to find national differences … <ul><li>Cultural differences </li></ul><ul><li>Institutional differences </li></ul><ul><li>Differences in HRM </li></ul>
  7. 7. What we found (i) <ul><li>Common trends in HRM policies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More strategic and professional HRM departments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More use of sophisticated recruitment and selection; communication; individual approaches; performance linked rewards </li></ul></ul><ul><li>but countries are staying distinct in HRM practices: clear differences between countries </li></ul>
  8. 8. What we found (ii) <ul><li>Issues for internationally operating organisations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Europe, firms that evaluate their HRM; monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of their training; use career management; and link pay and performance are more successful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But different systems of recruitment; training and development; pay; and planning have different impacts in different countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the standardisation/ differentiation paradox </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What we didn’t find <ul><li>Substantial changes in policies or practices (trends were very small) </li></ul><ul><li>Trends on training and development; or in size of HRM department </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in processes: eg </li></ul><ul><ul><li>e-HRM – big changes in some companies, none in most companies? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice – impact of Web2? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes in employee experience </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in the fundamental paradox </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Performance cultures? Human capital? Employee engagement? Leadership? Global leadership?… </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. The “thought leaders” are leading us in the wrong direction… <ul><li>In HRM, “best fit” explains more than “best practice” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We can still learn from elsewhere, but only if we adapt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can we have “best principles”? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>We need to understand our own societies </li></ul><ul><li>We need more research into the specifics of HRM in each country and what is unique about them in how they view the purpose of HRM and what good HRM amounts to. </li></ul><ul><li>Where is our country on the key paradox: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People as people; or people as resources? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. What of Greece? <ul><li>A Mediterranean country </li></ul><ul><li>But a unique one: Greek business systems are different </li></ul><ul><li>And Greek HRM is different </li></ul><ul><li>Under pressure – people are the largest operating cost for nearly all organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Where next…? </li></ul>
  12. 12. So what of the future? <ul><ul><li>Talent management? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human capital? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee engagement? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership? Global leadership? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Resource Management? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Globalisation and the Embeddedness of HRM: Questions … and “Answers” <ul><li>Σας ευχαριστούμε πάρα πολύ </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Brewster </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
  14. 15. Example Publications (i) <ul><li>Books: </li></ul><ul><li>Brewster, C., Carey, L., Dowling, P., Grobler, P., Holland, P. and Warnich, S. Contemporary Issues in Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage, (3 rd edition) Oxford University Press, South Africa, Cape Town </li></ul><ul><li>Brewster, C. Sparrow, P. and Vernon. G. (2007) International Human Resource Management. (2 nd edition) , CIPD, Wimbledon </li></ul><ul><li>Brewster, C., Mayrhofer, W. and Morley, M., (eds) (2004) Human Resource Management in Europe: Evidence of Convergence? Butterworth Heinemann, London </li></ul>
  15. 16. Example Publications (ii) <ul><li>Articles: </li></ul><ul><li>Farndale, E., Brewster, C. and Poutsma, E. (2008) Coordinated vs. liberal market HRM: the impact of institutionalisation on multinational firms. International Journal of Human Resource Management 19 (11): 2004-2023 </li></ul><ul><li>Brewster, C., Wood, G. and Brookes, M. (2008) Similarity, Isomorphism or Duality: recent survey evidence on the HRM policies of Multinational Corporations British Journal of Management 19 (4): 320-342 </li></ul><ul><li>Johnson, P., Wood, G.T., Brookes, M. and Brewster, C. The Rise of Post-bureaucracy:Theorists' Fancy or Organizational Praxis? International Sociology 24 (1): 37-61 </li></ul><ul><li>Brewster, C., Wood, G., Brookes, M. and van Ommeren, J. (2006) “What Determines the Size of the HR Function?: a cross-national analysis” Human Resource Management, 45(1):3-21 </li></ul><ul><li>Brookes, M., Brewster, C. and Wood, G., (2005) “Social Relations, Firms And Societies: A Study Of Institutional Embeddedness” International Sociology, 20(4): 403-426 </li></ul><ul><li>Mayrhofer, W. and Brewster, C. (2005) “European Human Resource Management: researching developments over time” Management Revue 16, (1): 36-62 </li></ul>

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