MNCs as Political Actors in a Post-National World: Challenges and Implications for Human Resource Management
University of Zurich Chair of Foundations of Business Administration and Theories of the Firm, Working Paper No. 205
49 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2011 Last revised: 5 Feb 2014
Date Written: January 2014
The process of globalization changes the conditions for multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in different locations with heterogeneous legal conditions and social or cultural norms. The paper analyzes some of the implications of globalization for the human resource management (HRM) of MNCs. These challenges manifest themselves in issues HRM has to deal with, e.g., to moderate the contradictions between an economic and a political role of the MNC; between routine and innovation tasks; or between universalism and relativism in values. Addressing these challenges has implications for theorizing about the role of HRM. We review existing literature streams, proposing that the assumptions of positivist as well as post-positivist (critical-ethical) HRM approaches are not sufficiently prepared to adequately deal with these challenges. We propose a political view of HRM that draws on the upcoming research stream that regards the business firm as a political actor, discussing the challenges of globalization from this viewpoint.
Keywords: Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Globalization, Human Resource Management
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