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

See all articles by Christian Voegtlin

Christian Voegtlin

Audencia Business School; University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration; University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology

Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration

Date Written: January 2014

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Voegtlin, Christian and Scherer, Andreas Georg, MNCs as Political Actors in a Post-National World: Challenges and Implications for Human Resource Management (January 2014). University of Zurich Chair of Foundations of Business Administration and Theories of the Firm, Working Paper No. 205. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1972339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1972339

Christian Voegtlin (Contact Author)

Audencia Business School ( email )

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University of Zurich - Department of Business Administration ( email )

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University of Zurich - Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Information Technology ( email )

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Zürich, 8032
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Andreas Georg Scherer

University of Zurich - IBW Department of Business Administration ( email )

Plattenstrasse 14
Zurich, 8032
Switzerland
+41 44-63 45302 (Phone)
+41 44-63 45301 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.business.uzh.ch/professorships/as.html

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