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2017-01-04 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文




Due to the accelerated advancement of globalization, companies nowadays seem to be trapped in a vicious competition. Many small domestic companies in China are hard to survive because of the entrance of foreign companies with strong competition. Primarily, as the organizational value and distinction creator, human resources (HR), should be highly noticed, with establishing an appropriate match between employees and organizations.

In addition, cultural values and business manners between different countries have a great amount of differences. Consequently, great challenges are posted for Human Resource Management (HRM) to adopt more effective approaches in the global market. This essay will observe the background and history of this issue, examine what major problems will have impacts on organizations, as well as provide recommendations on how HRM can contribute to an organization’s success in today’s high level of globalization.

2.Background and History of This Issue

As an increasing number of industries entering the global marketplace, a well-designed global human resource management strategy is essential for enterprises to sustain competitive advantages.

2.1 Importance of this Issue

Throughout the history, cultural values in different nations may greatly influence the behavioural patterns of their citizens. Also, there is a large amount of events, for instance, the dissemination of Confucianism and French revolution in the 18th century, have significantly affected the way people behave and perceive in 21st century. Two main aspects should be approached for this issue. They are respective impacts of history both on China and Western countries currently, and the interaction between the two areas. It appears that once Human Resource (HR) managers can better manage the trend of globalization, it will post them a great amount of opportunities to promote a more wide range of products in overseas markets.

Admittedly, culture is crucial for the growth of a country. Primarily, with the purpose of equipping to the fierce challenges of each market, both for products and services, people should attach most importance to understanding of diverse cultures (Francesco and Gold, 2005). In addition, over the past few years, joint ventures have developed swiftly all around the world. As researched by Beamer (1998), who was a professor of marketing at California State University, diverse cultural styles caused more conflicts especially in the business context. In most extent, even though different groups of people may behave in various ways, their underlying cultural meanings are distinct. For example, due to the misunderstanding of the Chinese manager's statement's underlying meanings, an European businessman misinterpreted it and considered Chinese indirect refusal as an acceptance (Beamer, 1998). Thus, this instance indicated that organizations especially those international enterprises in recent new situation should motivate their workers to well understand cultural diversities, and then contribute to their enterprises through developing cross-cultural communication skills.

2.2 Cultural Diversity Between China and Western Countries

2.2.1 Features of Western HRM

There are a majority of Western cultural values, such as the concepts of Darwin, Montesquieu, Rousseau and Hegel. Various revolutions have facilitated the evolvement of those values, and have passed down them to the citizens and cultivated them as main life patters in current societies.

At first, one of the most critical characteristics of Western cultures comes through in the way business contracts regarded and enforced by businessmen. More specifically, as researched by Nelda and Barron (1997), in the USA, contracts are considered as final agreements between each party and also provide protection to all parties. In other words, westerners' HR managers may extremely rely on legal documents to regulate their employees' behaviours; also, they regard labour laws as be sacred to staffs. Nevertheless, in some other cultural beliefs, "contracts are not in high regard and esteem" (Nelda and Barron, 1997). This may greatly create an amount of conflicts for business transactions between Western enterprises and Chinese organization.

In addition to the above, as the world's largest religion, Christianity has deeply influenced Western citizens' behavioural patterns in recent societies. In the 16th century, both policies and thoughts of people could be influenced by religious unities. One aspect is that human rights involving the liberty and equity are highly emphasized by HRM in Western enterprises. Employees, who work in a foreign-owned organization, are greatly given individual space and might have more opportunities to be promoted (Curtis and Lu, 2004). This also implies that human rights are significantly attached importance to by HRM in Western organizations. On the other hand, “love” has become another virtue in western societies, even in business fields.For instance, HR managers in Western companies encourage a business context with acquaintanceship and avoid behaviours that may offend an international person (Nelda and Barron, 1997).

2.2.2 Features of Asian/Chinese HRM

Confucianism, as the cream of Chinese national culture and tradition, has been handed down from ancient times. For this reason, the majority of Chinese certain cultures and philosophies are deriving from Confucian values, and will continue to adopt it as a behavioural norm,

especially in state-owned enterprises. Confucian values in business consist of many key factors, such as cooperation, concept of face, self-effacement, propriety and humility (Curtis and Lu, 2004). These led Chinese HR managers to behave in a particular way, in somewhat against foreign traditions. For instance, as an collectivist nation, Chinese HRM tends to encourage a harmony work environment, through urging their workers to cooperate with each other. It seems to provide relief from the pressures of individual study, and then achieve the organizational goals (Flowerdew, 1998). Furthermore, according to Beamer (1998), for enterprises from China, the relationship within the Chinese workplace will tend to be familial and supportive, by giving the Confucian tradition of harmony and hierarchy.

Finally, western corporations expect their employees to express themselves more freely (Curtis and Lu, 2004), while Chinese stress the respect for superior at workplaces. With respect to Confucian theory of choosing employees, educational level is emphasized and regarded as a selective basis. However, many westerners pay more attention to a recruit’s ability and perspective for specific positions. As a result, HR practices in China may differentiate from western countries; on account of adopting Confucian thoughts as a standard of organizational conduct.

2.2.3 Major Problems of Western Style Human Resource Management Adapting to the Chinese Context

Firstly, in the process of remuneration design for multinational corporations, it is necessary to take into account the views of different cultures. This is due to the problem of distinct concepts of HR defined distinctively in different regions. Concerning the present role of HR practices act in China, Chinese HR managers increase benefits for employees on the basis of economic profits of the company, while Westerners manage practices of remuneration on a fundamental of price index, inflation and some other relevant factors.

Second, in the promotion of cadres, Chinese HR managers attach more importance to the political quality of the qualifications and interpersonal relationships; whereas, Western managers are more likely to be aware of employees' talents. In consequence, HRM of transnational corporations in China should take the enterprises as a whole, need to cultivate HR managers the ability to understand local cultures and motivate the familiarity with local cultures, then being able to adapt to them.

Cultural differences for Chinese and Western HRM are double-edged swords. Because of cultural diversities, people from different cultures within the same enterprise may have cultural conflicts. This is the most significant problem for Western corporations entering into Chinese markets. Practices in recent societies proved that as a result of different cultural backgrounds and behavioural patters of people, it is also the cause of failure of management of transnational corporations and the implementation of global strategies of multinational enterprises. Traditionally, the members of HRM had common values under the single management of the environment. However, in recent multinational corporations, the members always have different cultural beliefs,

2.2.4 Most Influential Factor Impacts on Western HR Practices in China

This can be explained by the highlight of the Society for HRM (SHRM), which focuses on helping its delegate to learn more about Chinese managerial style (McConnell, 2006). In addition, with the improvement of living standard, workers are more likely to seek for higher self-achievement at workplaces. Consequently, organizations should attach more importance to organizational developmental values.

3.Recommendations for Recent Human Resource Managers

3.1 Integration of Corporate Culture, Strengthening of Communication & Establishment of Common Values

Due to various cultural values from different countries, employees from Western countries may have their own thoughts and concepts of laws according to their own cultures, this also led to great difficulties for HRM. Once HR managers find the combination points of different beliefs by absorbing the essence of both Chinese and Western cultures, and give full play to the advantage of commonality and individuality of each other within the organization, effective management can be established.

By realizing the most critical characteristics of enterprises, as well as adapting to new cultures appear in the working environment, HR managers can be able to gradually establish a common value of the organizations. Moreover, through organizing various activities that can strengthening interaction between staffs with different cultural values, encouraging them to fully understand each other's cultural backgrounds, as well as enhancing the identity among cross-border employees, staffs' personal cultures will be dissolved into the corporate culture, then their own thoughts and actions will be correspond to the company's ultimate objectives.

3.2 Effectively Managing Conflicts

Admittedly, conflicts emerge at times in organization’s daily life, even for such small cases. According to some researches, the best approach to most kinds of conflicts may be ‘collaborating’; which means attempting to satisfy both people’s needs, and achieve an optimum solution (Carlopio, Andrewartha and Armstrong, 2005).

For example, the U.K. managers attached more importance to their customers’ needs or emotions. Nevertheless, it is difficult for Chinese business people to apply the western cultural dimensions, including the customer attitudes (Flowerdew, 1998). These might be caused by cross-cultural distinctions. ‘Human’ seems to be more important in individualistic societies, which appears that people’s rights are highly valued (Francesco and Gold, 2005). In China, most business managers are profit-orientation, they eager for quick success and instant benefits. Thus, they may focus on making money, but not providing a high quality of service. In contrast, although most western countries are individualism, they are highly concerned about the customers; they regard consumers as the heaven. Moreover, they consider consumers’ needs as the direction for orientating themselves in the global market (Mariek, 2004).

To conclude, it is apparent that conflicts may be caused by diverse reasons, according to different situational considerations, the approaches response to the particular conflicts should be selected cautiously. Furthermore, the HR managerial patterns differentiate from various cultural value systems. This indicates that the conflict response alternatives may be applied distinctively around the world. All in all, a proper understanding of conflicts is essential to focalize the best appropriate approach.


To summarize, China is a society that characterized by solidarity and loyalty in terms of the family, a high work ethic, an emphasis of hierarchy and harmony, based on the Confucian heritage (Beamer, 1998). When Western corporations entering the Chinese market, no matter by direct investment or through alliances, it is difficult to fit with Chinese cultural dimensions, including the customer attitudes, ethics, religion, social values and behaviors, language and literature, as well as the historical background. This can be analyzed by applying Hofstede’s four cultural dimensions to market entry, strategies and operations in businesses.

This report has examined the background and history of the issue of Western style HRM entering into Chinese markets, observed the major problems associated with this issue, as well as provided recommendations for International HRM in the future performance in the global context. Organizations may be continually successful, as HRM practices succeed in enabling employees to achieve greatness with their organizations, while their values are embodied in the organizational values. For future development of Western or multinational enterprises in China, HR professionals may take the initiative in learning more about HRM practices in China, in order to exchange each other’s ideas and reduce the potential conflicts in the international business market.


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