‘International Human Resource Management in Chinese MNCs in Africa: Standardisation or Adaptation

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International Human Resource Management (IHRM) plays a significant role in Multinational Corporation (MNC) management and governance, particularly when such organizations transfer policies and practices from their headquarters to subsidiaries overseas. However, there is some scepticism concerning the balance and coherence in the relationship between standardized systems set in MNC headquarters and the adapted practices in their subsidiaries. This may become evident when considering the factors that influence the design, conduct and related effectiveness of human resource practices such as performance management. This research explores the extent to which transferability of a model for performance management, initially based on western practice, is possible from China to Africa, taking into account the required adaptation of its specific Chinese characteristics to specific African conditions. It concludes that performance management can make an important and long-lasting contribution to Chinese MNCs in Africa and raise their competitiveness and efficiency, although significant challenges remain.In the exploration of the design and implementation of this HR practice in the headquarters and subsidiary contexts, the study evaluates the methods incorporated in performance management systems for their effective transfer and examines the key factors which concern stakeholders, including employee engagement, intercultural communication and sustainable impacts within a development context. The research develops an analytical framework for taking into account the context, the influential factors and the effectiveness criteria of performance management systems in Chinese MNCs when their IHRM practices are transferred into different contexts, with specific reference to an Africa case study context. The study establishes that in the contexts considered the benefits of standardized HR practices, such as performance management, may be gained most fully for both headquarters and subsidiary when these practices are set within a win-win frame for both parts of the organisation. One which is characterised by an appropriate balance of standardisation and adaptability.
Original languageEnglish
Media of outputOnline
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014
EventFifty Years of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa-The experience of Tanzania - University of Bradford, Bradford, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 2014 → …

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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