Varieties and variability of employee relations approaches in US subsidiaries: Country-of-origin effects and the level and type of industry internationalisation

Heinz Josef Tuselmann, Matthew M C Allen, Stuart Barrett, Frank McDonald

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Abstract

This article investigates the relative importance and variability of the country-of-origin effect in employee relations approaches of US subsidiaries within the context of diversity of employee relations patterns in home- and host-country business systems and the influence of important industry forces. It is based on a representative survey of US subsidiaries and indigenous firms in the UK. The cross-sectional comparison with indigenous UK firms confirmed a distinct US country-of-origin imprint in employee relations patterns in US subsidiaries. However, the magnitude of such an effect cautions against assumptions of popular stereotypes and reflects, inter alia, the diversity of employee relations approaches among US parent companies as well as developments in the UK industrial relations landscape over the last decades. The intra-US analysis revealed the importance of both the level and type of industry internationalisation in shaping the strength and nature of the country-of-origin influence. On the basis of the findings, the article highlights lessons to be learned for the study of cross-border policy-transfer issues in MNCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1622-1635
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Volume19
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Keywords

  • Country-of-origin
  • Employee relations
  • Industry internationalisation
  • Multinationals

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