MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS IN CHINA: INSTITUTIONAL AND STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES ON HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
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The dissertation is composed of three separate essays. The first essay critically reviews the current status of strategic human resource management (SHRM) research. I argue that the research to date in this field is built upon several assumptions whose validity may not endure beyond the borders of the United Sates, where much of the existing research in this realm has been conducted. The paper contextualizes the mainstream SHRM research by comparing institutional environments around human resource management between the United States and the People?s Republic of China. Finally I provide reflections and suggestions on how the contextualized understanding of the literature can contribute to resolving and reframing two central concerns of SHRM research The second paper addresses a major concern relevant to international business research in qualitatively investigating how subsidiaries of multinational companies deal with dual institutional pressures from the parent company and the local environment. Using Chinese trade unions as an empirical context, I develop a model that explains how the dual institutional pressures and organizational characteristics jointly shape the subsidiary? attitudes and behaviors towards a unique local employment relations practice. I analyze qualitative data I have collected in my thirteen months of fieldwork for this study. The third paper involves a quantitative data analysis of Chinese companies in the manufacturing sector. The major concern of the paper is whether unions and employer-provided training affect firm performance differently depending on the ownership structure. I argue that recognizing unions in China is more beneficial for foreign firms than for domestic ones because it reduces the problem of legitimacy deficiency in the local market. I also argue that the positive impact of employer-provided training on firm performance is stronger in foreign owned firms than in domestic firms in China because foreign companies, unlike domestic firms, can expect an additional benefit of training: the cross-border knowledge inflow. The results of regression analyses generally support the hypotheses.
Human Resource Management; Industrial Relations; Multinational Corporation; Strategic Human Resource Management; International Human Resource Management; Chinese Management; Chinese labor union; Institutional duality; liability of foreignness; International Business; Training; Institutional Perspective
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