The success of the American firms and the rapid economic growth of the country seem to give significant emphasis on the US way of managing a business. Seen as part of management, the US strategic human resource management models are often considered to be the best practice and the key to success. However, US companies may experience difficulty while trying to settle abroad or foreign companies may face unexpected managerial difficulties when trying to implement the US models at home. Indeed Chris Brewster argues that the US human resource management (HRM) models are not exportable to Europe. In the first part we will explain why the US models can be difficult to export, what are the major differences between the organizational features and working habits in the US and in Europe; then we will try to find some evidence that in reality the US HRM model is exportable to Europe to some extent. As Chris Brewster argues, generalization is inevitable in any internationally comparative work. This essay is trying to show the differences between Europe and America but one must remain aware of the differences between organizations, within sectors or within a region or a country (Brewster, C (1995) first quarter, Towards a European' model of human resource management, Journal of International Business Studies, pp1-21).
Tags: American HRM model, European HRM model,European HRM model vs. American HRM model, Rresentation on american HRM, HRM models in Europe and America
[...] Even if Europe seems to be heading towards a more market-driven economy increasingly oriented towards short-term profits and achievement, its uniqueness in terms of HRM is likely to remain; particularly if there is a political will from the European Union to maintain a European model as witnessed by creation of the European Social Charter. Resources -Adler, N.J., (2002) Do Cultural Differences Affect Organizations?' in International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior -Brewster, C. (1994) ‘European HRM: reflection of, or challenge to, the American concept?' in Kirkbride, P. [...]
[...] This European vision is radically opposed to the American ‘management's right to manage' where the manager considers his power as legitimate. Overall, companies in Europe are more heavily constrained than their US counterparts, which enjoy considerable organizational autonomy. In Europe, firms are constrained externally by the high degree of state intervention and internally by the significant role of trade union. The US models, primarily based on autonomy and individualism, are thus not easily exportable to such an unfamiliar and different environment. [...]
[...] This does not mean that there are no labor laws in the US but they aim more at protecting individual rights (sexual harassment, discrimination) than collective rights. As a result American companies enjoy a total organizational autonomy. According to Michel Albert, Europe has a regulated economical market with a comprehensive system of social security as opposed to the American model of short-term profit and shareholder-oriented economy (Gooderham, P.N., Nordhaug, O. (2003) ‘Transfer of US HRM to Europe' in International Management: Cross- Boundary Challenges, Blackwell Publishing). One striking example of state intervention in Europe is the extent of subsidized jobs in France. [...]
[...] In Europe and especially in Southern Europe more than in Northern Europe, power distance is quite high compared to the US. European employees tend to accept more that their boss is more powerful than them and that his decisions are right. On the contrary in the US, where the power distance is low, employees are more likely to discuss and challenge their boss's decisions. Indeed according to André Laurent US managers believe that the main reason for hierarchy is to organize tasks and facilitate problem solving but they do not consider that they have all the answers. [...]
[...] Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach, FT/ Prentice Hall (3rd The HRM process is influenced by the convergence forces of globalization at a macro economical level but it remains highly constrained by the local or national socio-political context in which the firm operates. By its very nature it deals with the management of people. As Harzing puts it in its book International Resource Management, the HRM process surrounded by cultural, social and other norms characteristic of human behavior”. It is thus obvious that no matter the existence of some kind of similarities between American and Europe, American HRM models are not exportable in Europe as such. There is a need to adapt to local conditions to guaranty the success of the transfer. [...]
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