Nowadays, each country has its own management style and possesses a culture which influences its decisions and business strategies. Moreover, organizations have to face a business environment that keeps getting more and more complex, where firms need to reply quickly and efficiently to changes in order to survive.
Indeed, the actual international context and the recent globalisation have a strong impact on the natures and the differences of HRM systems and practices in different countries.
In order to understand the importance of human resource management in today's modern economy, and to figure out how this latter can be influenced by national cultures, we are going to compare HRM systems and practices of two countries: France and Singapore.
In 1819, a British lieutenant governor named Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles arrived in the small island of Singapore and established a free trade port. Singapore grew in population and prosperity, and in 1824 came under the control of the British. Singapore's independence occurred in 1963, and new elections took place.
By the 1970s, after being largely dependent on Malaysia in terms of natural and also non-natural resources, the city-country became a world leader in shipping, air transport and oil refining, and has managed to maintain a good economic prosperity so far.
Singapore is now a parliamentary Republic, based on a Westminster system. The Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, and his father, former Prime Minister, managed to develop Singapore into one of the safest, cleanest and most economically prosperous countries in Asia.
However, Singapore is well known for its strict rules, and many people believe that the country's prosperity has been achieved at the expense of individual freedoms.
Moreover, it is important to notice that there is only one major party in Singapore. Indeed, S. R. Nathan was declared president in 1999 without even an election as he was the only eligible candidate. In 2004, his party, the People's Action Party (PAP), won 82 out of 84 seats in the parliamentary elections.
[...] French employees are also entitled to at least 2.5 working days of paid holiday per full month worked. This is much more than in Singapore Working hours Singaporeans are well known to be hard workers. This is particularly the case when the actual Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong set in 2004 a 5-day, 44- hours workweek. Moreover, in 2007, the average workweek was more than 46 hours. Overtime in Singapore is paid at 150% of the hourly rate, and the maximum overtime is set at 72 hours per month. [...]
[...] (2002) International HRM: a cross-cultural approach, Sage, London • Johnson D. and Turner C., (2003), International Business: Themes and issues in the modern global economy, Routledge, Oxon • Usunier J-C. and Lee J., (2009), Marketing Across Cultures, 5th ed., Essex, England, Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Articles • Aguilera R. V. and Dencker J.C., (2004), ‘The role of human resource management in cross-border mergers and acquisitions', International Journal of Human Resource Management pp. 1355-1370 • Aycan, Z. & Kanungo, R. N. [...]
[...] 129-146 • Wan, D., Kok, V. & Huat Ong C. (2002), Strategic human resource management and organizational performance in Singapore, Compensation and Benefits Review; Jul/Aug 2002; 34, pp. 33-42 • Weil A. and Woodall J., (2005), ‘HRD in France: the corporate perspective', Journal of European Industrial Training pp. 529- 540 Websites • Hofstede, G. (2003) Cultural Dimensions. [...]
[...] “The ability to effectively manage diverse workforces [ . ] is crucial in the wake of increasing proliferation of transnational strategic alliances, international joint ventures and HQ-subsidiaries establishment.” (Choy, 2007) In order to deal with these issues, most of the Singaporean HR managers attempt to implement efficient strategies and practices that will provide solutions to this dynamic labor market Influence of the French context on HRM practices 1. The baby-boom in France As explained before, there were in France after World War II a very high number of births. [...]
[...] On the one side, Singapore is a multi-cultural country, which has known a recent economic growth and where HRM practices are positioned between traditions and modernity. On the other side, France is a country where workers do not hesitate to make them heard by every possible mean, and where labor laws and unemployment rate are becoming increasing issues. It is important to mention that the French government and HR managers are actually trying to solve all these problems by creating new rules and by suggesting new approaches to French organization. However, this appears to be already done in Singaporean firms. [...]
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