Cultural differences affecting German HR policies in Asia

Stehle, Wolfgang and Erwee, Ronel (2007) Cultural differences affecting German HR policies in Asia. Journal of Asia Business Studies, 2 (1). pp. 34-47. ISSN 1558-7894

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Researchers still debate the relevance of using cultural frameworks and socio-economic differences between countries versus focussing on institutional differences when analysing issues affecting the transfer of Human Resource policies between countries. This paper first compares four countries from Europe and Asia on a macroeconomic level as well as on cultural dimensions. It then investigates perceived cultural differences between managers on the transfer of human resource policies by contrasting the perceptions of German headquarters managers with those of their subsidiary managers in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. This exploratory study uses qualitative methodology to analyse twenty four in-depth interviews with Human Resource directors and line managers in German electrical, mechanical and chemical companies. The study confirms the importance of perceived cultural differences between managers at headquarters and in the subsidiaries and highlights the presence of misperceptions based on overgeneralisations emanating from the German headquarters as well as local subsidiaries. Convergence is confirmed on a HR policy level with crossvergence taking place on a process level via regional platforms. The growing role of the subsidiary HR director as a cultural translator and regional team player is found to be a key element in the transfer process.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Deposited with permission of publisher. This is a RoMEO green journal
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - Department of Management and Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2008 09:51
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:56
Uncontrolled Keywords: cultural differences; German multinational companies; Asian HR practices
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150308 International Business
16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169903 Studies of Asian Society
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150305 Human Resources Management
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services

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