Global Standardization or National Differentiation of HRM Practices in Multinational Companies? A Comparison of Multinationals in Five Countries

Tony Edwards, Rocio Sanchez-Mangas, Patrice Jalette, Jonathan Lavelle, Dana Minbaeva

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    Drawing on a dataset constructed from a parallel series of nationally representative surveys of multinational companies (MNCs), we compare the performance management (PM) practices of MNCs in the UK, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Denmark and Norway. In each country we analyze data relating to MNCs from that country and of the foreign affiliates of US MNCs. We argue that there is evidence of standardization in the nature of practices across countries, particularly evident in the analysis of US MNCs. Standardization of practices among MNCs is also evident in the rather limited variation in practices between US and indigenous MNCs within each country. Moreover, even where there is evidence of variation across and within countries, this cannot be fully explained by adaptation to local institutional constraints but rather can be seen as the product of how distinct national contexts can promote the take-up of practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of International Business Studies
    Issue number8
    Pages (from-to)997–1021
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


    • Institutional theory
    • Comparative HRM
    • Multinational corporations (MNCs) and enterprises (MNEs)
    • Survey method

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