Localisation or globalisation? Staffing policies and career development for local managerial staff in Japanese multinational companies in Vietnam
This paper aims to examine the interaction between 'country-of-origin' and 'country-of-operation' effects in determining human resource management (HRM) policies and practices in multinationals (MNCs) in the context of globalisation. As national institutional patterns can penetrate a firm's internal operations, this study investigates the transmission and adaptation of the home country's HRM policies and practices at MNC subsidiaries in the developing host country. Based on an investigation of the global staffing policies and career development practices for local managerial staff of a sample of Japanese companies operating in Vietnam, this paper presents clear evidence of the transfer of home country practices. It also argues that the constraints and opportunities posed by the host country forces the companies' to respond by shaping their strategies. Findings also suggested that while weak host countries pose little in the way of formal constraint mechanisms to the transfer of HRM practices, a complex and challenging situation exists for MNC operations, requiring a very high level of adaptation and flexibility on the part of MNCs.