Neither Western nor Indian: HRM policy in an Indian multinational



Publication Details

Pereira, V. & Scott, P. 2015, 'Neither Western nor Indian: HRM policy in an Indian multinational', in Y. Jung. Ha, P. Konara, F. Mcdonald & Y. Wei (eds), The Rise of Multinationals from Emerging Economies Achieving a New Balance, Palgrave Macmillan, United Kingdom. pp. 99-114.


The spotlight is increasingly on the human resource management (HRM) strategies of Indian-owned multinational enterprises (MNEs), including those that operate within the country's fast-growing business process offshoring (BPO) sector. Brewster et al. (2007: 206) argue that there exists a 'need for a broader geographical base to our understanding of' international human resource management. One of the important reasons for studying HRM strategies in diverse geographical locations is to examine the trajectories of policies in new multinational companies in emerging economies to assess if they mirror Western-derived models such as the life cycle schemes of Adler and Ghadar (1990) or Heenan and Perlmutter (1979). Until relatively recently (e.g. Kumar et al., 2009; Sauvant et al., 2010), there has been little discussion about how distinctive the HRM practices of Indian multinationals are and whether they are exportable or imitable. Cappelli et al. (2010: 4-5) claim there is a concept of an 'India Way' that encapsulates a national business philosophy, constructed on four pillars, including HRM dimensions such as holistic engagement with employees, improvisation and adaptability ( jugaad in Hindi), creation of innovative value propositions and recognition of businesses' wider societal role. This book also claims international transferability of some practices, such as establishing a sense of social mission and employee engagement (Cappelli et al., 2010: 197-207).

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