Human Resource Management Practices in the Multinational Company: A Test of System, Societal, and Dominance Effects

Paul K. Edwards, Rocío Sánchez-Mangas, Olga Tregaskis, Christian Lévesque, Anthony McDonnell, Javier Quintanilla

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40 Citations (Scopus)


Does the use of HRM practices by multinational companies (MNCs) reflect their national origins or are practices similar regardless of context? To the extent that practices are similar, is there any evidence of global best standards? The authors use the system, societal, and dominance framework to address these questions through analysis of 1,100 MNC subsidiaries in Canada, Ireland, Spain, and the United Kingdom. They argue that this framework offers a richer account than alternatives such as varieties of capitalism. The study moves beyond previous research by differentiating between system effects at the global level and dominance effects arising from the diffusion of practices from a dominant economy. It shows that both effects are present, as are some differences at the societal level. Results suggest that MNCs configure their HRM practices in response to all three forces rather than to some uniform global best practices or to their national institutional contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-617
Number of pages30
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

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