Do multinational subsidiaries demonstrate a convergence across their HRM practices in a less developed host-country? Evidence from Ghana

Desmond Tutu Ayentimi, John Burgess, Kantha Dayaram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Using an institutionalist perspective, and through a case study analysis, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether subsidiaries of MNEs demonstrate a convergence across their HRM practices in a less developed host-country context. Design/methodology/approach: This paper reports on an exploratory qualitative study involving five MNEs subsidiaries that operate in Ghana and originate from the UK, France, Germany, and India. The authors applied thematic and cross-case analysis techniques to explore similarities and differences in their HRM practices by drawing data from in-depth face-to-face interviews and document analyses. Findings: Findings suggest that MNE subsidiaries demonstrate more convergence across their HRM practices as well as other HRM characteristics. Despite the similarities in their HRM practices, the evidence suggests that MNE subsidiaries’ HRM practices were similar to corporate headquarters HRM practices. It appears that the host-country has less influence in driving their convergence but rather the country-of-origin effect; competitive isomorphic pressure and global integration benefits were driving their convergence across their HRM practices. Originality/value: This study makes a contribution to the convergence-divergence literature in the international HRM (IHRM) domain with specific focus on addressing an under-researched context of less developed host-countries. One of the puzzles in comparative and IHRM literature yet to be resolved is the convergence-divergence thesis of firms’ HRM practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1082
Number of pages17
JournalEmployee Relations
Volume39
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Emerging markets
  • Human resource management
  • International organizations

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