Worlds Colliding: The Translation of Modern Management Practices within UK based Subsidary of a Korean-owned MNC
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This article explores the factors that served to dislodge an espoused strategy of quality management with 'soft' HRM within a British subsidiary of a Korean owned multinational company. Accounts from British and Korean managers revealed competing sets of tensions at three levels: external organisational, intra-organisational and internal workplace. The case is important for a number of reasons. First, research on UK based subsidiaries tends to have focused upon American and Japanese owned companies, with less evidence from MNCs from later industrialised economies. Secondly, evidence suggests that MNCs from Korea, Taiwan and Singapore have been experimenting with western influenced high-performance work systems-but there is less evidence about how these are actually translated into the workplace. Thirdly, there is a growing literature that suggests that the transfer of management practices in MNCs can be partly understood as a 'negotiated process' (Ferner & Tempel, 2006), whereby organisational actors contest the meaning and function of such practices. This article offers further support for this contention and offers insights into how these processes affected day-to-day management of the workplace and undermined the espoused strategy .
The international journal of human resource management
© 2007 Taylor & Francis. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal link for access to the definitive, published version.