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Staffing policies Essay

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Updated: Jan 22nd, 2020


Big business plans, which MNEs implement to preserve aggressiveness, are meant to be coming up in concurrence with their human resource branches (Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall, 1988: Schuler and MacMillan. 1984; Tichy, Fombrun and Devanna. 1982).Multinational enterprises operate in more than 25 countries globally and most of them have experienced a steadily rising growth over the last decade.

The 25 MNEs at the apex of the triangle had sales within the range of US$ 55 to US$ 175 billion in the year of 1994 alone. Most of these giant MNEs are now changing the flow of their production operations and sales and channeling them nearer to their global markets which are already widespread.

Therefore, their local sales-sales within the country in which they are based- are much lower in comparison to their sales in the international market. A good example of such an MNE is IBM. It can be proven that this theory holds water considering their large shares of corporate profit.

A major upshot to the placement of manufacturing operations and sales outside the mother nation is that expatriates are given obligations within the realm of vital positions in global entities. In the past times, the home nation was the pilot of such activities and the flow came from them to the multiparty business enterprises and international contributors.

To illustrate this, decades ago there was one MNE that had exceeded the 40,000 mark in terms of administrators and members of staff at the same point in time.

Conversely, rising figures of MNEs are engaging in intra section relocations so as to develop professions plus additional functions or they are utilizing nationals from the a third state as personnel in foreign subsidiaries, or are transferring important personnel from their alien activities (inpatriates) aboard to the main ship which in this case is their company headquarters (Peterson, Sargent, Napier & Shim, 1996).

Any international enterprise has to take the staffing process seriously. This is because any global issue has to be caused by people or will ultimately be solved by people. Thus, for international corporate growth, it is mandatory to have the right personnel at the right location and at the right moment in time. Expatriate malfunction is a common phenomenon, as the international literature points out.

Often, the impact is much less on native businesses as compared to international businesses when there is cost stoppage in human and financial sectors. Losing the market share and dents to international customer connections are some of the factors to be pinpointed. One recurring problem for MNEs is the Shortage of international administrators.

A survey conducted on 440 in European Enterprises highlighted that shortage of global administrators was a thorn in the flesh to expansion of MNEs outside their native nations and approximately one-third of the managers interviewed confessed that it wasn’t easy getting administrators who had the required understanding.

The survey also highlighted that the success of implementing a global policy is heavily reliant on the sufficient supply of international managers with the technical know-how (Scullion, 1994).To affirm this, there’s developing literature that says there has to be a connection amid intercontinental corporate and human resource management policies that are valid to expatriate personnel in alien subsidiaries.

Ethnocentric Staffing Policy

The term Ethnocentricity or ethnocentrism can be defined as believing that one’s ethnic group is better than the rest. The Company operates under the rationale that Parent Country Nationals (PCNs) are actually more qualified, experienced and trustworthy than personnel in alien nations.

Recruting subsidiaries with expatriates in key administrative positions consolidate the mother-company to be in charge of decision making more than when subsidiaries are managed by host-state citizens. (Egelhoff, 1988; Kobrin, 1988).It is normally used where there is shortage of local administrative expertise and also where there is need for the company to maintain very close relations with its headquarters.

Also widespread in business enterprises that are coming up and when odd technical skills are required which are nowhere to be found in the labour force of the native nation (Tung and Punnett, 1993).

Companies would also rather use it when the business is configured in the order of a consolidated move toward globalization and is chiefly at the global step of tactical expansion (Deresky, 2002; Biscoe and Schuler, 2004; Scullion and Linehan, 2005; Hill, 2003;).

Its advantages are that the skill curvature effects draw from standardized production. The enterprise manufactures in the native nation initially and channels its competency to the host country under the supervision of expatriate directors. The administrators in this case posses the expertise to generate value via experts at the hub. Furthermore, they ensure throw in to the continuation of the business culture.

Some of the disadvantages include; host nation citizens are deprived of progress and this translates to alien nationals showing antipathy towards the company (Deresky, 2002). It also paints a bad picture of the firm to the public. It is also very costly to keep expatriate administrators. This makes them have a narrow-minded approach and exposes them to cultural shortsightedness (Hill, 2003).

The consequence of that is the administration failing to notice market niche chances. several investigations prove that subsidiaries, even when supervised by expatriates, possess corporate cultures tilting towards their own nations’ cultures rather than that of the mother company (Lee and Larwood,1983).Nowadays, this approach among the biggest internal hazards to any firm (Keegan, 1999).

Polycentric Staffing Policy

Polycentricity or polycentrism is the belief that the natives understand their environment better than the aliens and therefore key positions are given to Host Country Managers (HCNs). This method is likely to be used when a multidomestic policy is being put into action.

Host citizens evolve into administrators in their own state, but their own careers are stagnated as they are never able to arrive at the apex. There is little anxiety in polycentric corporations for a common corporate culture (Heenan and Perlmutter, 1979). This approach has a composite organizational arrangement thus requiring the so much communication and incorporation that transverse state borders (Edstrom and Galbraith, 1977).

Advantageous in that the company anticipates optimum profits via elasticity since native administrators are bound to respond quickly to market requirements in the areas such as costing, manufacture, product life cycle and politics. Problems linked with expatriate administrators such as cultural shortsightedness are minimal guarantees stability in managing alien subordinates (Deresky, 2002).

Moreover, the communities accept HCNs regardless of their location-both within and outside the subsidiary- plus other rising mobile staff look up to them (Deresky, 2002; Biscoe and Schuler, 2004; Scullion and Linehan, 2005; Hill, 2003; Ball, 2006).

Disadvantages are: Synergy is lacking as a result of poor communication amid state entities. Corporate headquarters are sometimes segregated from state entities and amalgamation becomes an uphill task. Eventually, this translates to sluggishness within the corporation. Familiarity of host citizens is limited to their state (Deresky, 2002).

Geocentric Staffing Policy

Geocentricity or geocentrism is the perception with the intention that the most qualified people should be given the job in spite of their nationality. The benefits of using this kind of policy are: The Corporation derives maximum utility from its human resources and puts together a group of professionals that can work with any ethnicity.

It has been by mostly European corporations (Deresky, 2002; Biscoe and Schuler, 2004; Scullion and Linehan, 2005; Hill, 2003 ;). It balances demands from both Ethnocentric and polycentric approaches and ensures the firm’s operations are successful.

Ethnocentric demand for low cost homogenized activities is fulfilled as a result of sufficient typology of merchandise for the international consumer base to allow for balanced financial systems and understanding of curve effects. The polycentric stress for native response is also attained for the simple reason that the desire to congregate the discrete features that remains in all markets.

The negative effect of this policy is that it is very costly to put into operation considering the necessities such as substantial cross-cultural education and expansion. Besides, it may possibly be converse to host nations’ need for the citizens to be given jobs by the corporation.

Regiocentric Staffing Policy

Regiocentricity can be defined as the disparity of staffing policy to ensemble specific geographic regions. It gives rise to a blend of TCNs, PCNs and HCNs in concurrence with the strategies for produced goods & services or the corporate needs (Deresky, 2002; Biscoe and Schuler, 2004).

The positive consequences of using this kind of approach are that it if a corporation wants to shift from an ethnocentric or polycentric policy to a geocentric policy; it acts as an aid.

Secondly, the approach diversified to go well with the character of the corporate production and policy of the product. Thirdly, it permits managers to work together following inter-regional relocations, and lastly, it illustrates a little compassion to local situations.

Choice of staffing policy

As mentioned before, a connection can be illustrated between the globalization policy being tracked and the staffing policy being put into practice by most of the MNEs (Deresky, 2002; Hill, 2003).

It obviously follows that corporations pursuing an international policy are likely to use an ethnocentric staffing strategy, corporations pursuing a multidomestic policy are likely to use a polycentric staffing strategy and corporations pursuing a transnational or global policy are likely to use a geocentric staffing strategy. These relationships can be expounded as follows:

If an MNE is attempting to generate its worth through reassigning competencies at the hub to an alien operation, as corporations pursuing an international strategy are, it may accept as true that the superlative technique to get this done is by relocating PCNs who have comprehended that competency to the alien operation.

If a corporation seeks to relocate a competency which is a hub in marketing to an alien subsidiary devoid of propping up the relocation of home-nation marketing administration personnel, the gimmick is likely to fail to yield the expected gains since the information underlying competency at the hub cannot be effortlessly expressed and put in black and white (Hill, 2003).

As highlighted above, Corporations that have an interest in multi domestic policies yearn for the ultimate local reactions. Such corporations engage in widespread customization of their merchandise offers and consequently their marketing policies to be in rhythm with diverse national conditions.

If a firm wants to be localized there are undisputed benefits to recruiting HCNs. Such administrators are in touch with the local environment and culture and usually have many contacts already established. Moreover, the populace is bent on accepting HCNs both within and outside the subsidiary plus rising mobile staff look up to them for guidance (Deresky, 2002; Hill, 2003).

Geocentric Staffing policies allows a company to milk its human resources for whatever its worth and essentially, enables a company to build a team of professionals who fit like a glove within any ethnicity. This is usually the pioneer level onto establishing a stable culture that unites everyone and an unofficial administration system, which are both needed for transnational strategies.

In recent times, a number of critics have argued that the types of policies explained here are so straightforward that they make it tricky to comprehend the internal segregation of organizational practices contained by international businesses despite the fact that they are acknowledged and extensively exercised among both practitioners and intellectuals of international companies (See Table 1).

The following variables influence the choice of staffing policies to be used by an MNE: First, the policy and the composition of the venture. Secondly factors associated with the subsidiary in question, for instance the time frame of the meticulous alien activity, the kind of machinery brought into play and the basic marketing and manufacturing procedures.

Thirdly, factors linked to the host nation state also have a role, for instance the level of economic and technological growth, stable political atmosphere, directives considering tenure and personnel and socio-cultural situation.


In conclusion, staffing deals precisely with the purchase, orientation and allotment of human resources in a company. Within both the local and the global perspective, the staffing procedure is projected as a series of levels that are implemented on a recurring basis to ensure that the organization has proper personnel at any given time frame.

The levels involved in this procedure are: Human resource planning which is a section of the organization’s strategic plan, recruitment, selection, orientation and induction, training to develop job skills, development to inform natives further than the requirements of their present situation, performance evaluation, compensation and rewards, reassignments and severance.

In an international venture, the administration of the steps relies heavily on Company’s approach and the staffing policy that will be chosen to chosen to support that strategy. There are basically four choices of policies that a company can choose to put into practice: the ethnocentric policy, the polycentric policy, the geocentric policy and the regiocentric policy.

The Variables that will influence the choice of the above variables are the policy and the composition of the venture, factors associated with the subsidiary in question, the kind of machinery brought into play and the basic marketing and manufacturing procedures.

Factors linked to the host nation state also play an important role, for instance the level of economic and technological growth, stable political atmosphere, directives considering tenure and personnel and socio-cultural situation.


Ball, D.A., McCulloh, Jr., W.H., Frantz, P.L., Geringer, J.M. & Minor, M.S. (2006) International business: The challenges of global competition. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Briscoe, D.R. & Schuler, R.S. (2004) International human resource management London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

Deresky, H. (2002). International management: Managing across borders and cultures Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall

Egeihoff. W. G. (1988) Organizing the Multinational Enterprise: An Information Processing Perspective Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.

Heenan D.A., and Perlmutter H.V.(1979),Multinational Organization Development Reading, MA: Addison-Welsey, pp.18-19.

Hill, C.W.L. (2003) International business: Competing in the global marketplace. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Kobrin, S. J. (1988) ‘Expatriate Reduction and Strategic Control in American Multinational Corporations’, Human Resource Management, 27: 63-75.

Lee, Y. and Larwood, L. (1983) The Socialization of Expatriate Managers in Multinational Firms, Academy of Management Journal. 26: 657-65.

Peterson, R. B., Sargent, J., Napier, N. K., & Shim,W.S. (1996). Corporate expatriate HRM policies, internationalization and performance in the world’s largest MNCs. Management International Review, 36 (3): 215 (16p).

Scullion, H. & Linehan, M. (2005) International human resource management: A critical text, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schuler, R. S. and MacMillan, L.C. (1984) ‘Gaining Competitive Advantage through Human Resource Management Practices’, Human Resource Management. 23: 241-55.

Tung, R. L. and Punnett, B. J. (1993) ‘Research in International Human Resource Management’. In Wong-Rieger, D. and Rieger, F. (eds) International Management Research: Looking to the Future. Berlin: de Gruyter, pp. 35–53.


Multinational Organization Development

Sources: Heenan D.A., and H.V. Perlmutter, 1979; Multinational Organization Development

Reading, MA: Addison-Welsey, pp.18-19.

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