This essay gives an account of the Japanese HRM1 practices used in subsidiaries in China.
This essay is organized as follows: the first section is about the HRM practices in Japan and their development; the second part is about the main differences between Japanese and Chinese HRM practices and the third and last one examines the problems that the Japanese HRM practices face in their subsidiaries in China.
Firstly the focus will be on the Japanese HRM system and his features, and especially on the significant changes that have occurred in the 1960-1980 period and from the 'Bubble Economy' decade onwards.
The second section compares these features with the Chinese HRM system, highlighting the common and the different points; this analysis is useful to understand the main problems that Japanese companies face when they manage subsidiaries in China. These issues are studied in the last section of this essay.
Human Resource Management in Japan
Human Resource Management is the process by which a company manages people to get a result (Keeley, 2001, 17).
HRM practices of a country are strictly linked with his cultural, socio-political and physical environment. Culture is one of the most important aspects to consider when studying HRM practices; the influence of culture is essential throughout all the HR cycle: selection, recruitment, feedback, evaluation and interviews (Kaminsky, 2002).
HRM practices in East Asia are believed to be significantly influenced by Confucian values; in particular Japan manifests this paternalistic vision of life with some key components, like: Lifetime employment, the importance of the needs of the employee and the encouragement of team processes (Pucik and Hatvany 1983, quoted in...
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...wie, 2002). As Beamish, Delio and Makino (2001:89) state, this ethnocentric style of MNEs management can lead to few opportunities for local nationals, even though in recent years it can be noted a slight shift from ethnocentrism to polycentrism in Japanese subsidiaries in China (Nakamura, 2001).
HRM practices in Japan have passed through many changes and reforms. In the last years, Japan is opening towards foreign markets and one of the countries where subsidiaries are most numerous is China. In China Japanese HRM management faces many problems, even though most of them are not related to China itself but are related to HR practices used by Japanese companies abroad. Due to the growing importance of Chinese business worldwide and to the constant evolution of its HRM, Japan is trying to find solutions for these issues, even if it's not an easy task.
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