A model for examining the changing role of HRM in Chinese organizations: a knowledge perspective

Gloet, Marianne, and Berrell, Mike (2003) A model for examining the changing role of HRM in Chinese organizations: a knowledge perspective. In: Proceedings o f the 15th Annual Conference of the Association for Chinese Economic Studies Australia (ACESA). pp. 1-23. From: 15th Annual Conference of the Association for Chinese Economics Studies Australia (ACESA), 2-3 October 2003, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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The coming of the knowledge economy has significant implications for managing human resources. Having cast off their bureaucratic image, human resource managers now closely align their activities to their organisation's strategic plan. This alignment requires a new generation of managers who can respond to the dynamic environment of a knowledge economy. One way human resource [HR] managers have reinvigorated themselves in Western economies can be seen in their contribution to managing knowledge and human capital within their organisations. However, although the contributions of HR managers in the West has the potential to create additional sources of competitive advantage through the more effective management of human capital and knowledge, the role of HR managers in the new Chinese economy deserves special attention. The paper examines aspects of the revitalization of the human resource management [HRM] function in Chinese organisations in four essential areas, viz. (i) managerial roles, (ii) managerial relationships, (iii) an organisation's strategic focus, and (iv) an organisation's learning focus. Subsequently, the notion of context is discussed and proffered as the principal consideration in developing HRM functions in Chinese organisations. This development requires a cadre of HR managers cognizant of how context affects all HRM functions. Specifically, managers must appreciate how environmental and organisational contexts as well as team and individual contexts underpin an organisation's approach to managing human resources. These contextual considerations are most important because the wholesale transfer of Western management theories and practices pertaining to HRM to Chinese organisations has shown to be inappropriate. The 'one size fits all' approach is no longer a legitimate strategy. The contextual factors within Chinese organisations are explored using data gathered from a large pharmaceutical company. A heuristic framework is presented, which sets out the relationships between context and HRM functions the areas of managerial roles, managerial responsibilities, the organisation's strategic focus, and the organisation's learning focus. This is achieved by taking into account the particularities of not only Chinese culture but also the structure of Chinese organisations. It is suggested that in order for Chinese organisations to reap the benefits of a knowledge economy, HRM practices must extend beyond their conventional functions, which normally include staffing, HRD, remuneration, and pe1formance management. Such functions are now largely devolved in Western organisations. However, many Chinese HR managers are yet to fully embrace these conventional functions let alone move to considering knowledge management or managing human capital as within their sphere of influence. Against this background, the paper discusses the ways in which Chinese managers can extend their activities beyond the conventional functions by strategically directing, developing, and sustaining organisational capabilities through activities that overlap with business functions. These functions include finance, marketing, strategy, and non-traditional activities such as managing knowledge and human capital.

Item ID: 14720
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
Keywords: China; HRM
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2017 04:01
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1503 Business and Management > 150308 International Business @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940501 Employment Patterns and Change @ 100%
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