Purpose – To compare the tendency of US and Hong Kong Chinese companies to utilize three alternative human resource management (HRM) strategies to offset uncertainties in the supply of labor. Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 158 US and 66 Hong Kong Chinese companies concerning the extent to which these companies engaged in training and development, monitoring and assessment of employee performance, and staffing through an internal labor market. Data were also obtained concerning the uncertainty in the supply of qualified employees. Findings – After controlling differences in industries and company size, the results show that, when faced with labor uncertainty, use of the three (HRM) strategies was increased by Hong Kong Chinese companies, but decreased by US companies. Practical implications – This study provides new information about how cultural differences may play out in business organizations. The results may provide some insight into how competitors in a global marketplace may react to environmental uncertainties and greater resource dependence. Originality/value – This study fills a need to understand how organizations operating different cultural contexts differ in their reactions to uncertainties in the business environment.
Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2006
Keywords: Human resource management; Uncertainty management; Labour market; Hong Kong; United States of America