Struggling to organize across national borders: The case of global resource management in professional service firms

Boussebaa, Mehdi (2009) Struggling to organize across national borders: The case of global resource management in professional service firms. Human Relations, 62 (6). pp. 829-850.

Abstract

A growing body of research has challenged the commonly accepted
view that multinationals have evolved into globally integrated
networks, demonstrating instead that such organizations are
sites of conflict between competing rationalities emerging from
distinctive national institutional contexts. However, this research has
neglected professional service firms (PSFs) in spite of them often
being held as exemplars of the integrated network model. This
article redresses this imbalance by focusing, in particular, on how PSFs
seek to coordinate the horizontal flow of their human resources as
a mechanism of inter-unit knowledge sharing. Drawing upon interviews
in four PSFs, I show that these organizations have developed
resource management systems that cannot simply be reduced to
national institutional contexts. However, I also demonstrate that the
process of resource management is subject to inter-unit conflicts that
undermine its raison d’être. I argue that these tensions are symptomatic
of both the Anglo-American model of multinational management
and cross-national differences in market conditio

Item Type: Article
Citations: Web of Science: 6
Keywords: comparative and cross-cultural management, conflict, human resources and industrial relations, institutional theory, strategic and international management
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2010 10:29
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2015 13:04
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/83

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