In our increasingly competitive, uncertain, complex world marketplace, multinational companies, unions, and governments must rethink and adjust their human resource strategies and legislative policies again and again. Cooke and the contributors to this wide ranging volume provide case studies and original analyses of present and coming human resource issues and problems. Offering a balanced, objective understanding of what they are, they thus succeed in giving HR executives and public policymakers a way to devise more creative and workable coping strategies. Among the book's major points: MNCs usually underestimate the influence that differences in industrial relations systems, workplace cultures, and local resistance to certain HR policies can all have on their operations. Unions too often fail to develop effective transnational and inter-union strategies to better serve their memberships in other countries and cultures. And public policy makers are torn between policies meant to respond to a need for workplace efficiency, against other policies meant to promote worker equity.
The book addresses these and other issues hitherto explored minimally or not at all and provides analytical, practical insights that have long-term generalizability and applicability. Unique in its depth of ideas representing a vast range of expertise, the book is a compelling addition to the literature on human resource management, and a necessary resource for executives at all levals in all types of global organizations. The contributors examine, first, the foreign direct investment configuration strategies of multinationals, then the transnational diffusion of human resource and labor relations strategies. Among the topics they cover are, how MNCs choose to diffuse the policies of the domestic parent company into their foreign subsidiaries, or how they decide to adopt policies and practices that originate in the host countries. They take up the issues of organized labor's generally diminishing relative power in a rapidly changing global workplace, then focus on transnational collective bargaining strategies and sociopolitical action.
Finally, by recognizing recent multilateral agreements governing workplaces across borders, the contributors are able to assess the European Union Directive on transnational works councils and the labor aspects and agreements of NAFTA.