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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business | 2016
Thesis number: 14390
Global HRM: an interview-based case study of recruitment, onboarding and exit practices of a Finnish industrial MNE
Author: Yurbacheva, Olga
Title: Global HRM: an interview-based case study of recruitment, onboarding and exit practices of a Finnish industrial MNE
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; henkilöstöhallinto; personnel management; rekrytointi; recruiting; prosessit; processes; kansainvälistyminen; internationalization; paikallisuus; locality
Pages: 136
Key terms: IHRM; comparative HRM; recruitment; onboarding; exit; line management; multinational enterprise; globalization; localization
Current debates in IHRM literature suggest that the HRM system in the MNE might either converge or diverge. However, not so much attention is paid at individual HRM practices that can be affected by various national, contingent and inner contextual factors. Therefore, individual practices should be studied separately across subsidiaries of MNEs. Furthermore, the majority of the existing research has concentrated on recruitment and selection practices just briefly mentioning the onboarding and exit. In addition, the role of HR and line managers in these practices has not been broadly studied even though the thinking and beliefs of these actors might vary across the world what might, consequently, affect HRM practices. Besides, the majority of previous researchers were examining HRM practices in affiliates of the US MNEs and in one country context. To address these gaps, this study aims to discover how an MNE manages its HRM practices across borders by deeply exploring how recruitment, onboarding and exit practices differ in the MNE and what roles HR and line managers play in these processes.

This research was conducted as an in-depth case study based on both the primary and the secondary data. The case company used in this study is a global Finnish industrial MNE with operations in 48 countries. Organizations located in eight countries (Australia, China, Finland, Germany, India, Russia, the UK and the US) were examined in this research. The primary qualitative data was obtained with a help of 16 semi-structured interviews conducted with HR and line managers. Also, the secondary data consisting of guidelines and other materials was collected in the case company during a course of this research.

The results of this study demonstrate that all studied HRM practices i.e., recruitment, onboarding and exit are influenced by various national, contingent and inner contextual factors. Furthermore, MNE's integration mechanisms and SIHRM approaches impact the formation of HRM practices in the MNE. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that recruitment, onboarding and exit practices differ across the MNE. However, it seems that recruitment practices are more influenced by contexts than the onboarding and the exit. Thus, job descriptions, job advertisements, behavioral assessments, the onboarding and the exit can have a global basis what can be beneficial to the MNE. Though, a freedom for local adaptation should be given to MNE's subsidiaries. At the same time recruitment channels and technical assessments seem to require a higher level of local adaptation and reliance on local managers' experiences and knowledge. Finally, it was found that both HR and line managers play an important role in HRM processes despite the variance in the involvement of line managers across countries. In particular, it seems that it is essential that both HR and line managers participate in interviewing, onboarding and exit processes. Furthermore, some interviews revealed that line managers should be a part of the job descriptions creation and the recruitment channels selection due to their functional and local knowledge.
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