Essays on International Human Resource Management Policies of a Multinational Company Case Study

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The paper "International Human Resource Management Policies of a Multinational Company" is a great example of a case study on human resources.   Due to globalization, companies are expanding rapidly and doing business in many parts of the world. Business activities are affected by globalization and so are the changing roles of human resource management in order to keep up with the trend. Nike, Inc is the largest seller of athletic footwear and athletic apparel in the world with its headquarters near Beaverton, Oregon in the United States of America (Nike, 2010). Its subsidiaries include; Cole Haan, Converse Inc, Hurley International LLC, Bauer Hockey, and Umbro and Exeter Brands Group.

It also has contracted factories worldwide to manufacture Nike products but does not operate the factories directly rather the factories are foreign-owned and operated. It has a labor force of over 30,000 employees in over 160 countries and 770, 000 workers in over 680 Nike contracted factories. Before Nike, Inc was invented, the company was known as Blue Ribbon Sports and was a distributor of a Japanese shoemaker. The company has thus evolved tremendously into a multinational company.

Its main goal is innovation, product quality, and improved labor conditions in order to increase productivity. The conduct of supply chains is thus of great importance to the company’ s success. The human resource managers are of equal importance if any achievements are to be made as human resources are the backbone of a company. Successor failure is determined by how well a company handles its workforce. The paper is a critique of the international human resource management policies of a multinational company. Nature of Human Resource Management                       Human resource management in multinational companies is very complex.

As the company diversifies, it faces global challenges such as competition from the industry players and the need for multi-cultural and cross-cultural diversity. It, therefore, needs to strategically plan its activities so as to continue being the leader in the industry and for competitive advantage. The company thus needs to align its human resource functions with its strategic objectives. Besides the usual functions of staffing, performance appraisal, maintaining employee records, benefits, and compensation as well as formulating personnel policies, human resource managers are currently involved in the training and development of employees and formulate policies and practices in line with organization strategic goals.

They also need to acquire knowledge on international human resource issues that affect the business and advice the management accordingly (Scribd, 2008).                       Nike is also practicing lean manufacturing techniques that involve the elimination of waste by reducing costs and capacity building (Nike, 2010). Human resource management plays a crucial role in the realization of this objective. Policies developed should ensure waste is eliminated by ensuring the productivity of the workforce.

This is achieved by ensuring labor conditions are maintained through proper wages, minimizing overtime, good working conditions, good reward systems thus worker satisfaction and consequently productivity. Nike also ensures that the contract factories treat workers properly by enforcing a code of conduct that they follow. Human resource managers thus have knowledge of labor practices of contract factories and the labor laws of the countries where the factories are located. There used to be grievances over unfair labor practices by Asian firms but Nike has managed to weed out the vice by monitoring the factories and placing compliance specialists to ensure compliance with Nike standards (Nike, 2010).

Nike also believes in cultural diversity and inclusion hence management policies designed in line with this objective. Workers are also trained on multi-skilling as opposed to performing a single task hence the task of developing training programs for employees.                       Human resource managers also deal with issues concerning visas and foreign taxes and the management of international assignees (Briscoe & Schuler, 2004). Nike does not operate the contract factories but places quality control staff in those factories as well as compliance staff.

It controls the factories indirectly by ensuring compliance with the labor standards of the country of operation. Supply chain efficiency is thus achieved through human resource management. Recruitment and Selection                       International assignees play an important role in skills and knowledge transfer between the parent company and the subsidiaries. Through experience, they gain useful knowledge that can be transferred through expatriation, repatriation, and repatriation (Briscoe & Schuler, 2004). Recruitment of international assignees has a great impact on overseas operations hence should be done cautiously as a simple mistake can lead to failure.

Different organization cultures are encountered hence the assignees should be prepared. Different cultures, employment laws, and language are important human resource issues in recruitment. The competencies of the assignee are also crucial as his/her skills should match the job requirement. Nike engages in the E-recruitment of staff (Scribd, 2010). Active Recruiter handles the recruitment process of employees. The job request is received from the employing department and discussed with the central resourcing team then posted on the system and applicants invited.

The recruiter also searches the database for earlier applications and interviews are scheduled. The system produces shortlist for successful candidates. Other applications are kept for future reference.                       The selection of assignee is based on knowledge, skills, competencies, experience, and qualification. The person should also portray good knowledge of the foreign language, be emotionally stable, and have a desire for the assignment. The interviewees are of different cultural backgrounds and gender to enhance diversity and inclusion. Employee networks also assist in the recruitment of diverse professionals. Personal characteristics as well as technical experts determine the selection of the right person.

Family issues are also of concern as the assignment involves immigration to another country. The person should be able to adapt to the new environment and relate well with the natives of the country as well as the management. Conclusion                       International human resource management is very complex and challenging to human resource professionals as they deal with global issues and strive to achieve company objectives. The company’ s strategic plan goes hand in hand with the best personnel practices which make the role of the personnel complex.

Managing a diverse workforce with different cultural affiliations is a task personnel officers have to cope with as the company goes global. Human resource managers are also required to acquire knowledge and skills relevant in the international arena and help the management to sustain the business in different environments.


Briscoe, D & Schuler, R. (2004) International Human Resource Management: Policy and Practice for the Global Enterprise. 2ed. London: Routledge.

Scribd. (2008) “Human Resource Policies of Nike: Assignment of Human Resource Management on Human Resource (Company: Nike)”. Retrieved May 10, 2010, from

Nike. (2010)

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