HR's Influence on Globalization
Human resources is making a tremendous impact on globalization as more and more international organizations recognize the importance of people over process. International human resource management and global human resource management are changing the way respective parts of the world think of the world as a whole. HR has gone from a secondary business system afterthought of senior management to a primary, integrative, strategic business partner in promoting an organization's products and services to the global community.
Globalization has brought about a clash of cultures as information flows to and from various cultures and diverging values intersect. Thought of as a unitary phenomenon, globalization is more like a web of interconnected organizations, values and people. Traditionally, HR was delegated the role of picking up the pieces of the culture clash. HR has evolved into a proactive training unit, heading off trouble at the pass, because as the international bestseller "Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind" by Geert Hofstede, et al., states, globalization can get ugly: "... we cannot change the way people in a country think, feel, and act by simply importing foreign institutions." HR is leading the charge to effective intercultural exchange that is redefining the way people think of globalization.
HR helps to develop global business by creating new thought patterns and systems that drive globalization inputs. One example is finding a company's competitive advantage in the global marketplace where "the sustainable competitive advantage will depend less on the strategic planning debates inside the corporate HQ, and more on the behavior of employees across all regions of the world," according to Vladimir Pucik, associate professor and academic director of international programmes at The Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies at the ILR School, Cornell University. Think of it as HR hijacking global business for everyone's benefit.
A key aspect of the HR team partnering with the business team is in the area of supporting and resourcing personnel. GHRM is driving the shift from business or position-based activities to person-based success. Successful employees enable a corporate global culture that creates sustainable corporate success, creating momentum globally. As more and more companies focus on resourcing their staff worldwide, globalization begins to embody personal rather than impersonal characteristics.
As global HRM enables more successful global employees, the result is global citizens who are more responsive to intercultural clashes and inconsistencies and who promote a genuine real-person globalization. It's a self-perpetuating model that HR has created because the focus is on people, not process. HR's influence on globalization will be complete when the global business community fully values men, women and children as much as profit.