The liability of mimicry: Implementing “global human resource management standards” in United States and Indian subsidiaries of a South Korean multinational enterprise

Chung, Chul, Brewster, Chris and Bozkurt, Ödül (2020) The liability of mimicry: Implementing “global human resource management standards” in United States and Indian subsidiaries of a South Korean multinational enterprise. Human Resource Management. pp. 1-17. ISSN 0090-4848

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Abstract

There is increasing evidence that multinational enterprises (MNEs) from less dominant economies tend to mimic and disseminate human resource management (HRM) practices sourced from a dominant economy, usually the United States, to overcome their “liabilities of origin.” However, our understanding of the specific challenges involved in the implementation of such practices by firms across different national and subsidiary contexts remains limited. Drawing on evidence from a case study of a South Korean MNE, we examine the extent to which, and ways in which, global HRM policies mimicking U.S. practices are implemented across its sales, manufacturing, and research and development subsidiaries in the United States and India. We find discernible differences in the implementation of the global policies both between the two host country sites and across the three function‐specific subsidiaries in each country, identifying a range of national and subsidiary‐specific factors that inform these variable implementation outcomes. In addition to legitimacy challenges related to the source, appropriateness, and process of transfer, we note a unique form of legitimacy challenge—“the liability of mimicry”—whereby local actors can challenge head office policies on the basis of a claim to superior expertise in the dominant practices, as a particular concern of MNEs from emerging economies.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Management
Research Centres and Groups: Future of Work Hub
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD2350.8 Large industry. Factory system. Big business
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD2350.8 Large industry. Factory system. Big business > HD2709 Corporations Including international business enterprises, diversification, industrial concentration, public utilities
Depositing User: Odul Bozkurt
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2020 06:53
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 16:05
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/93228

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