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MANAGING GLOBAL HUMAN RESOURCES The environment in which business competes is rapidly becoming globalized More and more companies are entering international markets by exporting their products overseas building plants in other countries and entering into alliances with foreign companies Global competition is driving changes in organizations throughout the world Companies are attempting to gain a competitive advantage which can be provided by international expansion Deciding whether to enter foreign markets and whether to develop plants or other facilities in other countries is no simple matter and many human resource issues surface Noe Hollenbeck Gerhart and Wright 534 Doing business globally requires that adaptations be made to reflect cultural and other factors that differ from country to country and from continent to continent The nature and stability of political systems vary in character and stability with contracts suddenly becoming unenforceable because of internal political factors Human resource regulations and laws vary among countries in character and detail In many countries in Western Europe laws on labor unions and employment make it difficult to reduce the number of workers because required payments to ex-employees can be very high Equal employment legislation exists to varying degrees In some countries laws address issues such as employment discrimination and sexual harassment Cultural forces represent another important concern affecting international human resource management Culture is composed of the societal forces affecting the values beliefs and actions of a distinct group of people Mathis Jackson 171 Cultural differences certainly exist between nations but also between countries Getting individuals from different ethic or tribal backgrounds to work together may be very difficult in some parts of the world Culture is important to human resources for two reasons It determines the other factors political-legal economic and education-human capital factors Culture affects human capital because if education is greatly valued by culture then members of the community try to increase their human capital Noe Hollenbeck Gerhart and Wright 537 Economic conditions
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