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Discuss the main factors and issues that the Sparkle corporation took into consideration when decided to allow individual factories in different countries to carry on with their own approaches to HRM.

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´╗┐The sparkle corporation -Case Study- Cristian Ioan Scarlat Student number @00269707 International Human Resource Management Business Studies with International Business Management University of Salford (1) Since the beginning, Sparkle corporation focused on extending towards Eastern Europe, Russia, China and South-East Asia, thus plunging into new markets where trends, way of thinking, consumer behaviour among other factors, were very different. The group is divided into five main Business Segments, each dealing with design, distribution, financial services, building systems and transportation. The five segments are subdivided into fifty international Business Areas, with 200,000 employees in total working for the Sparkle corporation with the head office located in Zurich. Significant decentralisation was originally introduced in late 1980s with local customer focus, but soon enough the company was facing a hybrid form between polycentric and geocentric policy, a combination between a multinational that develops policy on a worldwide basis and the type where policy making in entirely developed to the country and individual business units. The multi-domestic corporation developed its slogan as "being local worldwide", with claims of it being "the most successful cross-border merger in Europe". In order for the group's main customers, governments and public utilities, as well as private consumers to perceive sustained good performance even after the firms' new local acquisitions, Sparkles' CEO created from the beginning a multitude of accountable small businesses. Local operations, reporting to international Business Area centres were incorporated as separate legal entities, and started exercising individual HRM approaches in order to create transparency, accountability, remove barriers of communication and information, but also to discover excess costs and low-performing units. ...read more.


Usually there is a lack in skills in the local workforce, but Sparkle created Sparkle 'university' in Zurich to provide specialized courses for managers around the world in the purpose of improving the learning between factories in different countries. Briscoe et al. (2009, p.172) argues that 'the use of international assignees (especially from headquarters) is high during the initial stages of foreign operations in order to accomplish technology transfer , including production and management technologies, product knowledge transfer, and staffing and implementing a startup. The number of international assignees will then decline as the firm's local managers and technical and functional staff assimilate this knowledge. The number may later expand, again, as local operations become increasingly integrated into a global operational framework.'. International assignees are carefully selected because errors in selection can lead to a negative impact of operations overseas. Factors like the maturity of the candidate , the adaptability, individual resourcefulness, emotional stability, interest in the assignment and topic, as well as the ability to handle foreign language(s) and job suitability as general fact are considered in depth. The company must pay close attention to avoid the failure of international assignments driven by the inability to merge with new cultures from stereotyping and prejudices brought against the foreign culture. Containing the costs of international assignees can be a challenge from the firm's perspective. Briscoe et al. (2009, p.187) goes into this topic, stating 'Moving employees from country to country is expensive, both in direct remuneration (compensation and benefits), and in the administration of their relocation expenses. ...read more.


The increase in international management skills in Sparkle and development of Sparkle-wide intra-net will help the company disseminate knowledge. REFERENCE LIST Bonache, J. AND Zárraga-Oberty, C. (2008). Determinants of the success of international assignees as knowledge transferors: a theoretical framework. The International Journal of Human Resource Management [online], 19(1), 1-18. Available from: https://dspace.lib.cranfield.ac.uk/bitstream/1826/4345/1/Determinants_of_the_success_of_international_assignees.pdf [Accessed 27 Nov 2012] Briscoe, D. R. AND Schuler, R. S. AND Claus, L. (2009). International Human Resource Management: Policies and practices for multinational enterprises. 3rd ed. Oxon: Routledge . Collings, D. G. AND Doherty, N. AND Luethy, M. AND Osborn, D. (2011). Understanding and supporting the career implications of international assignments. Journal of Vocational Behaviour [online], 78(3), 361-371. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001879111000340 [Accessed 29 Nov 2012] Edwards, T. AND Rees, C. (2006). International Human Resource Management: Globalisation, National Systems and Multinational Companies. 1st ed. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall . Gabel-Shemuli, R. AND Dolan, S. (2011). Do emotions matter?: The role of emotional intelligence competences in cross-cultural adjustment for international assignment. Management research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, 9(3), 207-229. Jackson, T. (2002). International HRM: a cross-cultural approach. 1st ed. London: SAGE . Morley, M. J. AND Gunnigle, P. AND Collings, D. G. (2006). Global Industrial Relations. 1st ed. London: Routlegde . Tahvanainen, M. AND Welch, D. AND Worm, V. (2005). Implications of Short-term International Assignments. European Management Journal [online], 23(6), 663-673. Available from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263237305001155 [Accessed 28 Nov 2012] Winfred, A. JR. AND Winston, B. JR. (1995). The international assignee: The relative importance of factors perceived to contribute to success. Personnel Psychology [online], 48, 99-114. Available from: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=c9d743da-ee01-4262-9369-613371172b8a%40sessionmgr113&vid=2&hid=110 [Accessed 28 Nov 2012] ...read more.

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