University of Tasmania
whole_DeCieriHelen1996_thesis.pdf (26.61 MB)

The social dimension of the European Union : implications for strategic international human resource management in Australian multinational enterprises

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posted on 2023-05-27, 00:34 authored by De Cieri, Helen
The development of the European Union (EU) has provided a forum for the attention of social scientists, political analysts, economists, and management researchers and practitioners over the past few decades. It has been argued that developments in the social dimension of the EU will hold significance for multinational enterprises (MNEs) (Blanpain & Engels, 1993; Brewster & Hegewisch, 1994). The growth of the European Union as a significant player in world markets has particular significance for Australian MNEs, as the EU is Australia's largest economic partner in terms of total transactions in goods, services and investment (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 1994a). Hence, the implications of the social dimension of the EU for Australian MNEs provide the context of this thesis. The two broad themes for this thesis are policy analysis and theory development. First, policy analysis involves investigation of the environment, including Australia and the EU Member States (at national level), and the EU (at supra-national level). MNEs form the central unit of analysis in this thesis. The research approach is aimed to permit contextualization of the findings, particularly with regard to strategic international human resource management (SIHRM) (Schuler, Dowling & De Cieri, 1993) in Australian MNEs operating in the EU. Second, this thesis aims to operationalize an integrative approach to theoretical advancement in SEHRM. In order to analyse the development of SMIRK a conceptual integrative framework developed by Schuler et al. (1993) is examined. The thesis charts the development of the field of SIHRM, recognising that it is a relatively new area of enquiry and practical significance for MNEs. Four major research questions were identified for investigation. In addition, 16 research propositions generated by Schuler et al. (1993) were selected for investigation in this thesis. The research methodology utilised in this thesis incorporates questionnaire surveys and organizational case studies to analyse quantitative and qualitative data on SEHRM issues, functions, policies and practices of Australian MNEs operating in the EU. Data collection consists of three major components. First, a pilot study was conducted in a large MINE operating in the EU, in order to identify major SEHRM themes and issues in the EU context. Second, questionnaire surveys were conducted in December of 1992 and 1994 to investigate the role of S1HRM in Australian MNEs operating in the EU. Third, a major organizational case study was analysed. The discussion and analysis of the thesis findings leads to conclusions with respect to the implications of the social dimension of the EU for HERM in Australian MNEs. This research holds a range of implications relevant to policy analysis and development, theory development, research methodology, and STHRM practice. A revision of the integrative framework of SIHRM is presented.


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Copyright 1996 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Spine title: Strategic international human resource management in Australian multinational enterprises. Pamphlet in pocket at back of vol. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 1996. Includes bibliographical references

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