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Comparative Human Resource Management In China (Essay Sample)


The essay is asking you to get involved in the convergence vs divergence argument. It is asking you to choose a country and examine HRM practices within that country to illustrate whether HRM practices are converging towards one best practice model or whether countries remain distinctive in their approach. Through the lectures, your own personal reading and the completion of the first assessment, you should now be very familiar with the over-arching debate, and key theories and authors supporting either side.

In the essay, you can take either side of the debate but it is up to you to support your argument through use of the chosen country. You are free to use on of the countries identified in your first assessment. 



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Comparative Human Resource Management

Globalization has led to both positive and negative changes within institutional organizations. One of the impacted areas is human resource management (HRM), the department assigned to the hiring and firing of workers. It also controls the way they work and reinforces employee behavior with rewards and punishments. Overall, its primary purpose is to maximize the performance of the organization’s employees (Bratton & Gold, 2017). Globalization allows different countries to interact and share their knowledge and experiences on the success and failures of their organizations. It also allows countries to employ people from other nations, who provide a different perspective on how best to manage corporations. According to the theory of comparative advantage, a company aims at providing a product or service at a lower marginal cost or opportunity cost compared to other countries (Dowling, 2008). In this way, they make more profit and benefit more from the trade-off. The benefits of providing the service or good outweigh the costs. The interaction enabled by globalization contributes to the similarity of the nature of the management of companies, also known as convergence.

The corporations believe that by mimicking similar human resource management policies of successful companies, they become competitive on a level playing field and can make just as much profit as their competitors. They employ directional convergence, which means that the companies can move at the same pace as their competitors (Kaufman, 2016). A counter-theory suggests that globalization has an opposite effect on companies. They strive to possess different human resource management policies and practices so that they stand out, also known as divergence (Kaufman, 2016). Being different attracts attention from consumers and stakeholders. They are also likely to make more profit and have a better success story as compared to the copycats in the corporate world.

From a personal perspective, a company benefits more from both convergence and divergence human resource management policies. The best way to illustrate this perspective is through the study of China’s human resource management structure and how they run their companies in general. However, it is wise to note that not all companies conform to the convergence or divergence rule. Some countries maintain divergence human resource management, where they believe that the human resource manager possesses one of the most important roles in the company. They also believe that the company mainly belongs to the employees and customers rather than the stakeholders. They strive to be different in terms of their interaction with other businesses, innovations, and policies. On the other hand, other companies believe that by mimicking the practices in western countries such as the United States of America, they are able to compete with their consumer market since the focus is not so much on the human resource management but on stakeholders and consumers.

China is one of the largest countries in East Asia and has a huge population of about 1.4 billion people. It has the highest number of neighboring countries such as Afghanistan, South Korea, among others, who play a significant role in promoting the country’s international trade. The Chinese economic reform took place in December 1978, executed by the Communist Party of China (Cooke, 2012). China had the most advanced economy even before the 19th century and considered as one of the world’s richest nations. The economic reforms in 1978 aimed at introducing marketing principles. The first stage promot...

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