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International human resource management in the Indian information technology sector: A comparison of Indian MNCs and affiliates of foreign MNCs in India

The Global Diffusion of Human Resource Practices: Institutional and Cultural Limits

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1401-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-526-0

ISSN: 1571-5027

Publication date: 8 July 2008

Abstract

The information technology (IT) sector has gained prominence since 1990. However, studies on the human resource management (HRM) policies and practices of multinational corporations (MNCs) have been few and far between. In this paper we study the Indian IT sector using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. For the quantitative research design, we used structured measurement tools developed by the Global HRM Project. Data were collected from 36 IT MNCs of Indian and foreign origin (U.S. and European) located in Bangalore and Hyderabad in India. We tested four hypotheses that were verified using the Mann–Whitney test of mean rank. We assessed the flow of HRM practices and the differences in HR practices between Indian and foreign MNCs. For the qualitative design we used an unstructured approach to gather secondary data sources and used anecdotal data gathered over a decade through our interactions with the Indian IT industry. We used the narrative style to show past and current Indian business culture, level of technology, and implications for foreign direct investment in the Indian IT sector. We state two qualitative hypotheses for this part of the research study. We find the current business culture and level of technology of Indian IT MNCs moderately similar to those of foreign MNCs, and more so U.S. MNCs. We find no differences between Indian and foreign MNCs in HRM practices. We assume that the unexpected similarity in international human resource management (IHRM) practices is probably due to: (1) the nature of information technology, (2) closing levels of R&D between Indian and foreign MNCs, and (3) similar business cultures of Indian and foreign MNCs. IT-intensive global organizations are likely get a step closer to global IHRM standardization.

Citation

Mathew, M. and Jain, H.C. (2008), "International human resource management in the Indian information technology sector: A comparison of Indian MNCs and affiliates of foreign MNCs in India", Lawler, J.J. and Hundley, G. (Ed.) The Global Diffusion of Human Resource Practices: Institutional and Cultural Limits (Advances in International Management, Vol. 21), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 267-297. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1571-5027(08)00011-9

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited