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Robustness and flexibility of human resource management practices: The results of a repeated survey of Russian subsidiaries of multinational corporations

Igor Gurkov (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)
Evgeny Morgunov (Department of Applied Psychology, The Moscow School of Social and Economic Sciences, Moscow, Russia) (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)
Zokirzhon Saidov (Department of General and Strategic Management, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to retrace the sources of robustness of the operations of Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of western multinational corporation (MNC) during the downturn, from the point of view of applied human resource management (HRM) practices.

Design/methodology/approach

A repeated survey of heads of Russian manufacturing plants of western MNCs was implemented. The same respondents aswered the similar questions in 2014 and in 2016.

Findings

The current evolution of HRM arrangements in the Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of MNCs can be explained by an attempt for ambidexterity. On the one hand, managers of the Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of MNCs attempt to prevent employee alienation. Thus, they retain permanent contracts and preserve guarantees of home-take pay. On the other hand, there is the elimination of several social benefits. In the author’s opinion, the cost-minimization approach has been used excessively. The authors speculate that the system of social benefits will need to be adjusted again to transform the system from one that is “crisis-proof” to one that is “stagnation adapted.”

Originality/value

The findings provide a basis for a broader discussion on mutation of HRM systems in manufacturing subsidiaries of MNCs facing deteriorating market conditions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Conflict of interest: no conflict of interest exists for this paper.

This work was supported by the research grant of the Faculty of Business and Management of the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow.

Citation

Gurkov, I., Morgunov, E. and Saidov, Z. (2017), "Robustness and flexibility of human resource management practices: The results of a repeated survey of Russian subsidiaries of multinational corporations", Employee Relations, Vol. 39 No. 5, pp. 594-625. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-07-2016-0138

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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