Flexibility In International Human Resource Management

1901 Words 8 Pages
According to Atkinson (1984) an organization is in search for three kinds of flexibilities: numerical, functional and financial. Numerical flexibility is when a firm has a more flexible method towards the recruitment, selection and firing policies. This type of flexibility can be achieved when a firm can easily increase or decrease its workforce within a short period according to the demand of labour needed. Numerical flexibility consists of part-time workers and temporary workers. Functional flexibility can be described as workers being re-placed from one job or task to another. It means when the demand for products and the method of production changes the same labour workforce can change with the demand and can adapt to the
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IHRM is constantly developing and keeping itself abreast due to the growing trends in labour flexibility.
One of the issues that have emerged from labour flexibility and offshoring is the understanding of labour standards of different countries. IHRM has to restructure its policies and procedures in order to be in compliant with labour standards of the countries where multinationals tend to offshore their products. For instance, countries like UK, USA and European Union are offshoring their production of good and services to countries like China, Bangladesh, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan because of its cheap labour (Liu and Chiu,1999). However, these developed countries are not aware of the hidden inequalities that exist due to usage of flexible labour in these developing countries. The entire channel in offshore manufacturing sector includes a chain of agents, contractors, sub-contractors and non-standard workers. Everyone in this chain is running after profit and in order to have an on-going business. In doing so, one of the group will be effected and neglected from the minimal wage and in these type of cases it is mostly the non-standard workforce, since they do not fall under the labour laws and regulation (Liu and Chiu,1999). Thus in order to understand the labour
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Thus it impacts IHRM by bestowing upon it the responsibility to ensure workplace safety in the factory locations offshore. IHRM department of every MNCs offshoring their manufacturing to other countries must develop standards to make sure safety and health laws are followed in those offshore locations which are in compliant with local unions, governments and union contracts. An International Human Resource Manager handling human resource related functions globally must be aware of worker protection requirements, not limited to heating and ventilation requirements, chemical hazards and building code standards to ensure the workplace safety.

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