Global HR roles and factors influencing their development: evidence from emerging Indian IT services multinationals

Mohan Thite, Pawan Budhwar, Adrian Wilkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

Abstract

The rapid growth of emerging markets’ multinational companies (MNCs) is a recent phenomenon and, as such, their nature and structure of key management processes, functions, and roles need further examination. While an abundance of low-cost labor is often the starting point of competitive advantage for many of the emerging markets’ MNCs, it is the optimum configuration of people, processes, and technology that defines how they leverage their intangible resources. Based on case studies of four Indian IT services MNCs, involving 51 in-depth interviews of business and human resource (HR) leaders at the corporate and subsidiary levels, we identify five key HR roles—namely, strategic business partner, guardian of culture, builder of global workforce and capabilities, champion of processes, and facilitator of employee development. The analysis also highlights that the HR function in Indian IT service MNCs faces several challenges in consolidating the early gains of internationalization, such as lack of decentralized decision making, developing a global mind-set, localization of the workforce, and developing a global leadership pipeline. Based on our exploratory findings, we propose a framework outlining the global HR roles pursued by emerging IT services MNCs, the factors influencing them, and the challenges facing their HR function for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-946
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Resource Management
Volume53
Issue number6
Early online date19 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2014

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Thite, M., Budhwar, P., & Wilkinson, A. (2014). Global HR roles and factors influencing their development: evidence from emerging Indian IT services multinationals. Human resource management, 53(6), 921-946, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hrm.21621. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

Keywords

  • emerging Indian IT multinationals
  • international human resource management
  • Indian IT services industry
  • global human resource roles
  • determinants of human resource roles

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