With significant operations around the world, Savannah Engineering, Inspection and Insurance Company (SEIIC) is truly a global company. Its most significant international operations are in the European Union (EU) countries and Asia. Growth in China has been particularly rapid over the last five years. Because of the highly technical nature of its business, SEIIC has had a difficult time getting the people with the right skills in the right places and then keeping their skills up to date. The company has worked hard at identifying and hiring local talent, but the efforts have not been entirely successful. To the extent that it can, it has tried to accommodate local needs in its HRM system. However, it has found it difficult to carry out some of its initiatives because of the different ways of working in different areas. It has been difficult for people who transfer from one area to another to deal with the different HRM policies and procedures.
As a part of the overall review of HRM operations, the company is interested in identifying key factors that differentiate its global and domestic operations and in understanding how it can develop a more global approach to HRM.
Summarize key details about the case to date. What are the most important issues affecting SEIIC’s HRM? Your summary should be no more than one to two paragraphs. (Imagine that you are riding down the elevator with SEIIC’s CEO and she asks you to provide a high-level summary of what you’ve discovered so far. You have thirty seconds from the time she gets on the elevator until the time she gets off. What would you say?)
With a focus primarily on the EU and Asian areas of operations, assess key factors that SEIIC should pay attention to in revising its approach to international HRM. Consider, for example, the cultural, economic system, and legal and labor relations similarities and differences in these areas of operation when compared to domestic (United States) operations.
Analyze how these differences between EU, Asian, and domestic areas of operation may affect specific HRM activities including recruiting and staffing, training and development, compensation and benefits, performance management, and labor relations.
Finally, justify how SEIIC should approach implementing HRM around the globe. Should it try to provide essentially a standardized, global HRM system or a highly specialized HRM system that is tailored to each location or region where it operates? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and which would you recommend?