A well-known multinational enterprise is Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (or in English, Bavarian Motor Works or BMW) headquartered in Germany. BMW operates manufacturing facilities in several countries, sources raw materials and components globally, and sells automobiles and motorcycles in much of the developed world. BMW's experience provides excellent source material for analyzing the realities of globalization, including the human resource management challenges associated with international operations.
BMW's first foreign location was its Rosslyn plant, near Pretoria, South Africa (BMW-Rosslyn, 2007). "The BMW Group was one of the pioneers during the politically instable years of the slow break-up of apartheid. It took specific measures against racial segregation, job discrimination, and unjust compensation" (BMW-Rosslyn, 2007). "In September 2003, the BMW Group expanded its international production network with a plant in [Shenyang, Lianoning in] Northeast China. The plant, a joint venture between the BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd., produces vehicles solely for the local market and contributes to developing and penetrating the Chinese market" (BMW-Shenyang, 2007).
This paper examines the cultural and regional differences impacting global HRM within BMW. In addition, an outline suggesting a global strategic HRM plan is also provided.
Home country: GermanyGerman business culture focuses on masculinity, Hofstede. Hofstede is used to explain the differences between 'masculine' countries that were focused on size, wealth, and success (fjell.nl, 2005). Unlike the rest of Europe, Germany is considered a 'masculine' country, thus power is important and it is necessary to know who has power and who does not. Germans tend to judge people by clothing, house, car and wealth possessed. Thus the person who speaks softly and sparsely is the person with power in Germany.
On the contrary, Germany is an egalitarian society. In this perspective, an employee arguing agitatedly with a superior is tolerated unlike many hierarchic countries...