Comparing and contrasting the HR practices in China and South Korea

Essay by jun1971University, Master's May 2005

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Human Resource Management (HRM) has been considered as the important part of management in enterprise in the modern society because it influences on the whole member of company. In the recent years, under the impact of environmental changes such as globalization, benchmarking, and "best practice", it seems that HRM tends to converges and universalizes (Rowley & Benson 2002). However, more recently researches questions whether there is a convergence of HR practices between countries as pressure increases to conform to a uniform model (Rowley & Benson 2002). In order to explore this proposition, this essay will examine the HRM in China and South Korea.

The HRM in China will be examined firstly. In the past two decades, the way enterprises in China manage their human resources has changed dramatically. Since the early 1980s, China has launched extensive reforms to move away from its lifetime - employment model, to a new post - reform outcome, which is indicated as employment contracts and unlimited labour market (Braun & Warner 2002).

At the same time, China also continuously developed new investment forms for multinational enterprises. New investment forms allow certain "strategic investors" with significant investment volume in China to establish holding companies to better co-ordinate their management, and in particular Human Resource Management activities, across their multiple operations (Howson & Li 1998).

Recruitment and selection, the first procedure of Human Resource Management, will be explored firstly. Before the economic reform programme was launched in 1979, the enterprises were deprived of their right to recruit competent employees and to fire or layoff unqualified workers (Nyaw 1995). However, since economic reforms, the lifetime employment system has gradually been replaced by a labour contract system which specifies terms and conditions of employment, and rights and responsibilities between workers and employers. As a result, employees are recruited...