Professor Mari Yamauchi, Doshisha University
Integrating a global workforce - Japanese approaches to global HR
Project duration: 2016-ongoing
Human resource (HR) management is among the first business functions needed abroad when setting up a foreign subsidiary, but it will in most cases be the last function to be integrated on a global scale. Multinational Japanese companies having long pursued ethno-centric and polycentric internationalization strategies are now considering global approaches in the management of HR. The goals are to better compete for global talent and to more effectively integrate global operations. However, global HR confronts an important structural barrier in Japan. The deep-rooted institution of in-house careers creates a strong domestic bias with regard to the recruitment and development of future corporate leaders. The project theoretically analyses the limits of Japan’s domestic system of company based careers within the context of globalization. It then empirically investigates through interviews and case studies how Japanese companies adjust their HR system as they further globalize their business operations, drawing also comparisons from foreign companies in Japan.