National Ownership and HR Practices In UK Greenfield Sites

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This article reports research on the influence of country of ownership on HR policy and practice in UK establishments. It is hypothesised that establishments will conform to national stereotypes in the practices they adopt and that establishments owned by firms from the USA, Japan and Germany, will, albeit in different ways, adopt more HR practices and report better outcomes than their UK counterparts. the research is based on the Third Workplace Industrial Relations Survey and on a sample of new establishments, opened in the 1980s. Analysis of the data from the 1990 Workplace Industrial Relations Survey finds no evidence that foreign-owned firms are more likely to adopt HR practices. the study of new workplaces finds that UK-owned establishments are as enthusiastic as the foreign-owned in their adoption of HR policy and practice. There is also evidence to support, at least partially, the stereotypes of the American and Japanese approaches. However German-owned establishments do not conform to the expected home country pattern. They are the least likely to adopt HR practices and also report poorer HR and employee relations outcomes. the study challenges the assumption that foreign-owned firms in the UK are more likely to adopt HR practices and indicates that we must be cautious in applying stereotypical national approaches to HRM both among foreign and UK establishments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-75
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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