Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The Brits: the wimps of employee relations!

Stories of three separate cases of employee relations conflict have been unfolding in parallel this week, each of which sheds light on how national cultures can affect the employer/employee relationship.
The rather polite employees in Britain protested against the decision to close down a wind turbine facility by staging a sit-in at the Isle of Wight factory. As of today, management of the company has failed in its attempt to have the workers removed from the factory.
The slightly more passionate guys in France adopted a different approach when their demands for guaranteed redundancy payments were rejected by management: they kidnapped the managing director, and threatened to blow up three companies with gas cylinders.
But the heavyweights of the employee relations world are quite clearly the chaps in China. They brought discussions to merge two steel manufacturing companies (with the inevitable loss of jobs) to a dramatic conclusion by killing the boss of one of the two companies.
  • How are national cultures likely to influence the nature of employer/employee relations in different companies?
  • What are the challenges for multi-national organisations in attempting to implement a global and uniform HR strategy?

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