Internationalization of Human Resource Management


Internationalization is a common strategy that has the purpose of expanding the business to multiple countries in order to get international recognition, a higher level of trust from the customers and majorly higher income. The process is essentially defined by mergers and acquisitions on an international level. It can include buying properties in other countries and rebranding them, constructing new properties under the name of a brand, and expanding the duties of business employees to new territories within these properties. Thus, internationalization spreads the working field of a given business to the wider environment and includes international interactions.

The wider business environment, which is expanded to multiple countries, can have its benefits and disadvantages. That being said, the main benefits of the internationalization process are significantly higher income and customers’ trust in case of success. The growth of trust in the business is explained by the international recognition it gets. Once people from various countries start to recognize the business, it makes the brand more famous, and people tend to believe in the business’ reliability the more well-known it gets (Benito, Rygh and Lunnan, 2016). Hence, higher demand for this business’ service resulting from customers’ growing trust in it makes the results of internationalization very beneficial.

However, it is relevant solely in case of international expansion success. There are a lot of small nuances which have to be managed in the process of internationalization in order to invest beneficially. Among many important elements of the managing duties apply to HR, which has to coordinate the administrative functions of an organization (Buyens et al., 2002). Their part in the implementation of internationalization strategies is one of the most crucial elements to the potential success of the process.

Case Study Overview

Within a case study, Greenway Hotel Group, Plc. Acquired a hotel chain in France and therefore has to deal with the process of rebranding and opening within a short period of time. There are different possibilities for managing the process, and various approaches which can be taken, such as ethnocentric, polycentric, or egocentric one. Each of the approaches has its own advantages and disadvantages. That being said, the choice of the ethnocentric approach would mean that current managers from the country where the business originates from, the United Kingdom, would take the lead in the recently acquired hotels in France. It would evidently contribute to the sense of the authenticity of the business and will ease the process of rebranding and organizing the working space the way it functions in the UK. However, as UK managers are not familiar with the French environment and most do not speak the language, it would create difficulties in the business’ adaptation to new conditions.

As for choosing the polycentric approach, the company would have to hire new local managers. The obvious benefit is their familiarity with the French environment and the ability to contribute local perspectives on the way the business should operate in France. Nevertheless, the other side of this approach is the fact that new managers would not fully know the authentic image of the original business (Wood, 2012). Therefore, they might not successfully implement the changes required for the rebranding of French hotels. Thus, the authenticity and ability to build the precise image of the business would be at risk.

Then, Greenway Hotel Group, Plc. Additionally considers the possibility of choosing the egocentric approach. In this case, external labor markets would be recruited in order to bring a wider region-related perspective to the management of the business on new territory. Although global managers would have a bigger vision of the overall situation, which response to the ambitious international plans of the company, they would not have an authentic understanding of either of the environments.

This way, the crucial role of HR managers will be to figure out the most productive strategy, which will correlate with the company’s both short-term and long-term vision of success. Essentially it means that HR has to analyze the overall environment both in the country of origin and the new country. It includes considering possible costs and outcomes of each of the approaches and corresponding with both employees’ and employers’ opinions on the situation and perspectives (Baron and Baron, 2003). This way, it is evident that HR’s role in the management of the implementation of internationalization within the business is very complex and requires a deep focus on all of the elements of the planning.

Strategic Approach

In order to evaluate the approach which will be more efficient for the company, it is important to identify the business’s short-term and long-term goals. Within the case study, success within the branch of French hotels would motivate the company to extend the business to other regional countries as well. This way, the long-term vision of the business’ progression is the further internationalization and a large number of hotels across various countries. However, it determines the significance of the current implementation’s success, which makes it the short-term goal of the company.

Once the goals are clear, it is important for HR not to be strictly oriented on the financial tunnel within the process. Comparisons between successful and typical integration cases have shown that approaches that primarily focus on money tend to become disappointing in the end (Marks and Mirvis, 2001, p. 81). This way, the main goal of HR is to evaluate the strategic approach, which will be focused equally on multiple aspects, such as human resources, authenticity, hospitality, relations and money.

The main purpose of choosing among the possible approaches is to evaluate the one which would contribute to the rapid rebranding of the acquired chain of hotels while saving the authenticity (Mazutis and Slawinski, 2015). Another important factor is the natural adaptation of the business within the foreign environment (Ferreira, Li and Serra, 2008). Thus, one of the main elements which are necessary for the successful outcome is familiarity with the French environment, including the local levels of competition. Plus, a deep understanding of the company’s initial image and the way it operates in the UK is significant as well due to the need to save the authentic management structure of the business.

However, here comes the juxtaposition of the way the business is structured in the UK and the way it should be organized in France. Considering that a new country has a complexity of differences in terms of norms, environment, competition and culture, it is impossible to manage the business there exactly the same way as in its country of origin (Torbiorn, 1997, p. 49). Hence, the choice of approach has to rely on the balance between the flexibility of management with the purpose of adjustment and the implementation of the company’s original view of the business.

A better adjustment would be performed by hiring French managers, as they would know the nuances of working within the environment. However, they exclusively would not be eligible for key positions due to poor localization in the initial stages (Brewster and Scullion, 1997, p. 37). Then, the implementation of the company’s original view is based on the managers who already have experience in working in the original country of the business. Therefore, here appears the clash between polycentric and ethnocentric approaches since both contain certain elements which are crucial to short-term success (Clark and Pugh, 1999) (Adler, 1980). However, instead of perceiving it as a clash and the difficulty of choice, HR could focus on the benefits of both approaches and try to apply them specifically further. Hence, the combination of these approaches would be a direct answer to the short-term goals.

As the company wants to finish the rebranding and open new hotels rapidly, UK managers will be unable to spend enough time on courses required to grasp a deep understanding of the environment. In this case, recruiting a number of French managers instead and combining them with UK managers would be a good solution for both sides. This way, French employees will be able to learn the company’s basic principles within an effective working environment with people who are already familiar with it (Tracey, Tannenbaum and Kavanagh, 1995). UK managers, for their part, will not only provide insight of the original values of the business but also will be able to cooperate with French managers in order to adapt to the environment faster. This way, both sides will benefit from cooperation with each other and together contribute to the successful rebranding and further management of the hotels.

The evident disadvantages of this strategy are possible misunderstandings between expatriate and local managers. Considering cultural differences, the sides can have trouble trusting each other’s approaches to management, which might affect their overall productivity (Annushkina and Regazzo, 2020, p. 155). Nevertheless, the value of bilateral insight into the implementation of internationalization compensates for possible misunderstandings in terms of short-term success (Pouryousefi and Frooman, 2017). Additionally, as the initial stages of co-working will transform in a stable working process together, expatriate and local managers will most likely overcome any minor inconveniences and proceed to actively learn from each other with building trust.

As for the long-term orientation, success on the beginner steps will crucially determine how the company will proceed with the process of internationalization. Since Greenway Hotel Group, Plc. is oriented on multinational achievements, once the initial ground is built, it would be beneficial for the business to attract global managers. New level of perspective will majorly contribute to the multicultural promotion, which is a significant step for any internationalizing company (Cherunilam, 2020, p. 610). Thus, short-term success will create a stable ground for further improvement, which will allow the organization to start relying on the bigger picture. This way, a regiocentric approach can be applied in order to develop international inclusivity within the company’s strategy.

Differences in HR Policy

The new environment requires adjustments within all areas related to the business, especially the most crucial ones. Evidently, HR policy has to be carefully regulated according to the circumstances in France and the way the organization decides to proceed with the strategic approach. Following up on the mix of ethnocentric, polycentric and eventually, regiocentric approaches, the employee body in France will consist of a diverse mix of UK, French and possibly global managers. Hence, it is important to regard the differences in HR policy from a multinational perspective.

Firstly, performance management has to be done equally among the representatives of all cultures. In order to create and maintain international trust, it is important to start with the internal and international relationships within the company. Evidently, the criteria for performance management is strongly biased for any person depending on their cultural background (Brewster et al., 2016, p. 223). Thus, HR has to learn to be more inclusive in terms of their judgments due to the new level of diversity within the company.

HR’s important task is to analyze French and UK employees’ work within new hotels in France, in order to estimate the extent of cooperation and productivity. Once estimated, HR will be able to coordinate necessary strategies to enhance the working process. Additionally, HR has to constantly compare the performance of hotels in France and the UK to identify possible issues within international management.

Moreover, HR should work towards improving connections with global specialists. The purpose of it is to attract more expatriate managers, which will furthermore build stronger trust in the company. As mentioned previously, gaining international recognition contributes to the level of trust in business, and global managers specifically will act as bridges toward “large international acquisitions” (Brewster, 1997, p. 33). This way, the international employee’s community will contribute to the developing trust, attracting even more global recruits and creating a beneficial loop.

The area of development which HR has to focus on, especially on the initial stages of internationalization, is the relations among employees. Traditional Anglo-Saxon and French management styles have contrasting differences, shown primarily in the distribution of responsibilities (Groschl and Doherty, 2004, p. 325). It means that in certain situations, it will be difficult for local and expatriate managers to find common ground. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain a stable structure of management by enhancing the learning cooperation between the representatives of respective cultures.

Lastly, due to the possibility of different rewarding norms in the UK and France, HR has to focus on developing a fair system of payment. It can be done by rewarding on the basis of specific assessments of performance (Brewster et al., 2016, p. 257). However, assessments have to be as inclusive as possible, which would essentially mean finding a middle ground between the cultural norms in order to maintain higher rates of employees satisfaction.

Wider Circumstances

Although defining a specific approach and managing HR policies is crucial, there are a number of additional circumstances that directly affect the possible success of internationalization. One of the major ones is competition with local rivals. To say the least, organizations are always affected by the actions of other companies, which makes it necessary for them to respond (Mathews, 2000, p. 114). Thus, the analysis of France’s hotel industries, especially within the active locations, will allow HR to adjust employee management in a way to be highly competitive.

An evident element within the process of internationalization is cultural differences. As previously mentioned, due to the different cultural backgrounds of employees, they might face certain difficulties in understanding each other’s reasoning. However, another important aspect of it is the cultural background of customers. Essentially, as Greenway Hotel Group, Plc. Acquired chain of hotels in France, they should be ready to modify their strategies in order to appeal to the foreign target community. Hence, HR’s responsibility is to ensure proper communication between the company and the representatives of French culture in order to gain an overview of how to approach the management considering the local customers’ response to it which differs from the UK customers.

Finally, considering the approach suggested earlier, it is necessary to take care of workers’ efficient transportation. The question of fast and operative relocation of employees has to be highly maintained, as because of Brexit, the risks of reduced air transport availability remain present (Dobruszkes, 2019, p. 4). Thus, while creating a strategy of successful internationalization with the active engagement of expatriate managers, the board has to have ways to deal with unexpected transportation issues.


While internationalization has undeniable benefits which directly affect a company’s worldwide recognition, higher trust and better income, there is a list of nuances that has to be carefully considered. The more detailed the strategy develops, the bigger the chances to succeed become. Essentially initial success determines the further international development of the organization, which makes the short-term goals a priority within the process of creating a management strategy. However, it is important to plan long-term directions, too, as certain decisions, even in the preparation stages, has to be made in regard to both short-term and long-term outcomes.

HR’s role within the whole process is crucial due to the diversity of aspects that they have to consider and maintain. Since the most beneficial approach in the beginner stages will be to unite local and expatriate managers, the responsibility of HR is to trace the management dynamics among diverse workers and to contribute to mutual understanding. However, it is necessary for HR to remain as inclusive as possible and recognize the influence of cultural backgrounds and other external sources on the reasoning of the employees.


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