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Convergence and Divergence in HRM Practices Essay

Thus, it is apparent that a radical reshaping of the international economic and financial order must occur so that economic power, wealth, and income are more equitably distributed and so that the developed world will be forced to lower its irrationally high consumption levels. If this done, the level of industrial technology will be scaled down, and there will be less need for the tremendous waste of energy, raw materials, and resources that now go toward the production of superfluous goods simply to maintain “effective demand” and to keep the monstrous economic machine going.

If appropriate technology is appropriate for the Third World, it is even more essential as a substitute for the environmentally and socially obsolete high technology in the developed world. Thus there could be a progressive reduction in the unecological exploitation of resources. With increasing self-reliance based in income redistribution and the resurgence agriculture and industry, the Third World could also afford to be tough with transnationals; it would be able to insist that those invited adhere to other health and safety standards that now prevail in the industrial countries.

It would be able to reject the kinds of products, technologies, industries, and projects that are inappropriate for need-oriented, ecologically sustainable development. In searching for the new environmental and social order we should realized that it is in the Third World that the new ecologically sound societies will be born. Within each Third World nation there are still large areas where communities earn their livelihoods in ways that are consistent with the preservation of their culture and of their natural environment.

Such communities have nearly disappeared in the developed world. We need to recognize and rediscover the technological and cultural wisdom of our indigenous systems of agriculture, industry, shelter, water and sanitation, and medicine. The HRM of companies nowadays need to devise and fight for the adoption of appropriate, ecologically sound, and sociality equitable policies to satisfy needs for such necessities as water, health, food, education, and information.

There is a need for appropriate technologies and even more so the correct prioritizing of what types of consumer products to produce. With the competition, companies can no longer accept appropriate technology producing inappropriate products. Products and technologies need to be safe to handle and use; they need to fulfill basic human needs and should not degrade or deplete the natural environment.

Perhaps the most difficult aspect of this fight is the need to deprogram Third World peoples away from the modern culture that has penetrated societies, so that life-styles, personal motivations, and structures can be delinked from the system of industrialism and its corresponding creation of culture. As the auto, electronics, textile, and clothing industries have outgrown their home countries and shifted their production and supplier operations off-shore to independent constructors, the “global factory,” coupled with a radically new international division of labor, has emerged.

With the globalization of production networks, transnational manufacturing firms can quickly move their operations around the world, in search of cheap labor, more profitable investment opportunities, and freedom from the demands of unionized workers. In the auto industry, Ford and GM have forged strategic alliance with Mazda and Toyota to produce for each other’s markets, while in other industries, companies such as Nike and Schwinn have begun to shift from manufacturing to designing, merchandising, and distributing.

The new global factory has resulted in a dramatic loss of manufacturing jobs in the industrial North (the United States, Japan, and Europe) as manufacturing companies move their production around the world find themselves lumped together in the same global labor pool to the point where exploitation in Guatemala, Malaysia, or China is felt as wage competition by workers in London, New York, or Montreal.

While the staggering wage gap between workers in the North and South has begun to narrow, there is a very real danger that the forces of global competition will drag worker everywhere down the lowest common wage standards. In Global Dreams (1994), Richard Barnet and John Cavanagh describe the global supermarket that is transforming agricultural production throughout the world while undercutting the capacity of nations to meet the basic food needs of their populations.

Transnational food corporations are demanding an end to the system of agricultural subsidies, regulation, and protection that has maintained a relatively cheap food policy in the industrial North. At the same time, poor countries in the South that were once self-sufficient in food but are now desperate for foreign exchange to pay down their debts are forced to turn over valuable agricultural lands to transnational agribusiness and to cash-crop production while importing food products to feed their own peoples. “Export or die,” is the message, but “export and die” is the reality.

The introduction of biotech production methods – laboratory-produced vanilla, bioengineered celery, freeze-resistant flowers and tomatoes, and Bovine Growth Hormone for cows, combined with long-distance food transportation – pose further threats not only to the livelihood of traditional farmers in poor countries but also to the quality and safety of food products in general. Meanwhile, the giant food corporations – General Foods, Kraft, Pillsbury, Philip Morris, Del Monte, President’s Choice, Procter and Gamble, Pepsico, and others – have merged their operations and expanded their marketing strategies on a global basis.

National authorities are also finding it increasingly difficult to maintain adequate food inspection at the border, especially for the massive imports of fruits and vegetables, thereby requiring expanded use of ozone-depleting chemical fumigants such as methyl bromide. In order to delineate the effects of globalization, pluralism offers a wider perspective in terms of scope and content. The application is particularly useful in the highly globalized, multicultural nation states like the United States.

For this model, the government is like the market, with politicians responsive to voters for the same reason that businesses are responsive to consumers. Voters, like consumers, are kings. There is no room for any notion of concentrated power in any model based on free-market economic theory. In this kind of perspective, the following assumptions are utilized: • People seek to maximize their individual “utilities” (i. e. , their self interest) • People are rational • People have enough time and information to make informed choices

• People are able to shop elsewhere–or move elsewhere, in the case of local politics–if they don’t like want they find at the local store (or their current residence) • Everyone ends up free to choose, and they are dealt with fairly It is also a fact, though, that most companies are not self-maximizing. They are more communal and concerned about others than this overly rationalistic, apsychological, and asociological theory allows. “Bounded rationality” and the other hedges on the pure theory by moderate-minded and pragmatic social scientists do not even begin to describe the complexity of the human mind.

(Domhoff, 2005). Change, as a social process, is obviously linked to structural and material changes, but also to superstructural events that have to do with flows of information, technology, media, culture, and politics. The acceleration of those flows implies a reordering not only of economy and world politics, but also a reinterpretation of each individual’s lifestyle. This is often limited when one thinks of the effects as confined within the social, political and economic structure as globalization has already torn down these limitations with its new dimensions and influences.

Much of the changes have foundation and effects that entails social, political, cultural and economic dimensions: social movements. Over recent decades, the impact of global and regional changes on local communities has often generated movements in opposition and protest. Transnational corporations, industries, and financial institutions are seen as the triggers of changes that affect national and regional economies, policies and individual lifestyles, marginalizing some sectors of population in their pursuit of economic profits.

This social movement goes beyond race, social classes, identity claims, among others. New social movements are now seen more and more as symbolic challengers, because power—that affects everyday life and tries to manipulate and give social meaning to things—is being contested by individuals in both the public and private spheres. Thus movements have a more symbolic function: they are a new kind of media, fighting for symbolic and cultural stakes, and for a different meaning and orientation of social action.

In order to construct a better perspective on the globalization’s social indications account for the wide applications of pluralism model. (Alfaro, 2004) Economic globalization involves the interaction of many distinct trends at myriad levels of economic activity and organization–international, transnational, and translocal. Today, the globalization captures the dynamic examples in the cultural aspects of the people to the flourishing of micro-level cross-border networks based on family, ethnicity, religion, etc. , and the rediscovery of multiculturalism and a new socio-cultural fragmentation, on the other.

(Cerny, 2002) One also gleans the political globalization which involves not only the emergence of complex new layer of international regimes and institutions but also the development of a range of distinctive supranational regional arrangements and a restructuring of the nation states. (Cerny, 2002) Pluralism answers to their interaction that will give it such a shape. That process will proceed with critical events or conjunctures that will lock in those specific balances of power, distributions of economic resources, social practices, and rules of the game predominant at the time specific critical events occur.

The key agents of that process are people, acting individually and in groups, attempting to overcome challenges, resolve them — or effectively bypass them. (Ibid. ) A societal approach argues that changes in the economic fortunes of powerful societal and economic interest groups lead to competition for control of government policy. This is also covered by economic pluralism which sees government policy as a reflection of the balance of power among these socioeconomic groups. (Li and Smith, n. d.

) While acknowledging the importance of societal influences, a structural model contends that a state’s governmental and institutional structures play an independent role in determining policy choice. These approaches have often been presented as competitors in explanations of financial liberalization, but they are obviously complementary. Systemic changes alter the economic and political interests of societal groups. However, that new constellation of power and interest is not seamlessly translated into changes in government policy. The changes in the power and interests of these groups are mediated by existing governmental institutions.

(Ibid. ) State leaders are viewed as rational political actors who act to realize their policy preferences within various institutional and environmental/contextual constraints. The question at issue is whether state leaders enjoy some degree of policy autonomy with respect to capital decontrol in the face of systemic changes and societal pressures. More specifically, if they do play some autonomous role, state leaders should be able to take advantage of domestic political institutions and pursue their own policy preferences, regardless of systemic and societal pressures.

State leaders make decisions based on their policy preferences, and their policy preferences derive from their value assumptions and how they think the economic world works. The negative effects of globalization can be softened only through new and higher levels of international cooperation and consultation, filtered through a new system of moral values that puts human welfare and social justice ahead of the predominantly materialistic paradigm currently in vogue.

This can be called pluralism in principle and in application. Others can name it world government or the global village. However, one way or the other, the forces of globalization will require the creation of some sort of international super authority, one that can ensure that human rights and workers’ prerogatives are upheld, and that the environment is protected, as globalization proceeds.

Among other things, there must be a new system of world governance, based on the principle of collective security, in which the nations of the world would unite against any and all aggression – and work together cooperatively to end poverty and oppression. Pluralism also emphasized the importance of local governance – clearing the way for the establishment of a system that will simultaneously address problems at both the global and local levels.

Wolf (2002), in devising metrics or measurements for globalization, has commented that one of the effects of this trend is to have a more integrated global market where disparities across countries (i. e. interest rates, wages, and prices) decrease (p. 6). The trend to globalization is inevitable as shown by various developments in the international market. Today, it is not enough to use the term international market to describe the transactions being made between and among countries.

It is more appropriate to call this the global market- the result of the process and the act of globalizing national economies. A more radical response to the emergence of the global market is the establishment of the European Union with the end in view of integrating the European countries- from imposing a single currency to harmonizing domestic policies and regulations on the market- to give them more strength in competing in the global market (Europa, n. d. ). The issue of integration has been a continuing debate in the international arena.

Some countries have openly accepted the idea to integrate their economy in the global market while others have apprehensions in doing so. Questions have arisen as to what extent the economy should open to world trade and on whether countries can impose protectionist stance in dealing with the global market. These have resulted to varying responses of each country to the global economy as well as to world trade. HRM strategies can be influenced by the decisions taken on strategy or the nature of the present business and in the future, as well as the structure of the enterprise (Purcell).

Conclusion There is therefore, an apparent incompatibility between IR and HRM that needs to be reconciled. Some say that HRM can be exploitative (Hart, 1993). In sum, a reconciliation can be done only on the assumption that both HRM and IR see to it that they indulge in fairness and equity, that both are prepared to recognize the need for enterprise and employee growth, that these are in actuality linked, and that though their interests are divergent in some aspects, there are still areas of common interest for mutual survival.

References List

Barnet, Richard, and John Cavanagh. 1994 Global Dreams: Imperial Corporation and the New World Order. New York: Simon and Schuster. Cringley, Robert. 1992. “Hollywood Goes Digital. ” Forbes (7 December). Bello, Walden, with David Kinley and Elaine Elison. 1982. Development Debacle: The World Bank in the Philippines. San Francisco: Institute for Food and Development Policy. Cerny, Philip. “Globalization at the Micro Level. ” Manchester Papers in Politics. Department of Government, University of Manchester. (April 2002). Retrieved on January 4, 2008 at:

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