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Rao 2013 The role of national culture on best practices in India.pdf

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The role of national culture on“best” practices in India:a multiple case study approachPramila RaoSchool of Business, Marymount University, Arlington, Virginia, USAAbstractPurpose– The primary purpose of this research paper is to understand the role of national culturaldimensions on “best” HRM (human resource management) practices in India. India is considered amajor emerging economy in the world today. US multinationals are significantly increasing theirpresence in India. An understanding of “best” local HRM practices will help global practitioners adoptbetter HRM strategies.Design/methodology/approach– This qualitative paper uses a multiple-case design method ofthree “best” Indian companies. The interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed to understand theinterview material clearly. The cases were analyzed independently followed by a cross-case synthesisof the results. Construct validity, internal reliability, and external validity were followed according toscholarly guidelines required for a quality case analysis.Findings– This research identifies the role of national cultural dimensions of power distance,uncertainty-avoidance, in-group collectivism, and future-orientation on “best” HRM practices. It wasobserved that these three organizations have a strong focus on employee referrals (collectivistorientation), elaborate training and development (future orientation), developmental performancemanagement (collectivist orientation), egalitarian practices (power-distance), and family friendlypractices (collectivist orientation). The various HRM practices are elaborated in the results section.Practical implications– This study provides preliminary guidelines for global practitioners whomay be interested in doing business in India. The paper provides a model of “best” HRM practicesadopted by these three companies and also a strategic model integrating the national culturaldimensions to understand the HRM practices better.Originality/value– This qualitative research integrates national cultural dimensions and “best”practices to provide a better understanding of culture. Studies have not examined the role of nationalcultural dimensions and best practicesper se. Traditionally most studies on culture adopt the nationalcultural dimensions of Hofstede’s – this study uses the scores of the GLOBE cultural study which isconsidered contemporary and distinguished in its research.KeywordsHRM and national culture, Cross-cultural management, GLOBE study and India,“Best” HRM practices and India, National cultural dimensions and HRM, Human resource management,National cultures, IndiaPaper typeResearch paperIntroductionEmergingeconomiesarebecomingstrategicmembersintheglobalbusinesscommunity today. Multinationals choose to establish in these economies due to lowerlabor costs through either outsourcing or off-shoring entry options. The USA hasmoved 2.3 million service jobs overseas and GE predicts 60 percent of its revenuewill be from China and India (Meredith, 2008). In Asia, India is becoming a verystrong economy with its superior information technology (IT) industry and effectiveoutsourcing options (Friedman, 2006; Gannon and Pillai, 2010; Meredith, 2008).

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