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polycentric approach to hiring

John O'Connell


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Polycentrism is the belief that managers and employees in a foreign operation should be from the host country. The feeling is that people native to the host country will not have problems with culture shock , knowing the language, realizing and adhering to the local customs, values, and attitudes, and being effective immediately instead of after a learning process has taken place. Key positions in the foreign operation are filled with host country nationals (HCNs). This saves money associated with recruiting, training, and transferring expatriates from other countries in which the company also has operations. There are, however, possible negative aspects of a polycentric approach to hiring. One of the biggest problems relates to parent company control over the foreign subsidiary. The question arises: “Will host country managers be loyal to the parent or to the local operation?” A potential problem arises with coordination of activities, goals, and objectives between parent and subsidiary. The fact remains, though, that polycentric staffing and operation of foreign subsidiaries is successfully being applied by organizations. The parent company must be aware of potential problems and introduce control systems to uncover these problems before they are allowed to get out of hand. See also staffing ( 1984 ). International and domestic human resource functions . Innovations in International ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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