Employee Experience of High Performance HRM Practices: A Comparison Between International Joint Venture and Local Banks in Saudi Arabia'

Friday, 3 July 2015: 4:00 PM-5:30 PM
CLM.7.03 (Clement House)
Yazeed Falaih, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, United Kingdom
Alice Lam, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey, United Kingdom; Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, United Kingdom
International joint ventures (IJVs) have become an important platform for transferring and learning new HRM practices between partner firms. While much has been written about the transfer of high-performance human resource management (HRM) practices between home and host countries, less is known about their effective adoption and implementation within the organization in the local country. This paper extends the literature of HRM in IJVs by examining and comparing employees’ experience and perception of HRM practices, including their perception of HRM effectiveness, perceived fairness (distributive and procedural), and organizational commitment in international joint ventures and local banks in Saudi Arabia. The analysis focuses also on exploring the mechanisms and processes leading to the observed differences in the implementation and effectiveness of HRM practices between the IJVs and local banks. The study employs a mixed-methods approach with the quantitative and qualitative data integrated at the interpretive level. The quantitative data was collected by using a questionnaire survey of 1038 employees and analysed using a statistical package (SPSS). In addition, 27 individual interviews were conducted with employees, managers and expatriates.

The survey results show a statistically more positive relationship between employees’ experience of HRM practices and their perceived HRM effectiveness in IJVs banks compared with that in the local Saudi banks. The analysis highlights three mechanisms that contribute to the differences in effective implementation: a) strategic role of HRM functions and HRM integration; b) the role of line management; and c) the role of internal learning via expatriates in IJVs vs. external learning through consultants in local banks.  The overall results suggest that IJVs not only facilitate the transfer of HRM practices but also go beyond this by developing an organizational system that enables their effective adoption and implementation. This study contributes to our understanding of the transfer and learning of   HRM practices across organizational and institutional contexts by focusing on HRM implementation and employees’ perception and experience beyond the surface-level of adoption.  In addition, it examines HRM practices in a developing country, rarely examined in previous literature of international HRM.