Do national cultural differences affect the nature and characteristics of HRM practices? Evidence from Australian and Hong Kong construction firms on remuneration and job autonomy
Phua, F.T.T. (2012) Do national cultural differences affect the nature and characteristics of HRM practices? Evidence from Australian and Hong Kong construction firms on remuneration and job autonomy. Construction Management and Economics, 30 (7). pp. 545-556. ISSN 1466-433x (special Issue: Human Resource Management in Construction)
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2012.682074
Human resource management (HRM) plays a pivotal role in attracting and retaining talents. However, there is growing recognition in international HRM literature that the adoption of the widely accepted US/Harvard-inspired HRM model ignores the influences of cultural contexts on HRM practices in different countries. This notion has not been empirically investigated in the construction industry. Based on survey responses from 604 construction professionals from Australia and Hong Kong, this study examines whether: (i) national cultural differences influence individuals’ preference for types of remuneration and job autonomy, (ii) actual organizational HRM practices reflect such preferences and (iii) gaps between individuals’ preferences and actual organizational HRM practices affect job satisfaction. Results showed significant difference in HRM preferences between Australian and Hong Kong respondents and these are reflected in the distinct types of HRM practices adopted by construction firms in the two countries. Findings further indicated that the gap between individuals’ preferences and actual organizational HRM practices is associated with job satisfaction. The results support existing mainstream research and highlight the deficiency of the acultural treatment of HRM that is still apparent in construction management literature. An uncritical literature in the area not only hinders theory development but also potentially undermines the ability of construction firms to attract, recruit, and retain scarce talents.