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The roles and competencies of HR managers in Slovenian multinational companies

Kohont, A. and Brewster, C. ORCID: (2014) The roles and competencies of HR managers in Slovenian multinational companies. Baltic Journal of Management, 9 (3). pp. 294-313. ISSN 1746-5265

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/BJM-07-2013-0112


Purpose – The HRM literature provides various typologies of the HR managers’ roles in organizations. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the roles and required competencies of HR managers in Slovenian multinational companies change when these companies enter the international arena. Design/methodology/approach – The authors explored the total population of 25 Slovenian multinational companies (MNCs) operating in Serbia. In these companies the authors conducted interviews with 16 expatriates working in branches in Serbia, sent questionnaires to the CEOs, and conducted a survey of 50 HR managers and interviews with 15 of them. The authors used a triangulation approach and analyzed the results by multivariate methods and content analysis. Findings – The authors found that the complexity of HR managers’ roles, and expectations of their competencies, increases with an increasing level of internationalization of companies. Orientation to people and conflict resolution are seen as elementary competencies needed in all stages of internationalization. The key competence is seen to be strategic thinking that, according to CEOs and expatriates, goes hand in hand with cultural sensitivity, openness to change and a comprehensive understanding of the international environment and business processes. Practical implications – These results can potentially be used for assessing the HRM roles and competencies in different stages of company internationalization, especially MNCs operating in the ex-communist states of Europe, and will help HR managers to support expatriates, CEOs and other employees working in branches abroad more efficiently. Originality/value – This study contributes to the review and evaluation of the quite limited research on HR managers’ roles and competencies in MNCs. It focuses on MNCs and outward internationalization in the Central and Eastern European region. It contributes to studies of the HR managers’ roles and competencies and is the first study to establish a set of roles and competencies for HR managers in Slovenian MNCs.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:37638
Uncontrolled Keywords:Internationalization, Competencies, HRM roles, Slovenian multinational companies
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing

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