University of Limerick
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On institutional and organisational determinants of human resource management and industrial relations in foreign-owned multinational subsidiaries: a comparative analysis in Ireland and Spain using a quantitative parallel design

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posted on 2022-09-02, 11:18 authored by María Jesús Belizón
This thesis provides an in-depth comparative analysis of the factors influencing local autonomy over human resource management (HRM) and industrial relations (IR) in foreign-owned multinational companies (MNCs) located in Ireland and Spain. It employs data from two large scale parallel surveys and a total sample of 452 foreign-owned MNC subsidiaries across both host locations. It examines the extent and use of international HRM structures by these MNCs in their efforts to integrate practices across subsidiaries and it assesses the relative impact of subsidiary characteristics relating to the sector of operations, the age, the size, the mode of entry and the trajectory of new investments. The results point to the significant role of international HRM structures in the MNCs under investigation whereby the higher incidence of such structures results in the subsidiary enjoying less local autonomy over HRM practices. In addition, while IR practices are found to be autonomous of these international structures, their impact on the suite of the HRM practices measured in the analysis varies. Subsidiary characteristics prove significant. Specifically, both the mode of entry and the undertaking of new investments in the host country hold significant explanatory power in accounting for variations in the level of local autonomy over HRM and IR experienced by the subsidiaries under study. The results are discussed in the context of the broader literature and the implications of the lines of enquiry pursued are set down.



  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Michael Morley

Second supervisor

Patrick Gunnigle





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