Although the literature in international human resource management has developed greatly over recent years, our understanding of the dynamics of the transfer of HR practices in multinational companies (MNCs) from emerging economies with subsidiaries in advanced economies is found wanting. This study addresses this gap in our knowledge by investigating the transfer of employment policies of a Brazilian MNC to its Canadian subsidiaries. It examines interrelated questions about the influence of an emerging-economy parent-business system and how this interacts with the well-developed institutional regulation of the host country in a context of complex relations of dependence and dominance. Our prior expectation that the MNC would have had to adapt its policies to the ‘Canadian way’ was not borne out by the evidence. Instead the Brazilian MNC was found to be adept at capturing significant components of the host country’s institutional setting in a manner that gave it the space to determine the ‘rules’ for its own advantage. That it was able to do so was, in large part, shaped by the market context of the firm and by Canada’s dependence on foreign investment and, in turn, by the political relations of dependence that such reliance engendered. Broader lessons from the case analysis are offered.
Aguzzoli, R., & Geary, J. (2014). An ‘emerging challenge’: The employment practices of a Brazilian multinational company in Canada. Human Relations, 67(5), 587-609. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726713497523