Human resource management plays a leading role in an organisation (Guest et al. 2003). There are several differences between the UK and China including social structure, cultural context and institution. All these differences may have influences on human resource management such as recruitment, working, pensions, tax and training courses in different countries. This report will analyse how to implement human resource activities when setting up a branch in China through comparing and contrasting the institutional and cultural differences of both the UK and China.
Differences between the UK and China
As for national system, which is the basic difference between these two countries, the United Kingdom is a constitutional Monarchy; while, China is a socialist system country. In Britain, prime minister runs the government and he is the one who responsible for decision and policy making (GOV, 2013). For China, the head of China is the general secretary of the communist party of China; however, the decision maker of China is the communist party (BBC, n.d.). The differences of national system result in different system of market, business and economy system. For example, the UK government aims to stimulate economy through investing in education, supporting firms and business and encouraging employement (GOV, 2013a). In contrast, China focuses on the development of market through attracting foreign investment, opening the economy to the world and supporting multinational firms (Shen and Edwards, 2006). More importantly, the trade unions for both countries are different. China’s trade union belongs to the government and it still does not have large power in China (CLB, 2013). However, in the UK, Britain’s trade union does not belong to the government and it main duty is to lobby the government to carry out policies, which bring benefits to workers (TUC, 2013). Therefore, the trade union in the UK has more actual power than that in China.
With the development of internationalisation and globalisation of business environment, national culture has been a vital factor when analysing the different business activities (Brooks, 2006). Understanding the differences of national culture can bring several benefits for managers. Firstly, it helps to deal with different problems and behaviours in the work. Secondly, it can help to involve in local culture and business environment. Finally, it helps to understand the framework of other countries (Mullins and Christie, 2013). Also, Brooks (2006) agrees understanding national culture helps corporations to build and develop their market in other nations. In addition, it is stated that the differences between national cultures may lead to problems and conflicts during the process of management especially in those organisations with different national culture (Hofseted, 1983). According to Nakata (2009), different culture belongs to different contexts and contexts can shape the type of culture. Therefore, when comparing different culture, different contexts need to be considered.
Hofstede’s Cultural Dimension Model
Hofstede (1983) divides national culture into five dimensions including “individualism versus collectivism, large versus small power distance, strong versus weak uncertainty avoid and masculinity versus femininity, long – term versus short – term”. This cultural dimension model is used to analyse the cultural differences between the UK and China. The bar chart is shown in Appendix 1.
Firstly, the dimension of power distance refers to how the society copes with unequal situation in the countries (Hofstede, 1983). Zhang, Liang and Sun (2013) report that there is no society has achieved exactly equality among the individuals. However, the attitudes of dealing with inequality are different and these differences come from their culture. The model of Hofstede’s (2013) Cultural Dimension (in Appendix 1) shows that the score of…