Workforce Diversity Policies
Workforce diversity is a defining issue of international HR policy transfer in US multinationals. Demographic characteristics, socio-political developments, and the evolution of the legal framework have created a distinctive constellation of diversity agendas in the US. This chapter explores the way in which these agendas were transferred by US companies to their subsidiaries, in host business systems with varying demographic patterns and legal traditions that were not necessarily consonant with American diversity practice. The case studies reveal that there was a frequent lack of fit between the diversity agendas of US multinationals and host-country institutional frameworks, provoking considerable resistance from subsidiaries. However, there was considerable variation in subsidiary responses to diversity, partly explained by structural factors, such as the degree of international integration of operations, and partly by the more contingent strategic and political choices of actors at different levels of the multinational.
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