A Lincoln Electric Case Study Analysis

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1. Introduction The discussion between promoters of best practice and best fit approaches has sparked widespread controversy in the human resource management (HRM) area. The topic has gained much scholarly attention because it not only addresses a theoretical controversy but also possesses a high degree of practical managerial significance. The essay has the aim to analyse best practice and best fit approaches in HRM of a multinational enterprise. The reader receives insight into Lincoln Electric's organization through a case-study analysis of practical HR approaches serving as a basis for developing practical managerial implications in the last part of the paper. 2. Critical evaluation of "best practice" and "best fit" practices…show more content…
The "best-fit" approach questions the universality assumption of the best-practice perspective. It emphasizes contingency fit between HR activities and the organization's stage of development, an organization's internal structures and its external environment like clients, suppliers, competition and labour markets (Redman and Wilkinson 2009). HR policy should be minted by the appropriate context of individual employees and therefore support the overall competitive strategy. Aligning HRM practices to strategies can enable companies to create potential competitive advantages (Schuler and Jackson 1987 in Redman and Wilkinson 2009). The best fit approach is also subject to sever criticism. Firstly, Boxall and Purcell (2003) criticizes that in a changing business environment companies and their strategies are subject to multiple alternating contingences and that it is merely possible to adjust entire HR systems to new challenges frequently. Secondly, as companies move through their life-cycle HR practices have to be aligned which leads to an alternating treatment of employees which can have a demotivating effect and show inconsistency in corporate culture (Boxall and Purcell 2003). 3. Analysis of Lincoln Electric's HRM approach 3.1 Evaluation: Best practice or best fit approach in certain HR practices 3.1.1 Selection practices For the hiring of its U.S. workforce Lincoln Electronic is applying best practice methods as it
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