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The Challenge of Operating Globally
3 October 2007

London

Discussions with PARC members revealed an appetite to get a better grip on how to operate at a global level. This ranged from the practical (matching remuneration packages) to the strategic (attracting and managing talent).

Challenges like the interconnection of markets and the acceleration of off-shoring are forcing organisations to think and behave in a more international, multi-cultural way. Some of the available research touches on the issue of operating globally although it tends to focus specifically on areas such as performance management, leadership, talent management, outsourcing and assessment.

There is very little guidance or material on what is required in making the transition from a local to a genuinely global organisation, particularly in terms of people issues and processes.

Research Report:

We are all aware that this transition can be a major struggle. PARC launched a piece of research in 2007, with our associate organisation the Corporate Research Forum (CRF) that aimed to provide a 'joined up' view of what good looks like in this area.

We employed a range of research methods including a literature review, short pulse surveys of members, around 10 case studies of organisations who regard themselves as global, interviews with senior managers, employees and members of the HR function together with the input from a range of experts.

The research was broad-based but focused on certain performance and reward elements, such as:

  • Critical choice in terms of structure, systems and processes (explore 'act local, think global', centralised versus devolved, impact of outsourcing, offshoring, etc);
  • Managing performance across boundaries of time, place and culture;
  • Managing incentive approaches (moving from the prescriptive to the flexible);
  • The challenge of introducing effective reward strategies which drive performance, ensure retention and meet local requirements (the role of the corporate reward function vs the local teams);
  • The question of integrating reward approaches with the wider people and organisation agendas.

The research team was led by Professor George Yip, Vice President and Director of Research & Innovation at Capgemini Consulting, Andrew Lambert of CRF and Martin Goodman.

There were a number of member case study presentations at this event.

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