Coping with an emerging market competition through strategy-human resource alignment: Case study evidence from five leading Japanese manufacturers in the People's Republic of China

Norihiko Takeuchi, Ziguang Chen, Kwok Yee Wing Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper documents how PRC-based Japanese affiliates can align their human resource management (HRM) policies and practices with their business strategies based on in-depth interview surveys of the five leading Japanese manufacturers in China. In particular, using a multiple-informant research design to interview both top and human resource managers in each site, the study has attempted to clarify the strategic fit between the business strategies pursued and HRM practices adopted in China. Our interviews with top management for each affiliate revealed three types of business strategies that the PRC-based affiliates adopt to gain competitiveness in the Chinese market. Separate interviews with HR managers further clarified that affiliates' HRM efforts are aligned with the strategy each affiliate is pursuing. The findings are used to suggest several hypothesized relationships between the particular strategies pursued and the HRM practices adopted in China. Furthermore, this study has provided some important insights as to how the choice of affiliate-level business strategies in China affects the 'hybridization' processes of the HRM policies and practices used in the cross-national business environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2454-2470
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009


  • Case study
  • Hybridization of HRM practices
  • Japanese affiliates in China
  • Multiple-informants research design
  • Strategy-HR alignment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this