Voices on HRM Practices: Employee Interpretations at the Subsidiary of a Danish MNC in Bangalore

Mette Zølner


The article explores the transferability of human resources management practices across cultural contexts. It argues that we need to adopt an interpretative approach to culture; that is, to consider employees as social actors who creatively make sense of HRM practices in light of legitimate patterns of meaning in a given context as well as their personal interests. The article also argues that establishing context specific management scripts offers procedural knowledge of an emic nature which, unlike cultural mapping proposed by aggregate cultural dimensions, furthers our understanding of how employees interpret HRM practices and in turn may influence how these practices are implemented. In this way, the article contributes to the IHRM literature on transferability by proposing an interpretative approach to culture as an alternative to the prevailing positivist conceptualization within the IHRM field. Second, the article adds to theory beyond HRM by introducing the concept of management scripts as a way to capture contextually embedded patterns of meaning that are likely to contribute in shaping the way in which social actors interpret legitimate exercise of power in organizations. Finally, this case study adds to the growing body of knowledge of HRM in an Indian context.


Cross-cultural transfer of practices, Denmark, India, interpretive approach, management scripts.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/ijbsr.v4i11.598


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