Aside the need to deal with a shifting workforce, human resource management is impacted by globalization in yet another means. Globalization has allowed corporations to transcend boundaries and benefit from the comparative advantage of countries — generally cost effective labor force, but also technological superiority or an abundance of natural resources. This increased access to resources further enhanced production capabilities, access to customers and finally, competition. The modern day business community is extremely dynamic and competitive and this is mostly due to globalization. The impact of this feature onto human resource management is that the HR practices and policies have to be tailored to suit the needs of this competitive context. For instance, HR departments are in charge of recruiting the highest skilled and capable candidates, regardless of geographic boundaries. They must also implement more aggressive strategies to train the staff members, retain them and increase their performances, all with the ultimate aim of having them support the organization in overcoming its competitors.
In the same order of ideas, it can be argued that globalization forced employers to recognize the importance of their staff members. Prior to the intensification of the global competition, managers would perceive their staff members as the force operating the machines and nothing more. As globalization aroused however, business owners were forced to recognize the employees as the most valuable assets of the entity, for the simple reason that they had the ability to create high quality products and services that satisfied the needs of the customers or for the reason that employees represented the companys liaison with the clients, and as such also determined customer satisfaction. Due to the strong link between customer satisfaction and organizational profits, company leaders found it necessary to increase the performances of the employees, through a wide variety of efforts, organized today under the generic term of human resource management. All in all then, the direct impact of globalization onto HRM has been that of creating a necessity and a context for the implementation of the employee management regulations.
The definition of globalization pointed out that the existence of the force is not a new one, but that the phenomenon had been present for decades, and that today it is only intensifying, rather than emerging. The same cannot however be argued by hyper-globalization, a concept used to describe ideas of uniform and complete globalization and the creation of a world that would not reveal any national or individual features, but would all be united by the same values and principles. The totality of the globes populations would be free to travel as they please to any possible location, set homes there and get jobs. “The hyperglobalization thesis is that the world is experiencing something entirely new, fundamentally different than anything that has gone before, which will ultimately transform the nature of human life on earth in very radical ways” (Lewellen, 2002).
The actual model that would lead to the creation of a hyper-globalized world is not in its essence established. Yet, what is generally accepted is the fact that the promoters of hyper-globalization would be the countries which are already opened to globalization and which guide their economic actions by the norms of the free international market. The competition stands all chances of being fair and friendly, due to the implementation of the best practices. The powers of the political parties within such a hyper-globalized market are virtually inexistent. Basically, this means that the nation state would seize to exist as a political formation. Additionally, as the cultural, technological, religious and other life stands become combined to form a unified set of principles, the nation state would also disengage as a formation; it would become a “casualty of globalization” (Hay, 2007, p.127). Particularizing this belief to the labor market, the conclusion indicates that, in cases of materialized hyper-globalization, the market for the labor force would lose any national characteristics, and would be formed and guided as required by the principles of hyper-globalization. Despite the fact that this is not yet the case, fact remains that such a situation could easily come true. The following section is focused on revealing several means in which the stability of the nation state is being threatened.
MODERN CHALLENGES for the NATION STATE
It is without any doubt that globalization represents the major challenge posed in front of the nation state. On the one hand, the nation state strives to preserve its cultural heritage and values, whereas globalization forces it to embrace new features and develop alongside with the international context.
These two stands are often conflicting and embracing globalization could easily be perceived as the loss of national identity. We have witnessed such situations on many occasions, the most relevant ones being the Americanization of societies. Americanization has occurred and manifested in numerous means, through elements such as music, films, ideologies or economic actions. In terms of films, Hollywood is not just the capital of the American film, but that of the international film. Ask anybody, regardless of nationality, and they will tell you that they prefer an American movie to a national or other foreign film. The music made within the United States is known at a global level. But how many European or Asian artists can enjoy the same treatment? Very few!
The films and songs globally promoted have forwarded the American values throughout the international community. Adolescents in the European Union and those in the United States used to be very different in the meaning that the later ones preserved traditional values of prudence, rather than the American ones who are more outspoken and who like to live more intensely. Some of these differences refer to the fact that American adolescents are more prone to illegal alcohol consumption than are European teenagers — “the number of youths addicted to alcohol in the United States is higher than that of tobacco, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs” (Graf, 2009); due to their lifestyle, American teenagers are more likely to get sick than are their European counterparts — American adolescents are more prone to fatigue, sleeping disorders, stomachaches, back pains or headaches (AORN Journal, 2004). Though processes of Americanization, these values could easily be transmitted to the European teenagers, who will be tomorrows employees.
Aside influencing teenagers and promoting foreign cultural values and ideologies, an example of how the United States threatens the national identity of foreign countries refers to economic actions, or better put, actions of economic expansion from the U.S. To other global regions. American corporations have for years enjoyed tremendous benefits, and have been presented with opportunities to grow in all size, power and profits. As globalization emerged, U.S. corporations began expanding their operations to other regions. Retail giant Wal-Mart is a relevant example in this sense as it opened stores across several foreign countries, to force local mom and pop stores out of business. Put this way, globalization poses threats to the safety of the national industries and the local business communities. Otherwise put, the nation state faces the threat of cheap imports. Most of these products are introduced within the national market at prices inferior to those promoted by local manufacturers. This then means that demand for national products decreases, as does the industrys economic ability to sustain employment levels, efficiently use the lands natural resources and pay taxes to state budgets.
The United States of America has been hereby considered the globalizing country due to its long standing actions which proved its promotion of the globalization values, but also as the country represents the greatest global power for the time being. Nevertheless, it is just as true that its powerful position could easily be assumed by the European Union or China, as the modern candidates to the place, or by any other global region that could be met with a fulminating development.
Most of the pressures previously presented are felt by the economic agent within the destination state. This feels not only the pressure from intensifying competition, but also the stress pegged to the necessity for him to sustain the economic well-being of his country. In order to answer to the these challenges, organizations in nation states found themselves in a situation in which they had to renounce their long standing operational values of local action, centralization, seizing opportunities, integration, continuity, control and partnership with their globalized homologues of global action, decentralization, planned action rather than opportunistic action, differentiation rather than integration, change rather than continuity, delegation rather than control and competition rather than partnership (Cesyniene, 2008).
NATIONAL LABOR MARKETS
A national labor market is generally understood as the totality of people within one specific country which are engaged in working activities. It is generally required for the individuals considered as integrant parties of the labor market to meet some specific conditions. Within the United States for instance, they must be of at least 15 years old and they must be either currently employed, either unemployed, but searching.