HR Operating Systems for Collaborative Contexts
Organizations are becoming more specialised, decentralised and networked, and organisational structures are becoming more organic At the centre of this development is the growth of inter-organizational relationships - in their many forms. This now ranges from traditional use of outsourcing, cross-licencing, joint ventures and strategic alliances, to other cross-organisational collaborations such as joint R&D, innovation and product development, knowledge sharing networks, collaborative manufacturing, deep supply chain integration, inter-organisational information systems, and strategic networks and inter-firm networks. Mixing collaboration with competition as a corporate strategy is not new. Collaboration is implicit in many phrases used to describe interfirm relationships, such as international collaborative ventures, global strategic partnerships or competitive alliances.
We have begun research in this area through a confidential report for an MNC on the particular challenge of designing HR operating models for the management of IJVs. The bulk of the existing research on the HRM issues associated with alliances has based on research into international alliances or international joint ventures (IJVs) and in particular on the issues of learning, knowledge or technology sharing and transfer, and technology transfer.
HR functions need to consider the messages from research into these sorts of areas for their own service offerings. What can be learned from some more recent areas of research? How might this be mapped over to the management of JVs and choices about the HR Operating Systems to deploy? In this report we identified a series of questions for organizations to consider in thinking about their HR Operating Models for JVs.
We continue this work through the examination of research on:
- joint venture governance,
- multi-party outsourcing arrangements,
- the management of international project operations,
- models for service support models to franchisors, and
- the management of innovation across networks.