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An International Study of Global Corporate Strategy and the Future of Skills

Introduction

This study investigated the global HR and skills strategies of multinational companies in a context of increasing economic competition. The study was based on 200 in-depth interviews with senior managers, directors and executives in leading multinational companies in four industrial sectors – financial services, automotive, telecommunications and electronics. It also included 50 interviews with key national policy-makers in Britain, China, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, India and the United States.


Aims of Project

  1. To conduct an international study of the skill strategies of multinational companies in China, Germany, India, Korea, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United States;
  2. To examine how leading multinational companies, from different business sectors, are developing global skill formation strategies;
  3. To examine how MNCs understand issues of skill formation in relation to their competition strategies?
  4. To examine trends in labour usage and assess its impact on business performance;
  5. To examine the consequences of corporate strategies on national systems of skill formation and to identify the importance of ‘skill’.

The Focus of the Study

For senior managers and executives of MNCs this project will seek to:

  • provide a better understanding of the management and leadership skills required in global corporations;
  • identify international best practice in the use of employee skills;
  • identify the latest trends in knowledge management and human capital management;
  • understand the problems facing HR managers in meeting their skill needs in different national cultures;
  • identifying the links between training, learning and business performance in leading-edge companies;

For the policy-makers this project seeks to:

  • provide a better understanding of the skill requirements of MNCs and the ways in which these are changing in the context of the global economy;
  • identify the best practices used to help MNCs acquire the appropriate skills;
  • identify ways in which MNCs can enhance skill levels in local and national labour markets;




Funder

This major three year study is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of Great Britain (ESRC).  The ESRC funds independent academic research relevant to the wider world. It also seeks to encourage constructive dialogue between British social scientists and end-users including companies and policy-makers in the UK and beyond.

 

Publications

 

2010 (Sept) The Global Auction: The Broken Promises of Education, Jobs and Rewards, Brown, P., Lauder, H. and Ashton, D.,  New York: Oxford University Press, pp.224.

2010 ‘Skill Webs and International Human Resource Management: Lessons from a Study of the Global Skill Strategies of Transnational Companies’, International Human Resource Management, Ashton, D., Brown, P. and Lauder, H. 

2010 Skills Are Not Enough: The Globalisation of Knowledge and the Future UK Economy, Praxis Issue No.4, United Kingdom Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES), pp.36

2009 ‘Economic Globalisation, Skill Formation and the Consequences for Higher Education’, in M.W.Apple, S.Ball and L.A.Gandin (Eds.) The Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Education, London: Routledge. Lauder, H. and Brown, P. 

2009 ‘Globalization, International Education, and the Formation of a Transnational Class?, in F.Rizvi and T.Popkewitz (Eds.) Globalization and the Study of Education, Yearbook of the National Soceity for the Study  of Education, (NSSE), Chicago: Blackwell. Brown, P. and Lauder, H.

2009 Developing a Theory of Skill for Global HR, in P.Sparrow (Ed.) Handbook of International Human Resource Management, Chichester: John Wiley. pp.321-339. Ashton, D., Brown, P. and Lauder, H.

2009 Education, Meritocracy and the Global War for Talent, Journal of Education Policy, 24,4,377-92, Brown, P. and Tannock, S.

2008 Globalisation, Skill Formation and the Varieties of Capitalism Approach, New Political Economy, 13,1,19-35. Lauder, H., Brown, P., and Ashton, D.

2008 Education, Globalisation and the Future of the Knowledge Economy, European Educational Research Journal, 7,2,131-56. Brown, P., Lauder, H. & Ashton, D.

2008 Education, Globalisation and the Knowledge Economy, A Commentary for the ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme (TLRP), pp.24. Brown, P., Lauder, H. and Ashton, D.

Brown, P., Lauder, H. and Ashton, D. (2007) ‘Towards a High Skills Economy: Higher Education and the New Realities of Global Capitalism’, in Epstein, D., Boden, R., Deem, R.,  Rizvi, F. and Wright, S. (Eds.) World Year Book of Education, 2008, Geographies of Knowledge, Geometries of Power: Higher Education in the 21st Century, London: Routledge.

2006 Towards a High-Skilled, Low-Waged Economy? A Review of Global Trends  in Education, Employment and the Labour Market, in S.Porter and M.Campbell, (Eds.) Skills and Economic Performance, London: Caspian Publishing, pp.55-90. Brown, P., Lauder, H., Ashton, D. and Tholen, G. Hyperlink

"Skills and Economic Performance" is available free in hard copy only, and can be ordered by contacting communications@ssda.org.uk. List of contents: http://www.ssda.org.uk/ssda/pdf/SSDA_front%20section.pdf

Ashton, D., Brown, P. and Lauder, H. (2006) MNCs, Globalisation and Sector Skill Strategies, Report Prepared for the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA), June, 2006, pp.38.

Brown, P. and Lauder, H. (2006) ‘Globalisation, Knowledge and the Myth of the Magnet Economy’, Globalisation, Societies and Education 4, 1, pp. 25–57.

Brown, P. and Lauder, H. (2006) ‘Globalisation, Knowledge and the Myth of the Magnet Economy’, Reprinted in H.Lauder, P.Brown, J.A.Dillabough, and A.H.Halsey (Eds.) Education, Globalization and Social Change, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 317-40.

Brown, P. (2006) ‘The Opportunity Trap’, in H.Lauder, P.Brown, J.A.Dillabough, and A.H.Halsey (Eds.) Education, Globalization and Social Change, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 381-97.

Lauder, H and Brown, P, (2006) ‘The High Skills Thesis’ in  Kraak, A., Lauder, H., Brown, P. and Ashton, D., Debating High Skills and Joined Up Policy, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa, pp. 1-29.

Brown, P., Green, A. and Lauder, (2001) High Skills: Globalization, Competitiveness and Skill Formation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.  H., pp.300.