Divergent Norwegian and North American HRM Regimes: Implications for Norwegian MNEs

  • Paul Gooderham
  • Birgitte Grøgaard
  • Odd Nordhaug


As Norwegian companies internationalize by establishing major business units in a variety of locations such as North America they have to confront different local human resource management (HRM) policies and practices. These differences are not arbitrary but products of different industrial relations regimes. Using a comparative data set the initial purpose of this chapter is to assess the ‘distance’ between the Norwegian and the North American HRM regimes in terms of ‘calculative’ and ‘collaborative’ HRM practices (Gooderham, Nordhaug & Ringdal, 1999). In line with measures of institutional and cultural distance our findings indicate substantial differences. Thereafter we employ interview data to investigate how these differences have an impact on the selection of HRM practices in the North American operations of a Norwegian multinational enterprise (MNE). In particular we investigate the degree to which the Norwegian MNE ‘exports’ Norwegian HRM practices and the degree to which it succumbs to local pressures to adapt to the North American context. We conclude by discussing the implications of our findings for the HRM strategies of Norwegian companies in the North American setting.


Human Resource Management Industrial Relation Cultural Distance Local Employee Human Resource Management Practice 
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© Paul Gooderham, Birgitte Grøgaard and Odd Nordhaug 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Gooderham
  • Birgitte Grøgaard
  • Odd Nordhaug

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