1. Problem statement and motivation問題陳述和動機
According to Lessmann (2013), foreign direct investments are one of the key dominant indexes of economic growth. Therefore, with the increasing development of economy and the internationalization strategy of China, more and more Chinese companies planed and had the great opportunities to invest in Germany, which is also welcomed by Germany. It is obvious that can be seen from figure 1, China’s direct foreign investment in Germany has kept rising in the first decade of 21st century.
(German Central Bank - Deutsche Bundesbank, 2012)（德國中央銀行-德意志聯邦銀行，2012年）
These Chinese investing companies are well performance in the revenue and management in China. However, how to operate them smoothly and sustainably in Germany has become the challenge of many of these companies. The challenge includes an absolutely new market with different cultural background, communication problems on the language system, and the different academic backgrounds, etc. According to Arthur (1995), human resources challenge for small and mid-sized companies in the twenty-first century. Therefore, among these challenges, the most difficult one is to recruit talents sustainably, namely the sustainable human resource management (HRM). According to Paillé et al (2014), employee’s performance is significantly related to the relationship among employee, the environment of the organization, and human resource management. In the light of the management, the human resource plays an essential role in developing a company's strategy as well as handling the employee-centered activities of an organization. Zhou Jiang (2013) who bought a German company in Brandenburg, stated that it cost him 9 months to sack an employee. It is a common mistake that human resource management pays too much attention on policies instead of employee behavior and environmental culture (Brewster et.,al, 2013). As a consequence, a study should be carried out to find what HRM problems those companies are facing and how to solve them to ensure the sustainable development ot HRM for Chinese companies in Germany.
2. State of knowledge and research gap知識狀況與研究差距
2.1. State of knowledge知識狀態
Prior studies have suggested that the human resource should be well planned and employed, that is also the key to the sustainable development of the companies. And there are also researches on Chinese companies.
For the purpose of this study we approached Chinese MNEs that (1) have already entered the German market and over the time have built a market presence in Germany, that (2) seemed to pursue long-term objectives regarding their German investment, implying no ‘hit-and-run’-mentality, which might bias our analysis and findings, and that (3) are heterogeneous in terms of sector or industry affiliation, firm size, level of international diversification, and state ownership.
When developing our interview protocol, we accounted for common methods variance, a potential bias often observed in cross-sectional studies. We separated scale items in different places of the questionnaire, whereas items related to the “dependent’’ or criterion variable (i.e., liability of foreignness) followed those related to the ‘‘independent’’ variables (i.e., acquisition vs. greenfield investment as well as due diligence, reputation building and reliability enhancement, prior experience, share of control, share of work, and key employee roles). This is useful for reducing the effects that stem from artifactual covariance and, thereby, to decrease common methods variance to a certain degree (Podsakoff& Organ, 1986). All interviews were recorded, transcribed, and evaluated through multiple rounds of independent assessments by the authors in order to ensure the reliability of findings (Yin, 2003).
Our interviews found that acquirers and Chinese investors came up with different ways to reduce their LOF (loss of foreign investment) in the German marketplace. In line with prominent approaches that have been proposed for conducting inductive analyses through case study research, our results can be structured according to a set of evolving categories that emerged during the course of our study, namely: strategies to mitigate the LOF through (1) due diligence, (2) reputation building and reliability enhancement, (3) prior experience, (4) share of control, (5) share of work, and (6) key employee roles. All strategies, as well as variations among establishment modes and implications for the firms’ possibility to appropriate synergistic quasi-rents through mitigating their LOF,
2.2 Research gap
There are no studies on sustainable HRM of Chinese companies in Germany, which will guide those Chinese companies on HRM in a different culture in this fast changing time. Also, as a Chinese, the author may be lack of the cultural background of Germany, so that this research could not well explain on the key cause and effects for Chinese Companies investing in Germany. In addition, time limitation is also a downturn of the research for this topic.
Main goal: find out the challenges of sustainable HRM for Chinese companies in Germany and give suggestions.
Therefore, the following hypothesis will be proved in HRM field:
1. Cultural difference in the respective of the financial systems;
2. The law, regulation and rules for the workforces;
3. The communication gap;
4. Due diligence;
5. Reputation building and reliability enhancement;
6. Prior experience;
7. Share of control;
8. Share of work; and
9. key employee roles.
4. Procedures and Methods
Three methods are planned to apply this research, namely, they are
Method 1: Literature review; Method 2: Expert Interviews; Method 3: Questionnaire.
Working step 1: Interviews with experts on culture and experts in business Finance line. Main questions: What is the normal companies financial system in Germany? What is the normal companies financial system in Chinese company? What is characteristic financial system for Chinese companies in Germany? Is there any difference? What is included in salary? How to improve the salary? Performance-reward rankings?
Working step 2: Find literature on regulation and rules for the workforces from the academic resources such as academic Journal in Germany in TUM library, Munich library, and literatures on HRM characteristics of Chinese companies in China. Review issues and compare Chinese companies in Germany with Chinese compaies and German companies.
Working step 3: interviews with HRM heads and questionnaires with employees in those companies choose different company types: state owned, private and family companies. Main issue is to find the information
1, The importance of work related goals;
2, Group work with cross-culture employees;
3, Vocation system.
Working step 4: Thesis writing
5. Working plan
The working plan is shown in Table 1, with which the master thesis will be fulfilled. In addition, this plan is the guideline to show the timeline of the research.
6. Financial plan
The budget is related to the potential costs, which could occur in the process of the research, they are transportation fees, books and newspapers, communication fees with the experts. The author will be responsible for the fees.