Igor Gurkov, Evgeny Morgunov, Zokirzhon Saidov "Robustness and flexibility of human resource management practices"

The purpose of this paper is to retrace the sources of robustness of the operations of Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of western multinational corporation (MNC) during the downturn, from the point of view of applied human resource management (HRM) practices.

A repeated survey of heads of Russian manufacturing plants of western MNCs was implemented. The same respondents aswered the similar questions in 2014 and in 2016.

The current evolution of HRM arrangements in the Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of MNCs can be explained by an attempt for ambidexterity. On the one hand, managers of the Russian manufacturing subsidiaries of MNCs attempt to prevent employee alienation. Thus, they retain permanent contracts and preserve guarantees of home-take pay. On the other hand, there is the elimination of several social benefits. In the author’s opinion, the cost-minimization approach has been used excessively. The authors speculate that the system of social benefits will need to be adjusted again to transform the system from one that is “crisis-proof” to one that is “stagnation adapted.”

The findings provide a basis for a broader discussion on mutation of HRM systems in manufacturing subsidiaries of MNCs facing deteriorating market conditions.