The Global Context of HRM and HRD

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Prior to the advent and imposition of globalization, national economies exercised a number of protectionist strategies designed to ensure that their industries, especially infant ones, and goods had the space within which to grow and develop. These protectionist strategies which, according to Schwartz (2000), included the imposition of custom duties, additional taxes and tariffs on imported goods, effectively ensured that locally manufactured goods maintained a competitive edge in the domestic market.


With this necessitating the elimination of all protectionist strategies, globalization has been interpreted by some as a threat to the well being of national economies and the competitive strength of domestic producers therein. As Yeung (1998, cited CLMS, U2) notes, it is a threat insofar as it removes, or at the very least, substantially reduces, state control over capital and the management of its economy and resources therein. As emphasized by both Yeung (1998, CLMS 1125) and Schwartz (2000), one of the consequences of globalization is that national economies are confronted with extreme levels of global and domestic competition. Whether on the level of the global or the domestic market, the removal of artificial barriers to trade and the elimination of protectionism, implies that single economic units have to confront the competition and challenge posed by numerous economies. This means that the survival of national economies, let alone their growth and development, is problematic and challenging. ...
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