Another determinant of human resources function is the culture of the nation. Culture encompasses language, norms, customs and beliefs. Policy development needs to take into consideration the values of the country such as individualism or collectivism. Many in the field of HRM argue that the function depends on organizational structure while proponents believe it is dependent on national culture. This paper presents a critique of the significance of national culture as an explanation for the difference in HRM practice between Australia and Korea based on individualism and uncertainty avoidance, which are contrasting national approaches to HRM.
National culture is a significant determinant of the nature of workplace relations and the human resource management practices. In Australia, the culture of individualism is deeply rooted and people usually focus on personal accomplishments rather than working to accomplish tasks as a group. A person ascends the management hierarchy through working hard to become the leader in terms of performance. This is different in Korea where individualism is minimal, and people tend to focus on teamwork to accomplish their workplace tasks. Holbeche (2001) suggests that the determinant of the level of individualism is the economic well being of a country. This suggestion is supported by Vance & Paik (2006) who view teamwork as the response to the need for people sharing a common problem trying to establish a solution. An example is when a country is confronted by a disaster. The government and stakeholders as well as individuals cooperate to ensure that they acquire the desired strength to cope with the disaster. When it is solved, people find no reason to remain together and each party attends to other matters independently. In essence, Australia is one of the countries that have a thriving economy and therefore people may