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Identify and discuss the human resource management issues that a HR Manager who is employed by BlueScope Steel in Port Kembla would have to consider when relocating a manager from Australia to manage a subsidiary branch of this organisation that is located in Burlington, Ontario in Canada. Furthermore, assess the human resource management and employment relations issues that will impact on the working life of this manager in Canada. (20 marks)
BlueScope is a large-scale manufacturer of flat steel and the company has its operations and manpower located in Australia, New Zealand and North America. Operating as BlueScope Steel and many subsidiaries, BlueScope consistently ventures on new opportunities to capture a higher share of global marketplace and gain competency advantages.
BlueScope is based in Australia and operates on a global basis through subsidiaries. In order to help its subsidiary business in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, BlueScope Steel has decided to send an experienced HR manager from Port Kembla, Australia (BlueScope 2016). The aim behind this decision of the company is to enhance its business operations in Canada, a relatively small and a new market for BlueScope at this time. In this paper, the HR issues that are likely to be faced by the HR manager will be discussed with theoretical evidences such cultural differences and relocation issues.
BlueScope was first founded in year 2002 after demerger of BHP Billion with renaming to BlueScope happening in 2003 (BlueScope 2016). BlueScope currently employs more than 16,000 employees across its worldwide operations and offices. Headquarters of the company are located in Melbourne, Australia. In its current business structure, BlueScope is structured to form five individual business segments (BlueScope 2016)-
- Australia steel products
- BlueScope Buildings
- BlueScope Building Products
- New Zealand & Pacific Islands
- North Star BlueScope Steel
While the company has expanded its business to Asia, North America, and New Zealand to a significant extent, entry of the company in Canada is fairly limited and relatively new. At this time, BlueScope operates in Canada through its Burlington based regional office (BlueScope 2017). Canada is a capitalist country that will have significant changes from the way business operations take place in the native country of Australia, a democratic socialist country with leanings towards capitalism (Mitchell 2018). Entry and success of the expansion of BlueScope operations in Canada would enhance the company's presence in North America and provide it access to a good economic and strategic location for business. Australia and Canada share a healthy relationship in trade and politics, which makes Canada a suitable business location for the North American market (Kelly & Underhill 1997). For the majority of goods and products that get imported in Canada from Australian businesses get a preferential tariff rate (AUT), which is facilitated by Canada-Australia Tariff Agreement (CANATA) (Australian Trade and Investment Commission 2017). This preferential tariff provides BlueScope a lucrative opportunity to expand its business in Canada compared to other North American markets due to low tariffs in other markets, which is a prime reason that by sending an experienced HR manager to Canada, BlueScope wants to strengthen its presence in Canada.
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