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Actions taken by the Labour Standards Bureau over a suicide caused by excessive overtime work triggered much public interest in this issue. In response to such new-found interest, the government is currently discussing the need to tighten regulations on excessive overtime practice by amending laws and regulations.
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In January , the Korean government announced two guidelines on ordinary dismissal and rules of employment respectively. The guideline on ordinary dismissal was intended to give employers greater flexibility in employment and to result ultimately in the creation of more jobs Ordinary Dismissal Guideline. The Ordinary Dismissal Guideline, which reflects the positions of the government and ruling party in Korea, has been strongly opposed by the labour industry and unions, who feared that the Guideline would result in a dramatic increase in the dismissal of poor performers.
In the coming year, the Korean government seems poised to continue its efforts to increase employment flexibility. However, given the current political climate in Korea surrounding President Park and her potential impeachment, it is unclear whether the Korean government will be able to accomplish its objective. Employment relationships in Malaysia have generally remained conventional, with employers and employees embarking on their relationships by entering into an employment contract.
Although a typical employment relationship would be one that is permanent in nature and usually subject to a retirement age, there are a number of employers who utilize fixed term contracts for engaging certain categories of employees. Whilst there is no specific legislation to cover use of fixed term contracts, permanency in employment can be inferred by the Courts especially in circumstances where fixed term contracts are repeated and automatically renewed over a period of time.
The Courts have in the past been guided by a review of the job in question and whether such a job is temporary or permanent in nature. Where a job is found to be required even after a fixed term contract ends, there has been a tendency to find that this is not a genuine fixed term arrangement and non-renewal of such contracts could result in substantial compensation being paid out. Even where unjust dismissal was established in cases where the fixed term contracts were terminated early, compensation was limited to the unexpired portion of the fixed term contract.
This is a departure from the previous trend of awarding the full extent of compensation as if the employee was employed on a permanent basis. Notwithstanding this wider recognition of fixed term contracts, the Courts may still infer permanency into contracts that are repeatedly and automatically renewed over a period of time.
Contracts should be drafted in such a manner to avoid suggesting a relationship that is permanent in nature, e. Aside from changes to the potential flexibility of employment relationships, over the past year there has also been enhanced awareness on the part of employers in respect of the need to comply with the Personal Data Protection Act PDPA. This will continue to be an important issue in the year ahead.
Whilst the PDPA came into force in November , activities by the Personal Data Protection Commission PDP Commission appear so far to be focused on administrative matters such as registration and providing certain general standards for compliance. Though there has been no known enforcement of the PDPA provisions at this time, it is anticipated that the PDP Commission could look into enforcement activities in the near future.
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Accordingly, employers need to ensure that their employees have received statutory notices consistent with the requirements of the PDPA. For employers who have a global presence, the notices should also cover the right to transfer data cross border to holding or parent companies beyond the shores of Malaysia. Whilst there was an ability to freely transfer data previously without any need for notification or consent, there is a need now for employers to ensure that employees are notified of such transfer and the purpose of the transfer.
Where sensitive personal data is concerned, employers must ensure that employees provide explicit consent before such a transfer can be made. This campaign promise has been interpreted as a noticeable shift in the employment landscape. Most prominently, employers have been encouraged to regularize their contractual workers.
At present, the Labour Code of the Philippines merely prohibits labour-only contracting. In particular, the DOLE has increased its on-site spot checks and investigations to determine whether employers are compliant with labour laws. Further, a circular was issued halting the registration of contracting companies.
get link Nevertheless, there has been news that Department Order No. All in all, the employment landscape in the Philippines is expected to continue the current trend of promoting regularization or increasing the security of tenure of employees. This does not, however, mean the total eradication of contracting arrangements. Moreover, hiring projects and seasonal employees remain allowed. At most, tighter regulations and stricter implementation of those regulations will be put in place.
This means that, while it may be harder to continually hire temporary workers, employers nevertheless retain the flexibility to employ workers based on varying business needs. The demand for Filipino workers, especially overseas, remains high due to their proven work ethic and professionalism. Singapore is no exception to the rapid growth of the gig economy. In light of the increasing numbers of freelancers and independent contractors, there have been calls in Singapore for such workers to be granted more rights at law and greater support from the relevant governmental and statutory authorities, and changes could be made before is out.
In the face of likely global economic headwinds, Singapore will also be increasingly focused in on keeping workers in the labour force and helping those who are laid off. Retrenchment notifications to the Ministry of Manpower will be made mandatory for most companies that retrench five or more employees within any given six-month period. The statutory re-employment age for older workers will also be raised from 65 to On the disputes front, will see the establishment of an Employment Claims Tribunal ECT to adjudicate pay-related disputes that cannot be settled amicably through mediation at the new Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management.
Employment laws in Singapore will continue to be relatively employer-friendly compared with other developed economies, but the needle has been moving for some time, and is likely to see the continuation of this trend, with a greater emphasis on ensuring that none get left behind. In response to the increasing numbers of dispatched workers in Taiwan businesses and government agencies, the Ministry of Labour of Taiwan the MOL had proposed a draft bill of the Dispatched Workers Protection Act back in in order to regulate the relationship between dispatching firms, user firms and dispatched workers.
Although it was previously reported that a revised bill would be proposed by the MOL by the end of , no new draft has yet been announced. As the Minister of the MOL had previously stated that the long-term goal of the bill is to eventually eliminate the demand for dispatched workers, it is possible that the new draft would propose even more stringent restrictions on the hiring and use of dispatched workers. In the last five years alone over million people have climbed out of income poverty 3. Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan are among the ten most populous countries in the world while Bhutan and Maldives are among those with the smallest population.
Nearly million South Asians currently live in informal urban settlements 4 , but with rapid and uncontrolled urbanization this may increase to 42 percent by 5. Progress has been made in recent decades to reduce the number of child deaths worldwide, however neonatal mortality rates have declined at a slower pace. As a result, newborn deaths now account for 44 percent of under-5 deaths globally and almost 60 percent of the deaths in South Asia.
The majority can be attributed to preventable and treatable causes such as preterm birth complication, intrapartum-related complication, and infections. Disparities between and within countries are significant and the utilisation of key life-saving interventions, such as neonatal care and skilled birth attendants, vary by poverty level, class, caste, geographic access and maternal education. Globally, there are 23 million children who are not fully immunized and 8 million of them live in South Asia 6.
It is the last region still fighting Poliovirus. Inequalities remain both in terms of immunisation coverage and access within countries. Several factors explain why progress has been slow, mostly relating to the poor health system, geographic barriers and weak governance of social services. This is a missed opportunity as vaccination is considered the most cost-effective intervention, with huge USD16 return on investment for each dollar spent on immunization 7.
Deprivation profiling has shown that stunting is concentrated among children born in the poorest households, children who live in rural areas, children from families with specific social identities caste or ethnicity and children born to particularly vulnerable women young, malnourished, uneducated and disempowered 9.