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Michele Chrabieh

DBA Graduate - 2011

Thesis title

Strategic International Human Resource Management Policies and Practices and Influencing Factors in the Major Lebanese Banks.

Supervisor(s)

Mohammed Matmati
This thesis is a context-specific research that focuses on the field of Strategic International Human Resource Management (SIHRM). The purpose of this research is three-fold: exploratory, comparative, and analytical. It aims at answering the following research questions: 1. What are the SIHRM policies and practices in the major Lebanese banks? (The How) 2. What factors have influenced SIHRM policies and practices in the major Lebanese banks? (The Why) The qualitative methodology was chosen predominantly for the purpose of this research given it applies the interpretivist/constructivist paradigm and also taking into consideration the research questions. In the comparative and analytical phase of the research, some of the major results were quantified to further illustrate and expand upon the qualitative data and increase the depth and richness of the research project. Data was gathered through participatory observation, questionnaires (designed for the purpose of this study), in-depth semi-structured interviews, and documentation such as reports, studies, and articles, etc. The data collection phase began in March 2009 and ended in September 2009. This research relies on a multiple- case study design whereby seven major Lebanese banks characterized by regional/international expansion strategies and three foreign banks established in Lebanon were used as a reference. The target population of the chosen cases is SIHRM decision-takers and part-takers (such as Heads of Human Resource, Human Resources professionals, General Managers, etc.). They were chosen for their specialist knowledge and experience required for this thesis. Findings relating to the first research question are presented, compared and analyzed beginning with an overview of the banks, then focusing on the parent company HRD role/authority level at the international level and on SIHRM policies and practices pertaining to recruitment and selection, training and development, compensation and benefits as well as performance management. The ensuing SIHRM approaches of all banks under study are also analyzed when concluding both chapters. As for the findings relating to the second research question, they consist of a set of mild endogenous and exogenous factors. Results show that endogenous factors are the most influencing as compared to exogenous factors in the context of Lebanese banks. The contributions of this research are a set of practical recommendations for business practice and a proposed contextualized SIHRM model to Lebanese banks as well as theoretical propositions. This study has limitations, namely the need for more emphasis on the overseas entity perspective, the need to benchmark with more foreign banks, and the need to further test and validate the results using quantitative or mixed methods, preferably in context specific settings within the Arab world; these limitations bring forth some fruitful and interesting possible avenues for future research under the