Dr Lawrence Chen

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Personal profile

Lawrence Chen's international experience has led to research interests into HR strategy development within Europe, the Middle East and Asia. His previous research includes an MNC study in the area of International Human Resource Management in the case of the leading Taiwanese MNC, HTC, in the UAE. His current research focuses on strategic human resource management of British multinational companies in Dubai. 

Lawrence gained extensive international management experience and knowledge, following commercial careers for a boutique investment firm in the City, Stock Exchange and a global Bank and three leading education multinational companies. Lawrence is also a person characterised by diversity. As well as being interested in fashion, Lawrence is a founder and owner of an online fashion retailer, serving the worldwide market. Lawrence has a big heart for society. He previously worked with The Prince's Trust in the UK.

Research interests

His research interest currently focuses on the study of multinational companies in the area of International Human Resource Management. He has developed his PhD thesis seeking a fit in managing employees between British education companies and their subsidiaries in Dubai. Increasing numbers of multinational companies enjoy Dubai Free Zone's perks, such as 100% ownership and tax exemption as well as its hub position offering access to the massive Middle-East market. Nevertheless, there are less than 3% of nationals as Dubai's workforces whilst immigrants from India, Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan make up the majority. The critical question is to what extent can MNCs better manage such human resources to improve competitive advantage?

His research objectives explore the meaning of management on third-country nationals within MNCs in a host country context where the notion of locals is complicated by a heterogeneous or diverse local labour force. Although an 'extreme case', it is assumed that the UAE in many ways reflects trends that are increasing within global cities (such as London, New York and Hong Kong) where a more internationalised 'local' set of employees work within MNCs alongside those expatriated by the home country MNC. In this sense, a study of the management of third-country nationals in the UAE will extend the expatriate study on the position and function of TCNs though accessing in detail their previously undermined use in a staffing strategy. The research can have more generalisable implications for the future management of employees within MNCs elsewhere.

Educational background

  • School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK (2008-2009)

          MSc in International Management for the Middle-East and North-Africa 

  • National Cheng-chi University, Taipei, Taiwan (2004-2007) 

          BA in Arabic Language and Literature

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