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Edited by Günter K. Stahl and Ingmar Björkman
Chapter 2: Strategic International Human Resource Management in Multinational Enterprises: Developments and Directions
Helen De Cieri and Peter J. Dowling Globalization has brought remarkable developments in the diversity and complexity of international business and multinational enterprises (MNEs).1 Concomitant with these developments has been increasing awareness that the management of a global workforce is a critical dimension of international business. A major aspect of MNE management relates to the area of ‘strategic international human resource management’ (SIHRM) (Milliman, Von Glinow & Nathan, 1991; Schuler, Dowling & De Cieri, 1993), which we relabel as ‘strategic human resource management in MNEs’ (De Cieri & Dowling, 1999). This ﬁeld of research and practice draws upon HRM as a disciplinary base, and is embedded in the context of international business. The ﬁrst aim of this chapter is to explain the development of the ﬁeld of SHRM in MNEs and to review the theoretical perspectives that inform research in this ﬁeld. Second, we present a revised framework of SHRM for MNEs, based on recent developments and emerging directions in research and practice. Our third aim is to discuss the implications of this framework, to provide some guidance for future research in this ﬁeld. Strategic human resource management in multinational enterprises The ﬁeld of international human resource management has been characterized by three broad approaches (Dowling, 1999). Early work in this ﬁeld (for example, Laurent, 1986) emphasized cross-cultural management issues. A second area of research has been developed in comparative HRM research (for example, Brewster, 1998; Hendry, 2003; Rowley, Benson & Warner, 2004). Third, much of the research in international HRM has focused...
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