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Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management

Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management

Elgar original reference

Edited by Chris Brewster and Wolfgang Mayrhofer

This unique and path-breaking Handbook explores the issue of comparative Human Resource Management (HRM) and challenges the notion that there can be a ‘one best way’ to manage HRM.

Chapter 20: Latin American HRM Models

Anabella Davila and Marta M. Elvira

Subjects: business and management, human resource management


Anabella Davila and Marta M. Elvira Developing a Latin American model of human resources management (HRM) implies using novel theoretical approaches. Though HRM practices differ across country, organisation and industry lines in Latin America, evidence suggests that traditional models of management and organisation offer only partial explanations for HRM complexity in this region where contextual elements challenge the use of a single disciplinary approach. To understand HRM in Latin America’s distinct environment of economic, political and social instability, interdisciplinary views are required. Such views would help account for key contextual elements such as the role of the enterprise as a social institution, the value of the individual within society, and the pragmatic character of governmental public policies. Recent research, based on culturally sensitive frameworks and in-depth qualitative studies of firms in Latin America, highlights the explanatory value of stakeholder theory (Davila & Elvira, 2009). This theory allows examination of the impact of HRM systems on an organisation’s multiple stakeholders, including those specific to particular societies. In this chapter we aim to extend stakeholder theory to understand how effective HRM systems meet the diverse demands of stakeholders in Latin America such as employees, unions and relevant community members. Because in Latin America business organisations play a key role as social institutions (Elvira & Davila, 2005b), their environment includes stakeholders seeking social integration regardless of their legitimacy or power. HRM practices appear to perform best when including multiple stakeholders, both powerful and silent ones. Acknowledging a horizontal relationship organisation–stakeholder, instead of a hierarchical...

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