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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 28: Models of Human Resource Management in Australia and New Zealand

Peter Boxall and Steve Frenkel

Subjects: business and management, human resource management


Peter Boxall and Steve Frenkel The goal of this chapter is to compare and contrast models of HRM in Australia and New Zealand and to locate these models within the wider world of HRM. We start with an outline of the unique contexts of Australia and New Zealand, highlighting important similarities and differences between the two countries, and relating them to other Anglophone countries. We then examine what is known about distinctive models of HRM in the Antipodes, summarising studies of management practice and of workers’ perceptions of how they are managed. Only a few studies of HRM are directly comparable across the Tasman, so in each country we use the most interesting and relevant empirical research available. In New Zealand’s case, this means we explore the small-business character of HRM and the less formal and relatively empowering ways in which workers are managed. In Australia’s case, where organisations are typically larger than in New Zealand, we discuss recent research on the role of HRM specialists and their interactions with line managers. Overall, this approach enables us to paint a picture of both small-firm and largefirm HRM in the Antipodes. We draw together the key lessons in our conclusions. THE CONTEXT OF HRM IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND What are the main features of the historical, geographical, economic and socio-political context of HRM in the Antipodes? This section offers a summary of the main similarities and contrasts. Much fuller reviews of the HRM context of each country can be found...

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