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Christine Bischoff and Geoffrey Wood

This chapter draws from a small but growing body of human resource management (HRM) research in Africa. Increasing attention is being paid to contextual circumstances, with attention shifting to the relationship between institutions and HRM practice, particularly drawing on the literature on comparative capitalisms and rational hierarchical accounts. This chapter further extends reflections on cultural and institutional factors influencing HRM in the sub-Saharan Africa region, including an exploration of the emerging body of research on Chinese multinational corporations in Africa.

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Pawan Budhwar, Arup Varma and Manjusha Hirekhan

This chapter presents the geographical and socio-economic context of the Indian subcontinent and discusses how relevant factors influence human resource management (HRM) practice in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan (including updated insights on each of these countries). The review of extant research emphasises the scarcity of HRM research across the region, and in particular a reliance on exploring the applicability of Western practice rather than understanding indigenous practice. Given the political and economic instability across much of this region, the authors note that this gives rise to major challenges for rapidly evolving HRM systems, where strategic HRM has yet to be recognised as a source of value for organisations.

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Pawan Budhwar and Kamel Mellahi

This chapter considers the impact on human resource management (HRM) of the major socio-political, economic, and security-related developments that have taken place in the Middle East and which are still unfolding. Particular attention is paid to the dominance of the Arab culture and of Islam in the region, whereby HRM systems are strongly governed by these principles. The authors contend that due to significant differences between the Middle East and other parts of the world (the ‘West’, in particular), foreign elements of management tend to be, at best, not conducive to the development of sound HRM practices in the region. They also caution that apparent similarities across the region are masking deep-set differences between nations.

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Michael J. Morley, Dana Minbaeva and Snejina Michailova

Many of the countries of Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Former Soviet Union (FSU) have pursued aggressive development trajectories since the early 1990s with varying economic, political, and human resource management (HRM) outcomes. Arising from a review of nomothetic and idiographic studies on HRM in these countries, the authors landscape some key idiosyncratic features at play in the region and chart core aspects of the development of HRM. They question the extent to which ‘Western’ theories and ‘best practices’ can be applied to the territory, or whether there is evidence of a unique or hybrid approach to HRM emerging. They conclude that knowledge of HRM in the region remains exploratory at best, and encourage future empirical research.

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Chris Brewster, Wolfgang Mayrhofer and Paul Sparrow

This chapter examines the ways in which Western Europe is different from other regions in the world identifying particularly differences in approaches to stakeholders, the role of government and employee involvement as crucial. The authors discuss differences within Europe and the various cultural and institutional clusters that have been proposed. The chapter sets this within developments in globalisation but notes that the economic crisis that began in 2008, and the UK’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump in the USA, have all raised questions about the ‘inevitability’ of globalisation. The authors conclude that human resource management (HRM) in Europe is likely to remain different from that in the other parts of the world, and the regions within Europe are unlikely to become more standardised in their approach to HRM.

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Susan E. Jackson, Andrea Kim and Randall S. Schuler

The chapter presents the current state of North American human resource management (HRM) practices and scholarship in larger public and private sector organizations, paying particular attention to three issues: the burgeoning freelance economy, achieving gender balance among the managerial tier of organizations, and heightened corporate transparency. Additionally, the authors reflect on the rising awareness of the long-term implications of climate change and environmental degradation and their relationship to HRM. The North American approach to HRM reflects the liberal market economies found in the USA and Canada, with a strong interest in the strategic role of effective HRM.

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Olga Tregaskis and Noreen Heraty

This chapter examines the organisational logic underpinning investment in human resource knowledge and skills, and compares national systems as the fulcrum upon which variation in human resource development (HRD) systems and practices turns. The authors explore globalisation pressures and what these mean for the significance of national institutions in shaping firm-level behaviour in HRD. The chapter focuses on labour market change, discussing the impact of technological advances, changes in migration patterns, and age demographics on skill and knowledge bases.

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Huub J.M. Ruël and Tanya Bondarouk

This chapter develops a model for future comparative qualitative and quantitative e-HRM (human resource management) research in an international context, based on a constructivist view of the relationship between technology and organisations. The authors present a picture of what is known about e-HRM in different national contexts, and a discussion linked to the convergence/divergence debate.

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Philippe Debroux, Wes Harry, Shigeaki Hayashi, Heh Jason Huang, Keith Jackson and Toru Kiyomiya

This chapter explores human resource management (HRM) in three countries that share common geographic (East Asia) and economic (embracing capitalism) features, despite considerable differences in their ethnic and cultural make-up. The chapter presents reviews of each country’s typical approach to HRM explained by the increasingly (financially and politically) challenging contextual settings, including a new discussion on workplace diversity (and discrimination) management.

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Elaine Farndale, Wolfgang Mayrhofer and Chris Brewster

The subject of comparative human resource management (HRM) and its boundaries are established, discussing the role of context in HRM. The question is then raised whether globalisation is making such an analysis increasingly irrelevant as societies seem to converge. To investigate convergence further, the chapter explores levels and units of analysis of comparative HRM. The chapter also outlines the shape and content of the Handbook, which includes theoretical and empirical issues in comparative HRM, the way that these affect particular elements of HRM, and the way that different countries and regions think about the topic.