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Chris Brewster

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Paul Boselie and Chris Brewster

This chapter discusses the way that Human Resource Management and particularly Strategic HRM which is the in-company, financial outcome focused version, has become a panacea. It is assumed that by applying ‘good practice’ SHRM within the organization results will be improved. We draw on the previous literature, particularly the original ‘Harvard model’ of HRM to argue that this severely underestimates the impact of the environment, the importance of multiple stakeholders and the implications of a longer-term perspective. We suggest that attention to these issues will take us beyond SHRM to something that reflects the real world better, is more rewarding for researchers and more valuable for practitioners.
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Kwang-Pyo Roh and Chris Brewster

This chapter examines the historical precedents of Korean employment and labor relations in detail, beginning with pre-industrial origins and Japanese occupation through the compressed-development modern era with its two defining events, the Great Labor Offensive and the Asian Financial Crisis. The authors sum up Korea’s labor movement history as ‘late flowering, early decline’, and identify three defining characteristics of employment and labor-management relations in Korea: a confrontational and conflict-ridden nature, strong enterprise-orientation, and the lack of legal approbation. Each of these characteristics are traced to their historical roots in occupation, under authoritarianism, and from Korean culture, leading to a discussion of their contribution to new problems such as ongoing hostility between social partners, labor market polarization and uncertain legal protections.

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Chris Brewster and Wolfgang Mayrhofer

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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.
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Yvonne McNulty and Chris Brewster

In this chapter, we provide an overview of the conceptual development of business expatriates over the past 50 years. We do so in light of the rapid growth in new forms of expatriates and other types of international work, and due to an increasing proliferation of terms and sloppy application of concepts in the field of expatriate studies most especially over the last decade. Our goal is to narrow the focus to establish construct clarity and to develop a theory-specific statement about business expatriates. Our intention is three-fold: (1) to illustrate poor construct clarity by demonstrating that the word ‘expatriate’ no longer adequately describes the concept it claims to investigate in management studies; (2) to assist the field of expatriate studies to be clearer about whom it is actually researching; and, (3) to stimulate and provoke a necessary debate towards improving conceptualization of the business expatriate concept. We begin by defining expatriates more broadly and providing an overview of the categorization of international work experiences. We then critique the conceptualization of business expatriates by first discussing the problem of terminological confusion in the field of expatriate studies in general and then developing a clearer theory-specific statement about business expatriates in particular. Next, we examine business expatriates in the literature and categorize them into two streams – organization-assigned expatriates (AEs) and self-initiated expatriates (SIEs) – including in each stream their various types and forms. Critiquing the literature to determine the distinction between business expatriates and sojourners, migrants and business travellers follows this. Lastly we draw some conclusions and provide a glossary of terms for future research.

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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.

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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.