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Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Management

Edited by Günter K. Stahl and Ingmar Björkman

In providing an insightful overview of a wide range of global human resource issues facing MNCs, this pathbreaking Handbook highlights emergent topics and new research findings that could shape the field of future IHRM research. Theoretical discussion of the variables and processes that affect IHRM policies and practices is provided by renowned contributors with widely differing academic backgrounds, paradigmatic orientations, and theoretical and methodological approaches.
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Chapter 2: Strategic International Human Resource Management in Multinational Enterprises: Developments and Directions

Helen De Cieri and Peter J. Dowling


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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