Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management
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Handbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management

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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Chapter 22: Human Resource Management in the Middle East

Pawan Budhwar and Kamel Mellahi


Pawan Budhwar and Kamel Mellahi An attempt is made in this chapter to provide an overview regarding the scenario of human resource management (HRM) in the Middle East. Given both the geographical vastness of the Middle East and scarcity of reliable information on many countries of the region and in order to put things into perspective, we initially describe the Middle East context and then present an analysis of relevant literature related to the developments in the field of HRM specific to the region. While doing the latter, we point out the main determinants of HRM in the region, any emerging HRM model(s)/approach(es) relevant to it and conclude by highlighting the main challenges for HR in the Middle East and an indicative way forward. Before we describe the geographical, socio-economic, political and business context of the Middle East it is important to clarify the terminology used to denote the region. The literature highlights the interchangeable usage of terms such as ‘Middle East’, ‘Near East’, ‘Middle East–North Africa (MENA)’, ‘Southwest Asia’, ‘Greater Middle East’, ‘Arabianpeninsula’ or the ‘Arab World’ in a very general sense (i.e. it is applied for a group of nations existing in the region) by both academics and policy makers. However, it is important to acknowledge that despite some commonalities, each nation in the region has an independent set of socioeconomic components which differ from one another in content, arising inevitably from the interplay of social relations unique to themselves. Hence, it would...

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