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 25: Human Resource Management in the Indian Subcontinent

Pawan Budhwar and Arup Varma


Pawan Budhwar and Arup Varma In this chapter we provide an overview of the nature, pattern and determinants of human resource management (HRM) functions and systems in the Indian subcontinent. Given the acknowledged usefulness of the need to examine HRM in a given context in order to conduct a meaningful analysis (e.g. Schuler et al., 2002), the next section presents the geographical and socio-economic context of the Indian subcontinent. This is followed by an analysis of the existing HRM literature of the region. Within this analysis, we highlight the core aspects of the HRM function in the main countries of the subcontinent. Finally, we present the key challenges facing the HRM function in the region and avenues for future research. THE INDIAN SUBCONTINENT CONTEXT The Indian subcontinent is a peninsula that extends towards the south from the rest of Asia like an enormous arrowhead. It is called a subcontinent because of its distinct landmass and also, perhaps, because it is not large enough to be considered as a continent. The Indian subcontinent is bounded by the Himalayas in the north and east, and the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal to the south (see Ganeri, 2005). It includes countries such as India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan (when the Maldives and Afghanistan are also included then the more commonly used term is South Asia). The region covers about 4 480 000 km2 or 10 per cent of the Asian continent and approximately 40 per cent...

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