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International Human Resource Management

International Human Resource Management

Tony Edwards | Chris Rees


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Book Details


International Human Resource Management

Edwards & Rees, 3rd edition


This engaging textbook offers a readable introduction to International Human Resource Management. It explores the international dimensions of managing human resources, with a focus on comparative HRM and multinational organisations. It tackles the issues raised by cross-national differences in HRM styles and explores key themes, including:


  • The meaning of globalization and the extent to which it is a novel phenomenon
  • Challenges to national traditions and changes in national systems
  • Debates and controversy around key issues in International HRM.


Ideal for undergraduates taking International HRM courses, those taking Masters programmes in HRM, and MBA students. It may also be relevant to comparative industrial relations courses that feature multinational companies.


Fully revised and updated in this new third edition, this textbook features:


  • Clear, cohesive themes that run throughout the book and show the big picture.
  • Broad depth of coverage of multinational companies, reflecting current hot topics.
  • Real life case studies throughout, showing how the theory applies in practice.
  • Contributions by experts in the field, actively edited by the lead authors to ensure that the book is clear and consistent for the reader.


About the authors


Tony Edwards is Professor of Comparative Management at Kings College London. Chris Rees is Professor of Employment Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London.


Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover cover
Half Title page i
Title page iii
Copyright iv
Brief Contents v
Contents vii
Contributors xiii
Acknowledgements xv
Introduction xvii
Globalization versus embeddedness xviii
Cultures versus institutions xviii
Choices versus constraints xviii
Integration versus differentiation xviii
Standardization versus segmentation xix
Collaboration versus contestation xix
Part 1 The Context for International HRM 1
Chapter 1 Globalization, national systems and multinational companies 3
Key aims 3
Introduction 3
The nature of contemporary globalization 4
Debating globalization 8
Globalization and MNCs 12
MNCs, the state and ‘national effects’ 14
Conclusion 21
Review questions 23
Further reading 24
References 24
Chapter 2 National employment systems and international HRM 28
Key aims 28
Introduction 28
Types and numbers of national system 28
National business systems and HRM in MNCs 34
Management, ownership and country-of-origin effects 40
Conclusion 41
Review questions 42
Further reading 42
References 42
Chapter 3 The European Union: a case of advanced regional integration 46
Key aims 46
Introduction 46
Regional integration agreements 48
Box 3.1 Deepening stages of RIAs 50
Evolution of the EU and its employment policy 51
Box 3.2 Principal institutions of the EU 52
The European social model 53
Bases of EU employment policy 54
Three key ‘moments’ in the development of EU employment policy 57
Box 3.3 Principal social partners in the EU 58
The emergence of ‘soft’ law and the Open Method of Coordination 59
Theorizing convergence of HR practice across the EU 60
Future challenges for EU employment policy 61
Box 3.4 ECJ cases cited 62
Box 3.5 Posted workers 63
Conclusion 64
Notes 64
Review questions 65
Further reading 65
References 66
Part 2 MNCs and International HRM 69
Chapter 4 International structure and strategy 71
Key aims 71
Introduction 71
Defining a multinational company 72
The motivations for internationalization 74
The arrival of the ‘global’ firm 79
Key influences on strategy and structure in MNCs 89
Box 4.1 ABB: a test case of the transnational strategy 95
Box 4.2 AutoPower: shaking off its American origins? 98
Conclusion 100
Review questions 100
Further reading 101
References 101
Chapter 5 Global integration 104
Key aims 104
Introduction 104
The case for global HRM integration 105
Tools of global HRM integration 112
Achieving global HRM integration 116
Box 5.1 Globally integrating diversity management at Transco 118
Conclusion 120
Review questions 121
Further reading 121
References 121
Chapter 6 The transfer of HR practices in MNCs 126
Key aims 126
Introduction 126
The ‘diffusability’ of employment practices 127
The hierarchy of economies and the diffusion of practices 129
Box 6.1 CFS: adaptation, absorption or retention 132
Corporate characteristics promoting and hindering diffusion 134
The process of diffusion 137
Box 6.2 Engineering products: networking . . . but with the centre in charge 139
Conclusion 140
Review questions 141
Further reading 141
References 141
Chapter 7 Cross-border mergers and acquisitions 145
Key aims 145
Introduction 145
The national orientation of the parent in cross-border M&As 147
Box 7.1 Case study: HealthCo 149
Restructuring at national level and the legacy of distinctive national systems 150
The political dimension to cross-border M&As 154
Box 7.2 Case study: Corus 156
Cross-border M&As and organizational learning 158
Conclusion 163
Review questions 163
Further reading 164
References 164
Part 3 The Management of International HRM 167
Chapter 8 Outsourcing and human resource management 169
Key aims 169
Introduction 169
Conceptualizing outsourcing 170
Employment restructuring and the outsourcing decision 171
Coordination of HRM across organizational boundaries 176
Box 8.1 ‘Vendotel’: coordinating HRM in a multinational call centre vendor 179
The outsourcing of (parts of) the HR function 181
Box 8.2 The outsourcing of HRM by P&G and Unilever 183
Conclusion 184
Review questions 186
Further reading 186
References 186
Chapter 9 International leadership development 190
Key aims 190
Introduction 190
What is global leadership? 191
The right stuff model to develop global leaders 192
Global leadership development mechanisms 196
Conclusion 200
Box 9.1 Case study: TRW 201
Note 202
Review questions 202
Further reading 203
References 203
Chapter 10 Recruitment and selection of international managers 208
Key aims 208
Introduction 208
Key concepts and definitions 209
Criteria for recruitment 210
Selection 214
Box 10.1 Case study: Japanese expatriates through the decades 218
Diversity issues in international recruitment and selection 220
The changing international manager 224
Conclusion 225
Review questions 226
Further reading 226
References 227
Chapter 11 International pay and compensation 230
Key aims 230
Introduction 230
Convergence versus divergence in compensation practices 231
Box 11.1 Variations in compensation between selected countries in three regions 233
Factors influencing international compensation 235
Pay strategy in MNCs 238
Box 11.2 Case study: balancing global strategic alignment and local conformance pressures in a pharmaceutical MNC 240
Expatriate compensation 240
Conclusion 247
Review questions 247
Further reading 248
References 248
Chapter 12 International and comparative employee voice 252
Key aims 252
Introduction 252
Employee voice, employee participation and employee involvement 253
The European Union as a regional system of employee voice 255
Box 12.1 EU legislation on employee voice 255
Employee voice in ‘advanced industrialized economies’ 259
Box 12.2 The German system of employee voice 261
Managing employee voice in ‘industrializing’ or ‘developing’ economies 265
Box 12.3 Employee involvement in a British MNC in China 268
Conclusion 269
Review questions 270
Further reading 270
References 270
Chapter 13 International corporate social responsibility 275
Key aims 275
Introduction 275
The concept of corporate social responsibility 276
CSR in the multinational enterprise 280
Managing corporate social responsibility 282
Corporate social responsibility and human resource management 287
Conclusion 289
Review questions 290
Further reading 290
References 291
Chapter 14 International migration and HRM 293
Key aims 293
Introduction 293
International migration: dimensions and trends 295
What shapes migration? 298
The impact of migration 302
Box 14.1 Case study: nursing 306
Worker and trade union responses 309
Conclusion 311
Review questions 312
Further reading 312
References 312
Index 315