Context is increasingly recognised as a critical explanatory variable in accounting for commonalities and differences in human resource management. Giving expression to it in research models holds the prospect of enhancing theory development, deepening our appreciation of embedded practices in diverse territories, and opening up new lines of enquiry. However, contextualisation presents a significant research challenge and increasingly, international academic research networks that bring together scholars from different countries in the co-production of knowledge represent a key approach to rising to this challenge.
This volume documents aspects of the development of one such network, namely the Cranet Network on International Human Resource Management, and presents a series of recent contributions from the network. The chapters highlight, inter alia, the limits to convergence in human resource management as a result of contextual determinism, the role of institutional actors, markets, and work regulation in accounting for variations in practices, the contextual specificities and dynamics at play in transition economies, along with key methodological challenges that arise when seeking to build cumulative comparative knowledge via network collaborations of this nature.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of International Studies of Management & Organization.
1. The Anatomy of an International Research Collaboration: Building Cumulative Comparative Knowledge in Human Resource Management
Michael J. Morley and Noreen Heraty
2. Context and HRM: Theory, Evidence, and Proposals
Wolfgang Mayrhofer, Paul N. Gooderham and Chris Brewster
3. A Comparative Study of Trade Union Influence over HRM Practices in Spanish and Brazilian Firms: The Role of Industrial Relations Systems and Their Historical Evolution
Wilson Aparecido Costa de Amorim, Andre Luiz Fischer and Jordi Trullen
4. The Antecedents of Comparative Differences in Union Presence and Engagement: Evidence from Coordinated and Liberal Market Contexts
Michael Brookes, Geoffrey Wood and Chris Brewster
5. Understanding Financial Participation across Market Economies
Elaine Farndale, J. Ryan Lamare, Maja Vidović and Amar S. Chauhan
6. Contemporary Human Resource Management Practices in Russia: Flexibility under Uncertainty
Veronika Kabalina, Olga Zelenova and Kira Reshetnikova
7. The Cranet Survey: Improving on a Challenged Research-Practice?
Jesper Christensen, Frans Bévort and Erling Rasmussen
"Context is not only a critical factor in the effective design and implementation of human resource management strategy, policy and practice, but also a fruitful lens for comparative human resource management research. This timely volume accentuates this significance through a scholarly collection of studies stemming from the Cranet Network which illustrate the similarities, as well as persisting societal differences, in human resource management across countries. It is a splendid addition to this dynamic and rapidly expanding field of research with strong practical relevance."
Fang Lee Cooke, Monash University, Australia
"Back in 1995, early in the Cranet project, as a researcher embedded in contextual approaches to HRM I wrote a positive extended review about the programme, noting it had the potential to make a landmark contribution. The network that was built up over the years proved true to their mission, and the dataset, along with the intellectual traditions it has spawned have proved invaluable. This volume reflects on that journey that has been undertaken and the ways in which it relates to the broader development of comparative traditions. It is essential reading for those who wish to understand the field."
Professor Paul Sparrow, Emeritus Professor of International HRM, Lancaster University Management School, UK
"This book addresses three very important topics: comparative human resource management, the importance and challenges of contextual understanding in human resource management, and research collaborations to advance our understanding of comparative human resource management. To describe these topics the editors have assembled authors with the most extensive and relevant expertise possible. Together they provide great descriptions of these three topics. As a consequence, readers will be much more informed about the knowledge of these topics and will benefit immensely in their own research in comparative human resource management. In addition, readers will also learn about the superb contribution of the CRANET collaboration to the field of comparative human resource management over the past thirty years!"
Randall S. Schuler, Distinguished Professor of Strategic and International Human Resource Management, Rutgers University, USA, and the University of Lucerne, Switzerland
"This book demonstrates the benefits of international collaboration. The text sheds light on existing problems and raises new HR issues involved in Comparative HR Management. A well-researched and fascinating book that provides the HR profession with a solid foundation from which to operate."
Jaime Bonache, Universidad Carlos III of Madrid, Spain
"This volume brings together some the foremost international academics in the area of comparative HRM to investigate a number of salient contextual insights from the Cranet Network collaboration and present a series of issues explored in a few recent contributions from that collaboration. The editors – Michael J. Morley and Noreen Heraty – do a good job pinpointing and explicating the limits to convergence of HRM as a result of multiple contextual factors. This volume is undoubtedly a valuable and essential read not only for those involved in the Cranet’s academic partnership but for anyone interested in exploring context as a critical variable responsible for multiple commonalities and differences in contemporary HRM."
Professor Vlad Vaiman, California Lutheran University, USA