A review of literature on international HRM reveals three different approaches (Dowling et al., 1999, p.2): Comparative, Cross-cultural and multi-national. Firstly, according to Adler (1997), the early approaches to researching international HRM focused on cross-cultural differences and examination of human behaviour from an international perspective. Certainly, research on cross-cultural organizational behaviour has become a conduit for the understanding of the dynamics of multicultural domestic and international workplaces within the advent of globalisation.
There are different levels of analysis within cross-national HRM, national factors, contingent factors and organisational level. Cross-national HRM researchers claim that it is at the levels of national factors and contigent variables that they can make useful contributions through the examination of the impacts of such determinants of HRM policies and practices (Boxall, 1995; Brewster et al, 1996). However, other researchers (Budhwar and Sparrow, 1997; Jackson and Schuler, 1995) argue that national factors and contingent variables are not enough in themselves to provide an understanding of the context-specific nature of HRM practices. It is important therefore, to consider analysis of the impact of organisational-level strategies (Budhwar and Sparrow, 1997).
Secondly, the comparative approach focuses on similarities and differences in HRM practices within an international context. Undeniably, Budhwar & Sparrow (2002) note that the increase in globalisation of business transactions, the emergence of new markets such as the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) as well as hyper competition among organisations at equally the domestic and international level have been associated with an increased significance and need for comparative human resource management (HRM) studies. As a result, there has... [continues]
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