Internationalization of Human Resource Management

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Journal of International Management
6 (2000) 239 ± 260

The internationalization of human resource management
Randall S. Schuler*
The Rutgers University, Suite 216, 94 Rockefeller Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8054, USA

Abstract
As we enter the new millennium, we are witnessing the rapid appreciation for and development of all aspects of global and international activities and issues associated with and affected by human resource management. In order to understand the internationalization of human resource management, this paper reviews three recently published works by Poole (1999), Schuler and Jackson (1999) and Storey (2000) to map out past research and emerging areas within this field of study. D 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Internationalization; Human resource management; Global activities

1. Introduction
As we enter the new millennium, more and more companies are recognizing the importance of managing their human resources as effectively as possible. They are also recognizing that doing so, however, cannot be done without recognition and incorporation of the global context. It is virtually impossible to read a business periodical or newspaper anywhere in the world without seeing stories detailing the success of a company due to how effectively it manages its people. As the environment becomes more global, managing people also becomes more challenging, more unpredictable and uncertain and more subject to rapid change and surprise. Thus what we are witnessing within human resource management (HRM) is the rapid appreciation for and development of all aspects of global and international activities and issues associated with and affected by HRM. And because the importance of managing people effectively in the global context is so great, many companies are devoting a great deal more time, attention, skill, and effort into doing it well.

* Internet address: www.rci.rutgers.edu/~schuler/
E-mail address: schuler@rci.rutgers.edu (R.S. Schuler).
1075-4253/00/$ ± see front matter D 2000 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved. PII: S 1 0 7 5 - 4 2 5 3 ( 0 0 ) 0 0 0 2 5 - 9

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R.S. Schuler / Journal of International Management 6 (2000) 239±260

Together, academics and practitioners are doing more work than ever on understanding and advancing our knowledge of issues in and activities associated with managing human resources within a global context. At the same time, they are also relating the basics of HRM with the context of the company.

Within the global context, two of the areas of managing human resources have evolved: comparative HRM and international HRM. Within the context of the company, the area of strategic HRM (SHRM) has evolved. In essence, what we have today are four general areas of study regarding managing human resources: (1) comparative HRM, (2) international HRM, (3) SHRM, and (4) HRM. Over the past 25 years these areas have gained increased academic and professional interest. Literally thousands of articles have been written on them and have appeared in journals such as Journal of International Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Harvard Business Review, Organizational Dynamics, Human Resource Management Journal, Human Relations, Journal of International Business, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, European Management Journal, Annual Review of Psychology, and Journal of World Business.

In the interest of organizing, categorizing, prioritizing, interpreting, and critiquing these thousands of articles, three edited works appeared in 1999 and 2000. The first is a threevolume set by Michael Poole (1999) entitled Human resource management: critical perspectives on business and management. The second is by Randall S. Schuler and Susan E. Jackson (1999) entitled Strategic human resource management: a reader. The third is by John Storey (2000b) entitled Human resource management: a critical text (2nd edn.). The...
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