IHRM

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FACULTY OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: ASIA
PACIFIC CHALLENGES
Helen De Cieri
Working Paper 7/03
March 2003

ISSN 1327–5216
Abstract
This paper reports on a study of international human resource management in the Asia Pacific region. Open-ended interviews were conducted with twenty-eight managers, consultants and academics with expert knowledge of IHRM issues in the Asia Pacific region. This study uses an exploratory design to identify themes, issues and directions for
IHRM in the Asia Pacific region. Emergent challenges and critical issues include determining IHRM strategies to deal with the environmental volatility, and managing the changing role(s) for HR specialists.

This paper is a work in progress. Material in the paper cannot be used without permission of the author.

D E P A R T M E N T O F M1A N A G E M E N T

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: ASIA PACIFIC CHALLENGES
INTRODUCTION
In the context of a ‘deconstructing’ world with competing demands of global integration and local differentiation (Doz & Prahalad, 1991), recent research has highlighted the need to develop human resources as a source of competitive advantage (Schuler, Dowling & De Cieri, 1993; Stroh & Caligiuri, 1998). The impact of globalization on HR practices has led to varying outcomes across different countries and industries. However, it is apparent that global trends in management strategies are being adopted throughout the Asia Pacific region. Re-structuring, re-engineering, retrenchment, recruitment and retention of employees have all been reported as significant concerns for managers in this region (Frenkel & Peetz, 1998;
McComb, 1999; Zhu, 1997).
Despite significant change and challenges, conservative and traditional models of expatriate management and international human resource management (IHRM) continue to be used by many organizations, particularly with respect to practices such as performance management



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