International Human Resource Management: A Multinational Company Perspective

International Human Resource Management: A Multinational Company Perspective

International Human Resource Management: A Multinational Company Perspective

International Human Resource Management: A Multinational Company Perspective


This new book provides comprehensive coverage of the key issues facing multinational corporations (MNCs) in their management of human resources across diverse national boundaries. It considers the external and internal challenges that MNCs face on both strategic and day-to-day issues in dealing with employees from diverse political-economic, socio-cultural, and national settings.


For academics researching and teaching international human resource management this is a good time. For many years, the small numbers of academics in the field—amongst whom Monir Tayeb was one of the more prominent figures—were seen as working in a somewhat arcane and idiosyncratic specialism. This is changing rapidly. More and more people are getting involved in the subject: either entirely new researchers, or longer-established authors in HRM, who have decided to internationalise their work. Since 2003 there has been a plethora of articles and a number of substantial texts published on the topic. The reason is not hard to find: the increasing globalisation of markets, the extending role of the multinational companies, and an ever-growing awareness of the importance of international human resource management amongst those companies. As ever, developments in the world of practitioners have been mirrored in and structured by developments in the academic world.

What has been lacking so far is a comprehensive text that synthesises thinking from a range of relevant disciplines and develops clear and accessible understandings of international HRM from the point of view of the multination company. That is the text Monir Tayeb has produced here. Amongst a number of other features to be welcomed in this text is the direct connection to the issues and problems of international companies. Thus the text has a wide focus: taking a broader view of HRM; including smaller-scale operations; indicating the place of regional and global conventions; and addressing topics typically less covered, such as the role of knowledge management and transfer, the range of international joint ventures and self-initiated expatriation. Of particular value is the attention to the perspective of the subsidiary.

One of the major lessons that Monir Tayeb draws is that international companies need to balance their need to impose common practices across borders with their ability to be responsive to and to learn from the specific circumstances of each country. In line with such a thesis, she presents a series of relevant case studies, one at the end of each chapter, to enable the reader to learn from existing practice as they grapple with the theoretical issues she discusses. It is surely through such a process that we will come to understand better the complexity of international human resource management.

Chris Brewster Professor of International Human Resource Management Henley Management College July 2004

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