Call for Papers:

A Special Issue of Human Rresouce Management - People Management in Emerging Market Multinationals

Manuscript Submission Deadline: December 1, 2011

Guest Co-Editors:

Dr. Adrian Wilkinson, Griffith University, [log in to unmask]

Dr. Geoffrey Wood, University of Sheffield , [log in to unmask]

Dr. Mehmet Demirbag, University of Sheffield , [log in to unmask]


There is a very extensive body of literature on how multinationals manage people in different national contexts. (Ferner, 2009) The bulk of this literature, however, focuses on cases of multinationals from advanced industrial economies, and more specifically, the United States. Much less has been written on multinationals based in emerging markets, and what is published focuses on a very limited number of contexts (Chang, Mellahi, & Wilkinson, 2009). Yet, multinationals from emerging markets have become increasingly prominent on the international scene, most notably, those from the “top” emerging markets (Garten, 1996): Argentina, Brazil, the Chinese Economic Area, India, Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, Turkey, and Russia. We suggest that much can be learned from firms in emerging markets because they lack the historic first-mover advantage abroad. At the same time, they have considerable experience forging beneficial relations to national governments and coping in culturally diverse and often unstable markets.


World investment reports from UNCTAD show that although developed-country multinational enterprises (MNEs) account for the bulk of global foreign direct investment (FDI), developing and transition economies have emerged as significant outward investors, and the growth rate of the number of MNEs from developing countries and transition economies over the past 15 years has exceeded that of MNEs from developed countries. The growing importance of emerging economies has led to an upsurge of strategy research on the topic (Wright, Filatotchev, Hoskisson, & Peng, 2005); however, research on human resource management (HRM) has not kept pace with the research on MNCs from emerging economies. While there has been an accelerated interest in emerging markets and emerging market MNEs as new challengers, studies in recent special issues international business/management journals focus on internationalization, market entry strategy, and location choice aspects of these new challengers (Luo & Tung, 2007; Aulakh, 2007). It is widely agreed that the motivations behind emerging market MNEs’ international operations, particularly in developed markets, are related to capability building. HRM policies and practices, therefore, play crucial roles in building absorptive capacity, which helps firms develop ability to recognize the value of new information, assimilate it, and apply it to commercial ends (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990). HRM policies and practices facilitate reverse knowledge transfer to emerging market multinationals’ other subsidiaries and play crucial role in the success of the firm in diverse cultural environments.


There are also significant differences between state owned emerging market MNEs and private/or family owned MNEs’ HR policy and practices. Emerging country MNEs tend to be smaller with considerably fewer resources and international experience than their counterparts from developed markets. This limits their ability to transfer management practices across their subsidiaries. In order to catch up with developed country multinationals, therefore, they follow rapid and abnormal internationalization paths (leapfrogging through acquisitions). The small, but growing body of research on emerging market multinationals focuses on location choice, market entry



This special issue seeks to contribute to the emerging body of literature on

HRM in emerging markets




mode, marketing strategies, internationalization process (c.f. Aulakh, 2007; Buckley, Clegg, Cross, Zheng, Voss, & Liu, 2007; Dunning, Kim, & Park, 2008; Demirbag, Tatoglu, & Glaister, 2009; Luo &Tung, 2007; & Mathews, 2006), but there is insufficient knowledge about the HRM practices surrounding these new challengers.


This special issue seeks to contribute to the emerging body of literature on HRM in emerging markets through publishing articles with fresh insights, particularly on the varieties of people management strategies encountered in different national contexts. This special issue encourages submissions on the following themes and approaches:


·         What makes emerging market multinationals different in terms of people management?

·         Case studies of HRM in selected emerging market multinationals.

·         Emerging market multinationals’ HRM practices in developed and developing country subsidiaries.

·         International acquisitions of emerging market multinationals and HRM.

·         Emerging market multinationals and HRM role in reverse knowledge transfer.

·         Country of origin effect, liability of emergingness, and HRM policies of emerging multinationals.

·         HRM practices of family-owned, private, and state-owned emerging market multinationals.

·         Host country effects on HR policies and practice by emerging multinationals.

·         Multinationals, state and society: Coping with managing people political challenging contexts.

·         Multinationals and market volatility: Prosperity and challenges for HRM in crisis.

·         Comparing country of origin effects: People management in multinationals from different emerging markets.

·         Articles that help bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing both practical implications of empirical research on emerging economies MNCs and capture leading examples of practitioner-initiated HRM strategies and policies via theoretically grounded case studies.


Manuscript Submission and Review

All papers must be based on original material and must not be under consideration by any other journal. Papers intended for the HR Science Forum will undergo a rigorous, double-blind review process to ensure relevance and quality. Papers suited for the HR Leadership Forum (more practitioner-focused pieces, case studies, interviews, etc.) will be single-blind reviewed by subject matter experts. Please see HRM’s Publishing Cues for a complete description of each section. Submitted papers must also follow the HRM Style Guidelines, found at

The deadline for submitting papers is December 1, 2011.

Direct questions about content and ideas to the guest co-editors noted above. Direct all logistical questions about submitting and review to Managing Editor Leslie Wilhelm at [log in to unmask]. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically using the Journal’s web-based submission and review website called Manuscript Central: Electronic submission through Manuscript Central is required. Manuscript Central is configured to be very intuitive; therefore, you should have little difficulty creating an account and submitting your manuscript. The online system will guide you through each step of the process.

When submitting through Manuscript Central, please submit the following documents:




1.      Document 1: A “blind” copy of your manuscript. Delete all author identification from this primary document. This document may include your tables and figures, or you may include tables and figures in a separate document.

2.      Document 2: Submit a separate document with information that would typically appear on the document’s title page (author names, addresses, affiliations, contact information, etc.). This document may also include author biographies.

In addition:

§  Answer “Yes” to the question regarding special issue submission and clearly label your submission for the “Emerging Market Multinationals in the text box provided.

§  Include a paragraph in your cover letter specifically identifying how the paper fits within the special issue theme.

§  Direct logistical questions about submitting your manuscript through Manuscript Central to Managing Editor Leslie Wilhelm at [log in to unmask] or 734-748-9069.



Aulakh, P. S. (Ed.) (2007). Special issue on emerging market multinationals from developing economies: motivations, paths, and performance. Journal of International Management, 13(3), 235-402.

Buckley, P. J., Clegg, J., Cross, A., Zheng, P., Voss, H. & Liu, X. (2007). The determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investment. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(4), 499 – 518.

Chang, Y. Y., Mellahi, K., & Wilkinson, A. (2009). Control of subsidiaries of MNCs from emerging economies: The case of Taiwanese MNCs in the UK. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20 (1), 75-95.

Cohen, W., & Levinthal, D. (1990). Absorptive capacity: A new perspective on learning and innovation, Administrative Science Quarterly, 35(1), 128-152.

Demirbag, M., Tatoglu, E., & Glaister, K. (2009). Equity-based entry modes of emerging country multinationals: Lessons from Turkey, Journal of World Business, 2009, 44(4), 445-462.

Dunning, J. H., Kim, C., & Park, D. (2008). Old wine in new bottles: a comparison of emerging market TNCs today and developed country TNCs thirty years ago, Department of International Economics, SLPTMD Working Paper Series 11, Oxford: University of Oxford.

Ferner, A. (2009). HRM in Multinational Companies. In A. Wilkinson, N. Bacon, T. Redman, & S. Snell (Eds.). The Sage Handbook of Human Resource Management. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Garten, J. E. (1996), The big emerging markets, Columbia Journal of World Business, 31(2), 7-31.

Luo, Y. & Tung, R. (2007). International expansion of emerging market enterprises: A springboard perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(4), 481-498.

Mathews, J. A. (2006). Dragon multinationals: New players in 21st century globalization. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23, 5-27.

Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Hoskisson, R. E., & Peng, M. W. (2005). Guest Editors’ Introduction, Strategy research in emerging economies: Challenging the conventional wisdom. Journal of Management Studies. 42(1), 1-33.


Professor Mehmet Demirbag
Professor of International Business
Director of MSc in International Management
University of Sheffield
Management School
9 Mappin Street
Sheffield S1 4DT
United Kingdom
Tel:+44 114 2223441
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