Akram Al Ariss, PhD
Professor of Human Resource Management
Habilit¨¦ ¨¤ Diriger des Recherches (HDR)
Toulouse Business School, France
Associate Editor for Career Development International
Human Resource Management Review
Call for Papers Special Issue on:
Divergence, Convergence, or Crossvergence in International Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management Review (HRMR) announces a call for papers for a special issue on ¡°Divergence, Convergence, or Crossvergence in International Human Resource Management¡±.
The special issue is edited by Professor Akram Al Ariss (Universit¨¦ de Toulouse, Toulouse Business School) and Professor Yusuf Sidani (American University of Beirut, Olayan Business School).
Whether organizations and their HR practices are converging¡ªbecoming more similar¡ª(convergence theory) or diverging in their practices (divergence theory) is a matter of intense scholarly interest. In their award-winning paper about values evolution, Ralston et al. (1993; 1997), proposed the crossvergence theory of values evolution. This perspective marked a departure from the traditional convergence/divergence theory of values formation. The convergence theory posited that values develop in sync with the prevailing technology in a particular society given the impact of technological development on other educational and institutional structures. As societies become more similar to one another in terms of industrialization and use of technology, values will eventually converge to Western capitalism, given that this is where most industrialization has traditionally occurred (Ralston, 2008). The divergence theory, on the other hand, argues that the socio-cultural influences are typically the prevailing forces that lead societal members to adopt specific values irrespective of other external drivers. The crossvergence theory argues instead that it is in fact a combination of sociocultural forces as well as ¡°business ideology influences¡± that is the major force behind the formation of value systems. A similar term that has been coined in HR research is the ¡°bounded convergence¡± perspective, which argues that HRM practices sometimes pursue hybrid models of HR (Zhang, 2012).
Congruent to the above, this CFP invites scholars to explore these ideas in the realm of HR practices. To what extent do HR practices converge in line with what may be considered best practices in that regard, which are mainly developed in Western societies? Or is it the case that in any given society, sociocultural practices particular to that society have more impact in determining that society¡¯s HR practices? Or are we instead witnessing a realization of the crossvergence theory, wherein a combination of factors molds HR practices. The crossvergence theory, as far as HR practices are concerned, has been understudied in HR scholarship. From the papers we are calling for, we would like to build an understanding of the trends of convergence/divergence/crossvergence of HRM processes and systems. Earlier HR research seems to be hinting at crossvergence in certain areas. Sidani and Al Ariss (2013), for example, suggest that MNCs operate in such a way that certain practices converge (given their global usage) while other practices diverge (given local contexts) thus leaning toward a crossvergence perspective. Brewster, Wood, and Brookes (2008) also find evidence of both similarities and differences in IHRM practices. Brewster (2004) presents what he terms as ¡°European perspectives on human resource management¡± suggesting the existence of institutional and cultural factors that do not conform to a pure convergence theory. Likewise, Rowley and Benson (2002) explore the difficulties and challenges facing HRM convergence theory in the Asian context (please refer to the SI in HRMR about the Chinese context, Zhang, 2012). Other contributions to HRMR also explore the existence of country/region-specific HR practices (for example Gooderham & Nordhaug, 2011; Huo, Huang, & Napier, 2002; Mayrhofer, Brewster, Morley, & Ledolter, 2011; Morley, 2004). The questions that we ask in this SI cover issues including to what extent we have a global HRM versus region-specific model of HR (North American model, European model, Asian model, Middle Eastern model, Nordic model, etc.)? Where do these systems meet and where do they part both in theory and in practice? In this special issue, we are interested in discourses that are currently present in the English language in various parts of the world. We are also interested in under-represented regions of the world, such as the Asian, African, and Latin American contexts in addition to other world experiences. We encourage researchers whose work entails investigating work practices in non-Western contexts to share their perspectives of HRM within their own contexts. The idea is to attract papers addressing these issues at the micro (i.e., individual and group) level with openness to the macro (organizational and societal) levels of analysis.
Some relevant questions (non-exhaustive list) are as follows:
(1) Are the assumptions of HRM that we understand in the West applicable in other world regions? What are the major concepts, models, and theories of HRM in those non-Western contexts and how do these enrich our understanding of divergence/convergence/convergence perspectives?
(2) What are some of the comparative features of HRM systems in different parts of the world, and at different levels of analysis? What does this tell us about HRM and allied fields (e.g. organizational behavior, industrial/organizational psychology, labor relations)?
(3) What are the roles of individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions in creating similar or different approaches to HRM?
(4) How is HRM practiced in countries where most of the major employers are large government affiliated employers? What differences do we see in such contexts in areas such as personnel selection, compensation, performance appraisal, attraction and retention, training and development, among others?
(5) HRM in Western contexts assumes a certain level of ¡®rule of law¡¯. How are HRM processes understood at the individual, group, and organizational levels where the rule of law is deficient or barely existent?
(6) What key new trends in HRM can be identified as international/global (e.g. Global Talent Management)? How do such trends stimulate empirical research, as well as critical examination of existing concepts, models, and theories?
(7) What is the impact of national cultures in developing a specific understanding for the role of HRM? Should we expect that variances along such dimensions (i.e. Hofstede, GLOBE etc.) would be reflected in different HR systems?
Consistent with HRMR¡¯s scope, conceptual and theoretical papers are welcomed (not empirical). Papers should be submitted according to the journal¡¯s guidelines:
15th September 2014: Submit abstracts (maximum 1000 words) to the guest-editors.
15th October 2014: Invitations to submit full papers will be sent out.
15th April 2015: Submission of full papers for refereeing.
15th May 2015: Authors will receive feedback.
15th September 2015: Full papers with revisions will be due.
2016: Journal volume to be published.
Brewster, C. (2004). European perspectives on human resource management. Human Resource Management Review, 14(4), 365-382.
Brewster, C., Wood, G., & Brookes, M. (2008). Similarity, isomorphism or duality? Recent survey evidence on the human resource management policies of multinational corporations. British Journal of Management, 19(4), 320-342.
Gooderham, P., & Nordhaug, O. (2011). One European model of HRM? Cranet empirical contributions. Human Resource Management Review, 21(1), 27-36.
Huo, Y. P., Huang, H. J., & Napier, N. K. (2002). Divergence or convergence: a cross©\national comparison of personnel selection practices. Human Resource Management, 41(1), 31-44.
Mayrhofer, W., Brewster, C., Morley, M. J., & Ledolter, J. (2011). Hearing a different drummer? Convergence of human resource management in Europe¡ªA longitudinal analysis. Human Resource Management Review, 21(1), 50-67.
Morley, M. J. (2004). Contemporary debates in European human resource management: Context and content. Human Resource Management Review,14(4), 353-364.
Rowley, C., & Benson, J. (2002). Convergence and divergence in Asian human resource management. California Management Review, 44(2).
Ralston, D. A. (2008). The crossvergence perspective: Reflections and projections. Journal of International Business Studies, 39(1), 27-40.
Ralston, D. A., Holt, D. H., Terpstra, R. H., & Kai-Cheng, Y. (1997). The impact of national culture and economic ideology on managerial work values: A study of the United States, Russia, Japan, and China. Journal of International Business Studies, 177-207.
Ralston, D. A., Gustafson, D. J., Cheung, F. M., & Terpstra, R. H. (1993). Differences in managerial values: A study of US, Hong Kong and PRC managers. Journal of International Business Studies, 249-275.
Sidani, Y., & Al Ariss, A. (2013) Institutional and corporate drivers of global talent management: Evidence from the Arab Gulf region. Journal of World Business (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2013.11.005.
Zhang, M. (2012). The development of human resource management in China: An overview. Human Resource Management Review, 22(3), 161-164.