Call for Papers for a Special Issue of
Human Resource Management Review
Human Resource Management in Asia
Guest Editors:
Professor Fang Lee Cooke, [log in to unmask], (Monash University, Australia)

Professor Randall Schuler, [log in to unmask], (Rutgers University, United States; University of Lucerne, Switzerland)
Professor Arup Varma, [log in to unmask], (Loyola University Chicago, United States)

Background and objectives of the Special Issue:

Human resource management (HRM) research has becoming increasingly decontexualised and positivist in recent years (Jackson, Schuler and Jiang, 2014; Meyer, 2014; Kaufman, 2015). A predominant research interest has been in identifying what types of HRM practices may elicit particular types of organisational behaviour (OB) that will minimise destructive behaviour (minimising harm) or optimise performance at individual, team and organisational levels (adding values). Many of these studies adopt a universalist approach, and are framed by ‘narrowly specified research questions’ and facilitated by ‘highly sophisticated research methodology’ (Meyer, 2014: 374). In parallel to this development, scholars have been calling for greater sensitivity to the context in organisational research (e.g., Child, 2009; Rousseau and Fried, 2001; Shapiro, Von Glinow and Xiao, 2007). 


Despite strong research interest in the trends of convergence and divergence of HRM across the world (e.g., Budhwar, Varma and Patel, 2016; Mayrhofer, Brewster, Morley and Ledolter, 2011), extant studies suggest that HRM remains context-specific, underpinned by multi-level factors internal and external to the organisation (e.g., Al Ariss and Rowley and Benson, 2002; Brewster, Mayrhofer and Smale, 2016; Cooke, 2017). This means that globalisation has had only partial impact on national practices and that generic trends as well as particularistic characteristics may be found in national HRM systems and micro level practices, with different theoretical and management implications.


Asia is the most populated continent with diverse political regimes, institutional systems, historical traditions, cultural heritages, religious/spiritual norms, and stages of economic development. It not only hosts four of the largest economies in the world (China, Japan, South Korea and India), but also an increasing number of the indigenous firms in these states and others have been at the forefront of technological innovations, which are beginning to have profound impacts on new products and services. To compete and accelerate their growth, new forms of employment and modes of economic activities are emerging (e.g., sharing economy, platform organisation). Asia, with some exceptions, has a relatively young and increasingly well educated workforce, but is at the same time compounded by skill shortages, a considerable level of labour mobility through internal, cross-country and cross-border migration, and other HRM challenges (Cooke and Kim, 2018). What topics that been most researched in the Asian context? What have we learned in terms of theoretical developments and empirical insights? What may be the research gaps in the light of rapid technological and economic developments in Asia and its ascending role in the economic globalisation? While Asian scholarship has been emerging in the last decade following the call for more self-confidence from indigenous Asian scholars (e.g., Meyer, 2006), much of what has been published in top journals has been increasingly positivist, modelling, testing and extending western-developed theories. And while several books have already been written about Asian  HRM systems (e.g., Varma and Budhwar, 2014; Cooke and Kim, 2018) our knowledge of these systems can be further informed by an updating, especially so for the rapidly developing economies of Asia. And we can also benefit by papers that focus on newer themes that are emerging in Asian economies.


This Special Issue aims to provide comprehensive reviews of particular HRM topics in the Asian context, take stock of the body of scholarship related to work in HRM in Asia, reveal research, conceptual and theoretical gaps and suggest avenues for future studies. Such a special issue is timely to reflect the body of scholarship on HRM in the Asian context, which consists of a relatively small, albeit growing, proportion of publications on HRM. Management research is often lagging behind management practices. Compared with developed European and North American economies, emerging economies like China and India, are less bounded by regulatory environment but are experiencing a period of high growth. Firms are deploying innovative practices to gain competitive advantage which may have profound implications for HRM theorisation. It is therefore important to capture and reflect on these developments through, for example, research studies that focus on the following themes.  
Themes for the Special Issue:


Below are some indicative thematic topics related to the Asian context that we would especially welcome for the special issue:

·      HRM, employee creativity and innovation
·      Talent management and mobility
·      Performance management and effects
·      Workplace inequality and diversity management
·      Technological innovation, management innovation and implications for HRM
·      (New) employment modes and implications for HRM
·      Cross-country comparative studies on particular HRM themes
·      Offshore outsourcing and implications for HRM
·      Multinational firms from Asia operating across the globe
·      Multinational firms operating in Asia
·      The role of leadership styles, culture and employee behaviours
·      Corporate social responsibility, employee wellbeing and resilience


Authors are invited to explore other themes beyond these that are relevant to the overall aim of the Special Issue. Consistent with HRMR’s scope, conceptual and theoretical papers are welcomed (not empirical).

Submission Process:


Authors can submit their paper starting on October 1st 2018 to HRMR for review, but no later than the submission deadline of October 31st 2018. Details on the manuscript submission process will be made available nearer to the submission window. Papers should be prepared and submitted according to the journal’s guidelines: All papers will be subject to the same double blind peer review process as regular issues of HRMR.


If you have questions about a potential submission, please feel free to contact one of the guest editors at the email addresses provided above.


Al Ariss, A. and Sidani, Y. (2016). Divergence, convergence, or crossvergence in international human resource management. Human Resource Management Review 26, 283–284.
Brewster, C., Mayrhofer, W. and Smale, A. (2016). Crossing the streams: HRM in multinational enterprises and comparative HRM. Human Resource Management Review, 26, 285–297.
Budhwar, P., Varma, A. and Patel, C. (2016).
Convergence-divergence of HRM in the Asia-Pacific: Context-specific analysis and future research agenda. Human Resource Management Review, 26(4), 311–326.
Child, J. (2009). Context, comparison and methodology in Chinese management research.  Management and Organization Review, 5(1), 57–73.
Cooke, F. L. (2018). Concepts, contexts and mindsets: putting human resource management research in (Asia) perspectives. Human Resource Management Journal,
28(1), 1-13.
Cooke, F. L. and Kim, S. H. (eds.) (2018), Human Resource Management in Asia, London: Routledge.
Graen, G. B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective. The Leadership Quarterly6(2), 219-247.
Jackson, S., Schuler, R. and Jiang, K. (2014). An aspirational framework for strategic human resource management. Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), 1–56.
Kaufman, B. (2015). Evolution of strategic HRM as seen through two founding books: A 30th anniversary perspective on development of the field. Human Resource Management, 54(3), 389–407.
Mayrhofer, W., Brewster, B., Morley, M. and Ledolter, J. (2011). Hearing a different drummer? Convergence of human resource management in Europe — A longitudinal analysis. Human Resource Management Review, 21, 50–67.
Meyer, K. E. (2006). Asian management research needs more self-confidence.
Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23(2), 119–137.
Meyer, K. E. (2014). What the fox says, how the fox works: Deep contextualization as a source of new research agendas and theoretical insights. Management and Organization Review, 10(3), 373–380.
Rousseau, D.M. and Fried, Y. (2001). Location, location, location: contextualizing organizational research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 22(1), 1–13.
Rowley, C. and Benson, J. (2002). Convergence and Divergence in Asian Human Resource Management. California Management Review, 44(2), 90–109.
Schuler, R.S., Jackson, S.E. and Sparrow, P. (2004-2008) Global HRM Series. Routledge: London.  
Shapiro, D.L., Von Glinow, M.A. and Xiao Z. (2007). Toward polycontextually sensitive research methods. Management and Organization Review, 3(1), 129–152.
Varma, A. and P. Budhwar (2014). Managing Human Resources in Asia-Pacific. Routledge: London.
Wong, Y. H. (1998). The dynamics of guanxi in China. Singapore Management Review20(2), 25-43.​​



Professor Fang Lee Cooke

Monash Business School

Monash University

26 Sir John Monash Drive

Caulfield East

Melbourne, VIC 3145


Email: [log in to unmask]


CRICOS Provider 00008C/ 01857J 


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