*Apologies for cross-posting*

Dear colleagues,

We would like to draw your attention to the following call for papers on Research Paradigms in International Human Resource Management and invite you to send us your ideas and submissions. We look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Jaime Bonache and Marion Festing

(formerly Zeitschrift für Personalforschung)


Call for Papers

Special Issue:

Research Paradigms in
International Human Resource Management


Special Issue Editors:

Jaime Bonache, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain), Department of Business Administration

Marion Festing, ESCP Europe, Chair of Human Resource Management and Intercultural Leadership, Berlin (Germany)


Submission deadline (extended abstracts): October 31st, 2018

Expected date of publication: February 2020


This Special Issue of the German Journal of Human Resource Management (GHRM) sets out to clarify accepted research methods in the field of interna­tional human resource management (IHRM). Over the past 30 years this field has become increasingly significant in human resource management (HRM) (Dowling et al., 2017; Schuler et al., 2002; Stahl et al., 2012). This is largely because of the impact of globali­zation on busi­ness, requiring many firms to deal with countless global human resources problems (Sparrow et al., 2017), such as management of employees’ global mobility (Caligiuri and Bonache, 2016; McNulty and Brewster, 2017) and the local adaptation and global integration of personnel policies in multinational organizations (Festing and Eidems, 2011; Taylor et al., 1996). Partly associated with this discussion are also the mecha­nisms for transferring HRM practices and knowledge through a firm’s international network (Björkman and Lervik, 2007; Kostova and Roth, 2002; Morris et al., 2006), comparative HRM (Brewster et al., 2018) and the (inter-)cultural dimension of HRM (Gerhart and Fang, 2005). Abundant research has produced numerous handbooks, higher education courses and dedicated journals. So it is surprising how difficult it is to find studies that shed light on, or even simply address, the different research para­digms that may be adopted in the field of IHRM.

We use the term “research paradigm” according to the meaning given it by Thomas Kuhn (1962). It refers to the fundamental assumptions that members of a given scien­tific community share at a given time regarding a number of key research issues, including which problems are most pertinent, what the appropriate methods are, what an acceptable solution of the problems would look like and so on. Understood like this, we then have different options to classify research paradigms. We might speak of a nominalist paradigm as opposed to an essentialist one (Popper, 1944), a mathematical thought or paradigm compared to another conceptual one (Heidegger, 1954, 1968) or the positivist paradigm versus the interpretive one (Lee, 1991). This last pair of opposing paradigms is the most widespread in management studies (Mantere and Ketokivi, 2013) which could make it the easiest one to apply to IHRM.

For this Special Issue of the GHRM we call for papers from scholars that illustrate or reflect upon the roles played by research paradigms in IHRM: the type of research questions asked, the role of theory, methods for gathering and analyzing data and other more pragmatic aspects that influence scholars’ professional careers (e.g. impact, citations and difficulties in publishing).

We are particularly interested in submissions that focus on two key topics: studies on the various ways of conducting research in IHRM along with the conceptual and methodological challenges faced, and papers that illustrate the application of a specific research paradigm (e.g. a positivist, interpretive or critical view). We would therefore welcome submissions that are conceptual, empirical (quantitative or qualita­tive, or both, and if qualitative, positivist or interpretive) or methodological in nature. So the focus of the papers may include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Research strategies and methodological and conceptual challenges in IHRM. Which epistemological positions and research methods are the most widely applied and most representative of IHRM? What are the strengths and challenges inherent in choosing these epistemological positions and research methods? What topics and questions are the most (and least) studied? What issues do researchers face when designing studies as well as gathering and analyzing data? What skills are required? How can the quality of contributions be assessed? What role do citations play? What impact does the choice of a certain research paradigm have on an academic career?
  • Theoretical frameworks in IHRM. What is understood by theory in IHRM? Does the notion of theory vary depending on the epistemological framework and the research paradigm? What theoretical perspectives exist within this ambit, and what influence do they have? Which areas are most in need of a theoretical framework?
  • Exemplary applications in IHRM research. Examples of how research is to be designed, structured and justified according to the research paradigm used. This may include positivist quantitative studies, qualitative examples or both, as well as interpretive studies of the qualitative methodology.


The aim of this Special Issue of the GHRM is to clarify the different ways of conducting research in IHRM, and to introduce frameworks to enable students and researchers to find their bearings in what up until now has been unexplored territory.


In order to be considered for publication in this Special Issue of the GHRM, an extended abstract of 1,500-1,800 words (or a preliminary paper) should be submitted by October 31st, 2018. The editors will decide on invitations for full papers, sending feedback to the authors by December 18th, 2018. Full manuscripts (max. 10,000 words) must be submitted by April 30th, 2019. The manuscripts will undergo a double-blind review process. Feed­back from the editors, based on the reviews, can be expected by July 15th, 2019.

Finalised papers will be due on September 30th, 2019. The Special Issue’s expected publication date is February 2020.

Abstracts and full papers should be written in English and submitted via The submission guidelines of the GHRM can be found on Submitted papers must be unpublished and not submitted to other journals.


The German Journal of Human Resource Management (GHRM)

The GHRM is an international journal concerned with advancing the study of HRM. It has a strong reputation as a dedicated academic journal open to high-quality research on all aspects of HRM. The journal is available via its publisher SAGE worldwide and has a high download usage and short production cycles. The GHRM is ranked in category 2 by the ABS journal quality list.


Editors of the Special Issue

Jaime Bonache is Professor of Management at Carlos III University of Madrid (Spain). He holds a PhD in Management from UAM (Madrid, Spain) and an MA in Philosophy from Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada). He has also been Full Professor of Inter­national Human Resource Management at Cranfield School of Management (United Kingdom). His research interests include expatriation and global mobility, international compensation and epistemology and research methods. His work has been published in a number of journals, including Journal of World Business, Journal of Organizational Behavior, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Organization Studies, Human Resource Management, Journal of Business Ethics and Human Resource Management Review.

Marion Festing (PhD, University of Paderborn, Germany) is Professor of Human Resource Management and Intercultural Leadership at ESCP Europe (Germany). Her research interest is in IHRM with a special emphasis on careers, rewards and talent management in various institutional and cultural contexts. Her work has been published in international journals, including the German Journal of Human Resource Manage­ment, Human Resource Management, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management Review, Academy of Management Perspectives, Journal of World Business and Management International Review. She has coauthored a textbook on International Human Resource Management (7th edn, Andover 2017) together with P.J. Dowling and A.D. Engle.


Björkman I and Lervik JE (2007) Transferring HR practices within multinational corpo­rations. Human Resource Management Journal 17(4): 320–335.

Dowling PJ, Festing M and Engle AD (2017) International Human Resource Manage­ment, 7th edn. Andover, UK: Cengage Learning EMEA.

Brewster C, Farndale E, Mayrhofer W and Farndale E (eds) (2018) Handbook of Research on Compara­tive Human Resource Management, 2nd edn. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Caligiuri P and Bonache JA (2016). Evolving and enduring challenges of global mobility. Journal of World Business, 51 (1): 127-141.

Festing M and Eidems J (2011) A process perspective on transnational HRM systems – A dynamic capability-based analysis. Human Resource Management Review 21(3): 162–173.

Gerhart B and Fang M (2005) National culture and human resource management: Assumptions and evidence. International Journal of Human Resource Management 16(6): 971−986.

Heidegger M (1968) What Is Called Thinking? A Translation of Wieck FD and Gray JG (1954) Was heißt Denken? New York: Harper.

Kostova T and Roth K (2002) Adoption of an organizational practice by subsidiaries of multina­tional corporations: Institutional and relational effects. Academy of Management Journal 45(1): 215−233.

Kuhn TS (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lee AS (1991) Integrating positivist and interpretive approaches to organizational research. Organization Science 2(4): 342−365.

McNulty Y and Brewster C (2017) Theorizing the meaning(s) of expatriate: Establishing boundary conditions for business expatriates. International Journal of Human Resource Management 28(1): 27−61.

Morris SS, Snell SA and Wright PM (2006) A resource-based view of international human resources: Toward a framework of integrative and creative capabilities. In: Stahl GK and Björkman I (eds) Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Manage­ment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 433−448.

Popper K (1944) The poverty of historicism I. Economica 11(42): 86−103.

Mantere S and Ketokivi M (2013) Reasoning in organization science. Academy of Management Review 38(1): 70−89.

Schuler RS, Budhwar PS and Florkowski GW (2002) International human resource manage­ment: Review and critique. International Journal of Management Reviews 4(1): 41−70.

Sparrow P, Brewster C and Chung C (2017) Globalizing Human Resource Manage­ment, 2nd edn. London, New York: Routledge.

Stahl GK, Björkman I and Morris S (eds) (2012) Handbook of Research in International Human Resource Management. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Taylor S, Beechler S and Napier N (1996) Toward an integrative model of strategic international human resource management. Academy of Management Review 21(4): 959−985.

Prof. Dr. Marion Festing
Chair of Human Resource Management and Intercultural Leadership
Renault Chair of Intercultural Management
Academic Director of the Talent Management Institute (TMI)
Academic Director of the Excellence Centre for Intercultural Management (CIM)
T +49 (30) 32 007-153 - F +49 (30) 32 007-109
Personal Assistant: Michael Volk | T +49 (30) 32 007-171
ESCP Europe Berlin Campus, Heubnerweg 8-10, 14059 Berlin, Germany

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