Title: Diffusion of human resource management systems in UK headquartered multinational enterprises: integrating institutional and strategic choice explanations

Authors: Mark Fenton-O'Creevy, Stephen Wood

Addresses: Open University Business School, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK6 7AA, UK. ' Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK

Abstract: This study examines the factors associated with the cross-national diffusion of HRM systems within Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) through the lens of the strategic choice and neo-institutional perspectives. Both perspectives are successful in predicting diffusion. The institutional contexts of business units within multinationals and key strategic context variables are shown, in a study of 20 UK multinationals in Europe, to have significant and interacting relationships with the degree of similarity between affiliate HRM systems and those of their parent counterparts.

Keywords: diffusion; management practice; multinational enterprises; MNEs; institutional theory; strategic choice; human resource management systems; HRM; UK; United Kingdom; multinational corporations; MNCs; Europe; international management.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2007.015655

European Journal of International Management, 2007 Vol.1 No.4, pp.329 - 349

Available online: 06 Nov 2007 *

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