Title: Making sense of global integration and local responsiveness in international HRM research

Authors: Chul Chung

Addresses: Henley Business School, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, RG6 6UD, UK

Abstract: While the notions of global integration (GI) and local responsiveness (LR) have been widely used to analyse an MNE's international human resource management (IHRM) strategy, the specific ways of conceptualising these constructs in the literature remain unquestioned. This paper reviews how the two important constructs have been conceptualised in the international HRM research and evaluates whether such conceptualisations are adequate to examine MNEs' IHRM strategies to address the fundamental strategic problem - managing the duality of GI and LR in HRM of MNEs. An extensive review of the literature reveals that the widely used constructs have been narrowly conceptualised on a single dimension - HRM practice orientation - in the international HRM literature based on the dualistic assumption of the relationship between the two constructs, which prevents the exploration of emerging broader IHRM strategies. Based on the insights from the emerging literature, it is argued that GI and LR should be conceptualised as meta-level constructs that encompass multiple dimensions such that IHRM strategies could be considered various configurations of the ways of pursuing GI and LR across the dimensions to address the duality problem in MNEs.

Keywords: global integration; local responsiveness; international HRM; multinational enterprise; MNE.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCS.2018.089656

International Journal of Multinational Corporation Strategy, 2018 Vol.2 No.2, pp.153 - 175

Received: 03 May 2017
Accepted: 01 Sep 2017

Published online: 29 Jan 2018 *

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