Extending the frontier of research on (strategic) human resource management in China: a review of David Lepak and colleagues’ influence and future research direction

Fang Lee Cooke, Qijie Xiao, Mengtian Xiao

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This review study was conducted in memory of Professor David Lepak, the late Editor-in-Chief of The International Journal of Human Resource Management, for his contribution to the development of strategic human resource management (HRM) research and the influence of his work in strategic HRM research in the Chinese context. Drawing on 133 articles from 49 English journals, we show that Lepak and colleagues’ four major theoretical frameworks (universal and contingency perspectives of HRM, HR architecture, employee-oriented perspective of HRM and multiple dimensions of HR systems) have been the most instrumental in guiding strategic HRM research in China. We also assess the extent to which China-based studies have extended the conceptual arguments and analytical frameworks that Lepak and co-authors have put forward. By discussing some of the changes in the way businesses in China have (re)configured their business models, we draw attention to several avenues to make strategic HRM research more reflective of the societal context and relevant to practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-224
Number of pages42
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • China
  • indigenous research
  • Lepak
  • multilevel
  • phenomenon-based research
  • strategic HRM

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