Global trends and crises, comparative capitalism and HRM

Adrian Wilkinson, Geoff Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialOtherpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


This article reviews and consolidates the most recent literature on comparative institutional analysis, and links this to endemic crises, continuities, bounded diversity and change in HRM practice within and between nations. It is argued that national institutional arrangements both support and sustain particular sets of HR practice, but this is always contingent, and subject to the choices of actors: firms adopt practices both to take advantages of the unique advantages of a particular national system and to cope with the challenges it imposes. Even potentially sub-optimal sets of institutions may help sustain particular sectors and types of firms, even in the face of great external shocks. At the same time, the two most developed national institutional paradigms–Coordinated and Liberal Markets–have faced on-going challenges and adjustments. Most notably, Coordinated Markets faced painful adjustments and challenges in the 1990s and early 2000s; more recently, this has been completely eclipsed by the unprecedented political crises that have enveloped the largest Liberal Markets, and which both reflect realities in work and employment relations, yet have potentially serious future implications for HRM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2503-2518
Number of pages16
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Comparative capitalism
  • employment relations
  • HRM
  • institutions

Cite this