Mapping the terrain of international human resource management research over the past fifty years: a bibliographic analysis

Di Fan, Cherrie J. Zhu, Xinli Huang, Vikas Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This review aims to take stock of the extant international human resource management (IHRM) research by identifying gaps and mapping out a future research agenda for IHRM scholars. Based on an extensive bibliographic analysis of 1924 articles published in the field of IHRM, we confirm three key clusters of existing knowledge: (a) expatriation management; (b) global human capital; and (c) international human resource policies and practices. Moreover, using scientific mapping tools, sub-themes in each cluster are classified, issues and deficiencies are examined and discussed. Furthermore, a future IHRM research agenda is proposed, including managing global work to cope with the adverse social and economic conditions, and to localize emerging market multinationals; building global human capital towards developing sustainability and nurturing digital multinationals; developing new perspectives and theories on transferring IHRM policies and practices; and embracing rigorous or innovative empirical methods in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101185
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Expatriation management
  • Human capital
  • International business
  • International human resource management
  • Visualization of similarities

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