Similarities and differences in international and comparative human resource management: a review of 60 years of research

Karin Sanders, Helen De Cieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we review similarities and differences in articles in the research field of international and comparative human resource management (HRM), published in Human Resource Management over the past 60 years. The extensive review and analysis, based on 189 conceptual articles, reviews, and empirical studies, identified several trends. First, the two distinct research streams in this research field (HRM in MNEs and comparative HRM) have grown over the decades and moved from conceptual articles in the beginning to almost exclusively empirical studies in more recent years. Second, in addition to the two research streams, in more recent years we identified a third research stream that combines elements of HRM in MNEs and comparative HRM research. Third, the research field has become more feminized, with an increasing number of female (first) authors, and has become more international, with more authors affiliated with non-US universities in the more recent time periods. Finally, while the research streams show some differences in the content of their research, we do not find evidence that the streams developed in isolation. Based on our analysis, we provide suggestions for future research on international and comparative HRM and identify current implications for HR practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-88
Number of pages34
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • comparative HRM
  • content analysis
  • HRM in multinational enterprises
  • international HRM
  • literature review
  • trends

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