HRM Policies and Practices:
Comparison Across Geographical Borders
Comparative human resource management is about understanding and explaining what differences exist between countries in the way that human resources are managed (Boxall, 1995; Harris, Brewster and Sparrow, 2003). International comparisons are not only a good way of checking our assumptions about the systems and practices that operate in HRM, they are also a valuable way of checking our basic assumptions about the meaning and understanding of HRM.
It is not possible to cover all the elements of HRM or all the theoretical or practical issues that arise in international comparisons of HRM. This paper, therefore, aims to cover just two issues: to explore some of the national differences in HRM (and to examine some of the reasons advanced for there being these the national differences); and then to consider whether these differences are diminishing – the convergence thesis – as globalisation becomes more widespread.