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International Human Resource Management - International Human Resource Management
February 24, 2006

The field of international human resource management (IHRM) has gained two new innovative texts. Written with reader-friendly style and content, Monir Tayeb's book, International Human Resource Management: A Multinational Company Perspective , is a gentle introduction to the concept of human resource management, allowing for novices to familiarise themselves with the basic concepts of the field.

In subsequent sections, the book provides a reading of management of people through the lens of an international corporation, exploring the significance of internationalisation of the social, cultural and organisational life as well as IHRM practices in national settings. The book also examines IHRM as a process that involves co-ordination of international activities, choice of mode of internationalisation, transfer of knowledge and management of international assignments.

The major premise of the book is that international human resource management involves a specific set of considerations that distinguish it from its domestic counterpart and that international firms may develop capacities to turn multifaceted constituencies of international people management to their economic advantage. The book brings together insights from otherwise disparate areas of research in the field and synthesises these into a coherent structure. The chapter on knowledge transfers in multinational companies is unique.

Tayeb's book is written at a level that is suitable for first-time students of IHRM. However, it can also be offered to postgraduate students and managers of international workforces as recommended reading as it provides sufficient depth and practical insights. There are a number of pedagogical features in each chapter. These include a set of learning outcomes, case studies, country-specific insights and recommended further reading.

Hugh Scullion and Margaret Linehan's volume, In ternational Human Resource Management: A Critical Text , contains chapters by eminent and emergent scholars in the field. It is organised in four sections: strategy in the context of international human resource management, management issues in the human resources cycle and contemporary and emerging issues in the field.

The volume promises both an integrated and a critical perspective on the study of international human resource management. It offers chapters that synthesise insights from studies that engage with classical concerns of the field, such as strategy, context, process and operation of IHRM. However, it also has four rather innovative chapters, focusing respectively on women in management, the case of Western workers in China, IHRM in developing countries and global leadership, each of which make the volume an exciting new offering.

Despite the editors' efforts to integrate contributed chapters, individual chapters rather than the overall message of the book remain its key strength. The text would be most suitable for use as an authoritative collection of readings for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students. Scullion and Linehan's text can also complement Tayeb's book, as the former may provide critical depth to the structured exposition of the subject field in the latter.

Mustafa Özbilgin is senior lecturer in employment relations, School of Business and Management, Queen Mary, University of London.

International Human Resource Management: A Multinational Company Perspective. First Edition

Author - Monir H. Tayeb
Publisher - Oxford University Press
Pages - 242
Price - £65.00 and £23.50
ISBN - 0 19 97 3 and 925809 0

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