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Human Resource Management under Institutional Constraints: The Case of Germany

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Most human resource management (HRM) research has been conducted in countries that have relatively weak labour market institutions such as the UK and the USA. There is little research about the scope for and constraints on the adoption of HRM practices in countries with strong statutory regulations. The research presented here is based on 16 case studies of banks and chemical firms operating in Germany, that comply with the requirements of the German labour market institutions of collective bargaining, co-determination and initial vocational training, and hence operate under strong institutional constraints. The evidence presented shows that institutional features of the German system encourage the implementation of some ingredients of the HRM ‘recipe’ and inhibit others. It also indicates that constraining influences notwithstanding, a pluralist version of HRM appears to be quite compatible with the highly regulated German context.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: De Montfort University, School of Business, Leicester, UK

Publication date: September 1, 1999


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