Mapping the impact of Asian business systems on HRM and organisational behaviour: multi-level comparative perspectives

Date07 August 2017
Publication Date07 August 2017
AuthorVijay Pereira,Ashish Malik,Fabian Jintae Froese
SubjectStrategy,International business
Mapping the impact of Asian business
systems on HRM and organisational
behaviour: multi-level comparative
Vijay Pereira, Ashish Malik and Fabian Jintae Froese
Vijay Pereira is Associate
Professor at the Faculty
of Business, University of
Wollongong in Dubai,
Dubai, United Arab
Emirates. Ashish Malik is
Lecturer at Newcastle
Business School,
University of Newcastle,
Ourimbah, Australia.
Fabian Jintae Froese is
based at Georg-August-
University Goettingen,
Goettingen, Germany.
Purpose This paper aims to explore the importance of the role of national business systems (NBS) in
shaping human resource management (HRM) and organisational behaviour (OB) practices in the
context of Asian countries. To this end, this paper presents a comparative overview of different NBS in
selected Asian countries and how these variously impact HRM and OB at two levels and contexts, i.e.
within and cross-national.
Design/methodology/approach The paper presents a topical review of the literature to unravel the
complexity and challenges associated with studying this rich and complex area.
Findings The findings suggest there is significant complexity in studying the impact of NBS on HRM
and OB at a holistic and multi-level unit of analysis. The multiplicity of factors and levels of analysis, even
at a level of within country analysis, highlights the sophisticated, in-depth and detailed nature of
scholarship needed to unbundle and get a fuller understanding of this topic.
Research limitations/implications Although recent research presents a within and cross-national
analysis of NBS and its impact on HRM and OB practices from diverse Asian countries such as India,
Japan, Indonesia and Malaysia, recent research offers only a focused analysis of few targeted HRM and
OB practices, rather than a collective or a bundle of HRM practices.
Practical implications The contributions point to several practical implications for HR managers as
well as managers from other fields, covering several national and cross-national comparisons.
Originality/value This paper offers a substantial contribution in the understanding of how various
HRM and OB practices are embedded in a nation’s business system and through a variety of historical
and cultural influences.
Keywords Organizational behaviour, Human resource management, Cross-cultural management,
National business ideology
Paper type Conceptual paper
The extant literature suggests that there are national differences in human resource
management (HRM) practices that can be attributed, in part, to a nation’s unique
institutional and cultural attributes, or what has also been described as national business
systems (NBS). These NBS focus on how and why businesses in a country operate in a
particular way. Though some of the earlier work within this stream of research has been
undertaken in Western and developed nation contexts (Whitley, 1999;Rees and Edwards,
2009), it is heartening to see an increase of research on this topic in emerging markets,
especially in Asian contexts (Redding, 1990;Witt and Redding, 2014). However, most
studies have focused on large and high growth Asian nations such as China (Huang, 2008;
Witt and Redding, 2009) or technologically advanced nations in Asia-Pacific such as Japan
Received 30 September 2016
Revised 7 November 2016
Accepted 1 December 2016
DOI 10.1108/JABS-09-2016-0130 VOL. 11 NO. 3 2017, pp. 253-261, © Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 1558-7894 JOURNAL OF ASIA BUSINESS STUDIES PAGE 253

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