In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Global Human Resources

  • Introduction
  • Introductory Works
  • Textbooks
  • Readings
  • Cases
  • Terms and Definitions
  • History and Trends
  • Approaches
  • Strategic International Human Resource Management
  • Strategic Multinational Enterprise Staffing
  • Global Training
  • Global Management Development
  • Global Performance Management
  • Global Employee Health, Safety, and Security
  • Future of Global Human Resource Management

Management Global Human Resources
Dennis R. Briscoe
  • LAST REVIEWED: 28 January 2013
  • LAST MODIFIED: 28 January 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0019


Most of the management functions that are referred to as “human resource management” in the early 21st century have been around in various forms since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. In the early years, as business organizations grew in size and importance, the first of these functions—such as payroll, safety, company stores, and hiring—were performed independently by line managers without being “collected” within a separate managerial function. As they began to be organized under a common theme, they were originally referred to as “personnel management,” a term that is still used in some countries and by some companies. Then as personnel management increased in scope and as the business and organizational environment placed greater emphasis on the components of personnel management, the function came to be referred to as “human resource management” (HRM). (Most standard HRM texts contain some history and background of the development of HRM.)

Introductory Works

The evolution of human resource management (HRM) into a global discipline has occurred quite recently. One of the consequences of this is that there is not much literature about the history of this development. As international business has developed, so gradually has the practice of HRM as managed by multinational firms. Nevertheless, a few chapters have provided at least a short view of this development. Evans, et al. 1989 provides the earliest history. Staehle 1990 links HRM to the development of international human resource management (IHRM), and Springer and Springer 1990 covers this development in the United States.

  • Evans, Paul, Elizabeth Lank, and Alison Farquhar. “Managing Human Resources in the International Firm: Lessons from Practice.” In Human Resource Management in International Firms. Edited by Paul Evans, Yves L. Doz, and André Laurent, 113–143. London: Macmillan, 1989.

    This is the earliest book that was developed specifically on the subject of IHRM. Most of the chapters deal with the development of international business and the importance of cultural differences in that development. This chapter deals specifically with the development of at least the early activities of HRM within multinational enterprises (MNEs).

  • Springer, Beverly, and Stephen Springer. “Human Resource Management in the U.S.: Celebration of Its Centenary.” In Human Resource Management: An International Comparison. Edited by Rüdiger Pieper, 41–60. De Gruyter Studies in Organization 26. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1990.

    DOI: 10.1515/9783110869101

    This chapter covers the general development of HRM in the United States, including some reference to the development of IHRM. Other chapters in this book describe the development of HRM in other countries.

  • Staehle, Wolfgang H. “Human Resource Management and Corporate Strategy.” In Human Resource Management: An International Comparison. Edited by Rüdiger Pieper, 27–38. De Gruyter Studies in Organization 26. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1990.

    DOI: 10.1515/9783110869101

    This book was one of the first books of readings on IHRM. The Staehle chapter describes the link between HRM and the development of international strategy.

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