Regulation of work and employment: Advances, tensions and future directions in research in International and Comparative HRM

Jenny K Rodriguez, Stewart Johnstone, Stephen Procter

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Internationalisation and globalization have led to significant changes to work and employment dynamics, with demands for more sustainable management, procedural control, institutional governance, and political accountability. Against this background, there is renewed attention to regulation, with questions about its terms, nature and quality, as well as its role in shaping the employment relationship. An important concern for international and comparative human resource management (I/CHRM) is understanding the impact of these changes on arrangements and structures within and between countries, and the role of regulation as part of new frameworks to manage work and people. Regulation sits at the centre of competing demands between economic and social concerns, which can be seen both as complementary and as irreconcilable so there are challenges to theorise and empirically map the complexity of these tensions. The article outlines key issues related to the regulation of work and employment that are relevant to the field of I/CHRM, discussing the changes to dynamics, processes and structures, and the tensions that concern the field. The article calls for more comprehensive insight into the theoretical links between regulation and I/CHRM, as well as more empirical evidence of their interplay in different contexts. It concludes by suggesting that engaging with the paradoxes and ambiguities related to different competing agendas of regulation of work and employment, and exploring these in relation to different social actors within and across geographies is a significant step in advancing research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2957
Number of pages2982
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number21
Early online date17 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Regulation
  • work
  • employment
  • IHRM
  • CHRM


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