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Keywords:

  • human resource function;
  • interdependency;
  • international human resource management;
  • multinational corporations;
  • organization context

Abstract

Considerable attention has focused on how multinational corporations (MNCs) deal with the simultaneous pressures of globalization and localization when it comes to human resource management (HRM). HR function activities in this process, however, have received less focus. The study presented here identifies configurations of the corporate HR function based on international HRM (IHRM) structures, exploring how issues of interdependency shape corporate HR roles. The study is based on 248 interviews in 16 MNCs based in 19 countries. The findings are applied to develop a contextually based framework outlining the main corporate HR function configurations in MNCs, including new insights into methods of IHRM practice design. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.