A study of strategic HR issues in an Asian context

Naresh Khatri, Pawan S. Budhwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Examines five strategic human resource management (HRM) issues using a qualitative methodology. Two of these are related to the central organisational-level constructs of structure and culture. The other three pertain to HR strategy, HR competencies, and HR outsourcing. The study employed the multiple-case design method proposed by Yin, with a view to extending theory in strategic HRM research. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 managers (CEOs, line managers, and HR managers) of nine companies from two major industries in the manufacturing sector – electronic products and machinery/equipment. The research found that top management enlightenment and level of HR competencies together determine the role and status of the HR function in organisations, and that the companies studied pursue four types of HR strategies: informal and not communicated; informal and communicated; formal but not communicated; and formal and communicated. HR strategy was found to affect both vertical and horizontal fits of the HR function. Culture, HR strategy and HR competencies influenced organisational propensity to outsource HR activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-188
Number of pages23
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • corporate culture
  • human resource management
  • outsourcing
  • Singapore


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