Human resource management in the Indian public and private sectors: an empirical comparison

Pawan S. Budhwar*, George Boyne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compares human resource management (HRM) practices in Indian public- and private-sector organizations. The investigation is based on a questionnaire survey of 137 large manufacturing firms (public sector = 81: private sector = 56). The key areas of analysis include the structure of human resource (HR) department, the role of HR function in corporate change, recruitment and selection, pay and benefits, training and development, employee relations and emphasis on key HRM strategies. Internal labour markets (ILMs) are used to make the comparative analysis. The statistical results show a number of similarities and differences in the HRM systems of Indian public-and private-sector organizations. Against the established notion, the results of this study reveal that the gap between Indian private- and public-sector HRM practices is not very significant. Moreover, in a few HR functional areas (for example, compensation and training and development), Indian private-sector firms have adopted a more rational approach than their public-sector counterparts. © 2004 Taylor and Francis Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-370
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


  • comparative HRM
  • developing countries
  • India
  • public versus private sector


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