The state of HRM in the Middle East: Challenges and future research agenda

Pawan Budhwar, Vijay Pereira*, Kamel Mellahi, Sanjay Singh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Based on a robust structured literature analysis, this paper highlights the key developments in the field of human resource management (HRM) in the Middle East. Utilizing the institutional perspective, the analysis contributes to the literature on HRM in the Middle East by focusing on four key themes. First, it highlights the topical need to analyze the context-specific nature of HRM in the region. Second, via the adoption of a systematic review, it highlights state of development in HRM in the research analysis set-up. Third, the analysis also helps to reveal the challenges facing the HRM function in the Middle East. Fourth, it presents an agenda for future research in the form of research directions. While doing the above, it revisits the notions of “universalistic” and “best practice” HRM (convergence) versus “best-fit” or context distinctive (divergence) and also alternate models/diffusion of HRM (crossvergence) in the Middle Eastern context. The analysis, based on the framework of cross-national HRM comparisons, helps to make both theoretical and practical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905–933
Number of pages29
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Management
Early online date1 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • Determinants
  • Future research
  • HR challenges
  • HRM
  • Middle East


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