When in Rome ... ? Human resource management and the performance of foreign firms operating in India

Ingmar Björkman*, Pawan S. Budhwar, Ingmar Björkman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of the paper is to examine the kind of HRM practices being implemented by overseas firms in their Indian subsidiaries and also to analyze the linkage between HRM practices and organizational performance. Design/methodology/approach: The paper utilizes a mixture of both quantitative and qualitative techniques via personal interviews in 76 subsidiaries. Findings: The results show that while the introduction of HRM practices from the foreign parent organization is negatively associated with performance, local adaption of HRM practices is positively related with the performance of foreign firms operating in India. Research limitations/implications: The main limitations include data being collected by only one respondent from each firm, and the relatively small sample size. Practical implications: The key message for practitioners is that HRM systems do improve organizational performance in the Indian subsidiaries of foreign firms, and an emphasis on the localization of HRM practices can further contribute in this regard. Originality/value: This is perhaps the very first investigation of its kind in the Indian context. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-610
Number of pages16
JournalEmployee Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2007


  • human resource management
  • India
  • multinational companies
  • organizational performance
  • standardization


Dive into the research topics of 'When in Rome ... ? Human resource management and the performance of foreign firms operating in India'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this