The JGM BitBlog: Reimagining the Future of Global Human Resources - A Thought-Provoking Analysis of SIHRM

Journal of Global Mobility

Warren Stanley Patrick, XLRI Xavier School of Management, Jharkhand, India
Jatinder Kumar Jha, XLRI Xavier School of Management, Jharkhand, India 
Kumari Gargee Sharma, XLRI Xavier School of Management, Jharkhand, India

Our recommendation is based on our findings. Our study indicates that navigating the crossroads of SIHRM encompasses the exploration of new horizons towards a more vibrant and progressive framework for management to judiciously select the most appropriate option and leverage the benefits that distributed remote work offers in the post-pandemic era. Since the scope of SIHRM is evolving, an ongoing review of existing research models, the field of study, ideological differences, and contexts can facilitate a more significant contribution and move us beyond the obsolete and dated concepts of SIHRM. During the pandemic, many international organizations realized that they could sustain their operations with efficiency and effectiveness, notwithstanding an unexpected and complete withdrawal of the workforce from the office. However, to ascertain how virtual or office-centric a company should be, the context of tasks to be performed and the relevance of international talent for success needs to be considered.

Key insights derived. The complex challenges that globalization creates for multiple stakeholders, i.e., managers, employees, and regulators globally, warrants focused research about the critical role played by individuals making these decisions regarding management 'travel' globally across companies. The signs of the changing IHRM scenario is post-pandemic are evidenced by how top leaders are thinking about working remotely at scale based on the task context and internationalization by distilling four generic organizational models that are integrated with a progressive SIHRM framework that aligns multiple contexts, dimensions, models, and proportions to enable effective decisions for mitigating the current crisis and future research. The four models are as follows:

  1. Huge Centers (low internationalization, interpersonal task context). This office-centric model drives greater employee collaboration to fulfill specialized, knowledge-intensive, or creative activities. Remote working is selectively allowed only near the hubs since frequent collaboration is anticipated through physical presence in the office.
  2. Centers and Satellites (high internationalization, interpersonal task context). This office-centric model depends on global key hubs, enabled by satellite processes, to extract the benefit of smaller clusters of knowledge workers or regional specialties.
  3. Dispersed (low internationalization, transactional task context). This model is easily digitalized since most tasks are monotonous and high volume, due to which the organization lends itself to distribution. Accessibility and cost of talent determine the positioning of work, which extends to a few countries only. Larger markets are accessed for the company's products (if required) without physically being present.
  4. Global Virtual (high internationalization, transactional task context). Virtual models enable worldwide access to talent without being influenced by an explicit pursuit for talent or satisfactory labor costs. This works well for the success of corporations whose business warrants a global presence with fewer employees per country.

Data analysis methodology. This study reviews all Strategic International Human Resource Management (SIHRM) frameworks published between 1990 and 2022 to ascertain their relevance in the current context, focusing on methodologies and theories in the post-pandemic era. A pool of 69 papers published in 16 journals was considered for full-text evaluation using a set of relevant keywords and pre-defined inclusion/exclusion criteria. The literature review indicated that propositions offered to date might be temporary and must be realigned across multiple contexts embedding all contextual, strategic, external, and internal aspects of SIHRM. This led to identifying key focus areas of this study: theoretical perspectives, methodologies, and a review of the existing SIHRM frameworks to incorporate the post-pandemic perspective. 

To read the full article, please see the Journal of Global Mobility publication:

Patrick, W.S., Jha, J.K. and Sharma, K.G. (2023), "Strategic international human resource management (SIHRM) framework: an integrated review and directions for future research", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 274-294.