RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Editorial

The third issue of RPHRM continues the tradition of its predecessors. This volume brings a set of cross-disciplinary HRM articles using a variety of investigative methodologies and techniques. The diversity of the topics examined, and of the approaches used, insures that the issue will have widespread appeal for those professionals engaged in human resource activities.

In the journal’s Main Section, the focus is on organisational commitment. All three articles examine this important affective construct; and offer insights into its antecedents or its consequences. In RPHRM’s lead article, the investigators examine the relationship between organisational commitment, job satisfaction, and Protestant and Confucian ethics. The study draws on a comparative sample of Singapore and American managers and, given the current widespread speculations about a coming clash of cultures, the piece is particularly timely.

The second article, using data gathered from union workers in Australia, Sweden and the United States, examines the relationship between commitment to the union and commitment to the organisation. The findings of this study call into question some HRM policies pursued by practitioners in these countries.

The third study directly addresses a critical issue in HRM research: the applicability of Western organisational theory to Asian firms. Beginning with a model of organisational commitment developed using Western data, the researchers use a sophisticated statistical technique to examine how well the Western model “fits” data collected in an Asian organisation. The authors conclude that the Western model fits suprisingly well, in spite of the great cultural differences that exist between Asia and the West.

In this issue's Practitioner Focus Section, the themes of the six pieces are varied. A pair of articles provide case-study insights into two service industries. In one, the productivity and HRM practices of a selection of Southeast Asian hotels are analysed and critiqued. In the other, the development and evolution of HRM practices and strategies are explored within the context of a banking institution.

In the third piece, the investigator looks at innovation and change, and the relationship of these variables to some industry and organisational structure factors. Based on the study's findings, the author draws some thought-provoking conclusions about the roles of strategic thinking of firms. In another article, the researchers present a cross-cultural training model. Particularly relevant to the Singaporean context, the model may also be of interest to any of the region’s HR specialists charged with preparing managers for overseas assignments.

The last two articles in the section represent variations on the usual content found in the journal. The first of these deals with labour relations in China. Based on popular source material, the authors provide insightful analysis and commentary. Although not data-based in the traditional sense, the journal's reviewers felt the piece had something valuable to offer and thus warranted inclusion. The second article is a review of performance appraisal software aimed at the HR professional. Indications are that software tools of this type will become increasingly common. RPHRM hopes to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of more of these offerings in future issues.

Donald J. Campbell
Editor
1995