The human resource management (HRM) profession is eclectic and diverse, incorporating multiple perspectives, applications, and contexts, and it is the aim of the Research & Practice in Human Resource Management Journal to explore, analyse, and illustrate both its convergent and its divergent dimensions, with a particular focus on the Asia Pacific region. This edition of the Journal reflects all of these aims, containing a broad variety of articles on a wide range of HRM-related issues within several different global contexts.

Thus, Sett examines the applications and effects of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ HRM concepts in an interesting variety of South Asian organisations, combining appropriate theory with its practical applications. His article adds more evidence to current debates over the convergence or divergence of HRM in the global context. The article by Butler and Purchase then explores the concept of ‘blat’ and its HRM, managerial, and business applications in Russia and the former Soviet Union. ‘Blat’ is similar to the Chinese notion of ‘guanxi’, and comparisons between them should be of particular interest to all readers of the Journal, especially those who conduct business in either country.

Edgar and Geare report the findings of a recent New Zealand research study which investigated the frequency of use, and relative significance, of a range of specific HRM processes, in relation to several employee demographic characteristics (e.g., age, tenure, ethnicity, gender). These findings will no doubt aid HR professionals in their applications of such processes in their own organisations.

The interesting notion of variation in global time between Eastern and Western managers is developed in an article by Harvey and Napier. Their article analyses the implications of ‘time’ and its management in relation to international HRM, often a frustration for Western managers working in some South-East Asian countries with different attitudes towards time and timeliness.

On a diverse note, Hosie, Forster and Sevastos discuss the concept of ‘affective well-being’, and its influences on organisational cultures and environments, feedback systems, and emotional intelligence. Finally, Taylor’s Research Note develops a job satisfaction scale derived from research on flight attendants in Ansett Airlines, just before the company ceased business. The Research Note is followed by two book reviews, by Saini and De Silva.

We trust that you will enjoy the eclectic series of articles in this edition, and that they will provide you with ideas for ongoing discussion with your professional colleagues and associates. The next edition of the Journal is a Special Issue focusing on HRM’s roles in crisis management.

Dr. Alan Nankervis
Dr. Cecil Pearson
July 2004