The current issue of the Research and Practice in Human Resource Management Journal presents some of the best and original research papers presented at the 10th International Business conference of the Society for Global Business and Economic Development (SGBED) held in Kyoto, Japan in August 2007. As the global economy is going through a period of uncertainty and volatility, organisations encounter tremendous challenges in the area of human resource management. The selected papers published in this issue make a significant contribution to theory and practice of HRM in an Asian context.

The opening article, Business Strategy in the Era of Globalisation: The Case of Konica Minolta authored and presented as a keynote address for the conference by its President Yoshikatsu Ota provides an excellent background to the challenges of globalisation and the role of HRM in dealing with the global workforce. The article highlights the management practices as employed in Konica Minolta in the context of a competitive and a turbulent economic environment.

The paper by Foong Ming Tan, Organisational Support as the Mediator of Career-Related HRM Practices and Affective Commitment: Evidence from Knowledge Workers in Malaysia deals with an important research area relating to management of knowledge workers. This paper authored by Tan deals with career goals and the role of organisational support as a mediator of career related HRM practices as evidenced from knowledge workers in Malaysia.

Edwina Pio in her paper Threads of Constraint: Ethnic Minority Migrant Women and Employment deals with minority and gender issues and employment practices in the context of New Zealand. The paper by Pio highlights the perceptions of business students in a New Zealand university with reference to ethnic minority women and employment. The paper uses an innovative and a creative pedagogy to sensitise business students and future managers to the consequences of migration and a need for the intelligent utilisation of human resources in a world that is becoming increasingly multicultural.

Bernat Agullo and Midori Egawa in their paper The Meaning of Career: A Study of Indian Mobile Knowledge Workers in Tokyo use a case study approach to study the career paths of selected Indian knowledge workers employed in Tokyo. This paper examines the meaning of individually managed careers in the context of the international movement of knowledge workers and the perception of their career goals and how these expatriates prepare for career advancement. Based on an empirical survey of a sample of knowledge workers the authors conclude that organisations need to play a more supportive role in generating a strategic integration of employee programmes and provide a supervisory coaching to extend employees’ employability and career prospects.

Recruitment, retention and compensation of employees have always been major concerns of organisations. The Editors have published two papers relating to this important theme. Adithipyangkul and Prasarnphanich have presented cash and noncash compensation plans across industries in Thailand in their paper Descriptive Case Study of the Use of Non Cash and Informal Compensation in Thailand. The paper underscores differences in compensation plans in Asia as compared to Western countries. Alternatively, Nagadevara, Srinivasan and Valk provide research insights on employee turnover in knowledge based organisations in their paper, Establishing a link between employee turnover and withdrawal behaviours: Application of data mining techniques. By using five different data mining techniques the authors have shown a relationship between withdrawal behaviours and employee turnover in the Indian software industry. The authors have articulated the need for greater use of models and analytical tools in engaging with human resource strategies.

Change management is a continuous process and the changes that are introduced in organisations do create a range of challenges. Chew and Choo in their research A Study of the Change Management and Challenges in a Bank examine the driving forces of change and the process of implementation of change management in a Malaysian bank. The paper highlights that many of the changes that are introduced are cost driven and have a negative impact on employee morale, and hence, such initiatives pose challenges to HR policies and practices in financial institutions.

A brief review of selected papers published in this Special Issue cover a broad range of themes in HRM and make a significant contribution to research and practice in that area. The Society for Global Business and Economic Development (SGBED) is pleased to acknowledge the contribution of the Editors of the Journal in bringing out this quality publication in a timely manner and sharing the advances in HRM research with scholars and practitioners around the world.

Guest Editor
Dr C. Jayachandran
SGBED Director
Montclair University, USA
December 2008