This issue of the journal reflects the transformation of human resource management (HRM) research and practice, from functional to contextual issues, and from employer- to employee-centred emphases, towards more holistic management strategies and techniques. This global phenomenon is illustrated and reinforced by the diverse national environments represented by authors in this issue – from India, the United States and Australia, to Spain and Peru.

Thus, Srivastav’s article entitled ‘The heterogeneity of organisational climate’ explores inter organisational cultural dissonance in Indian organisations dependent on such variables as age, qualifications, and job roles, within a perceived homogeneous national context. In so doing, the article contributes to the ongoing convergence-divergence debate in human resource management theory and practice. Harvey, Napier and Moeller extend such research to the global arena by exploring the differential HRM strategies demanded by dual career couples for career opportunities in multinational enterprises.

The following articles by Tonks, Dickenson and Nelson, and Morales and Rahe respectively, focus on the implications of such demographic issues as intergenerational workplace relationships and gender diversity for HR professionals in Australian, Spanish and Peruvian organisations. Both articles reflect a growing concern with the effective management of diverse workforces within an increasingly competitive global labour market, despite recent financial crises. Hogan and Wood examine these and other associated contextual factors with respect to their pedagogical applications, through a comprehensive review of media reports on HRM issues in the United States.

Compton’s Practitioner Perspective, entitled ‘Towards an integrated model of strategic human resource management – An Australian case study’ neatly encapsulates these contextual and demographic issues within an exploration of the application of strategic HRM in an Australian electricity supply and distribution agency. Finally, Liu’s Research Note contains useful findings on the business factors, including HRM and cross cultural aspects, which are likely to contribute to more effective regional strategic partnerships with Chinese companies.

In summary, this issue of the Research & Practice in Human Resource Management journal reflects the need for both HRM researchers and professionals to recognise, embrace, and to effectively address the diverse requirements of their dynamic and more demanding global, regional and local labour markets.

Dr Alan Nankervis
Dr Cecil Pearson
December 2009