The thrust of ‘new’ human resource management (HRM) is expressed in a myriad of contemporary terms such as ‘alignment’, ‘fit’, ‘integration’, and ‘accountability’, implying both a need to ensure that HRM theories accurately reflect and mould people management systems in the ‘real world’; and that such HRM systems, policies and practices are carefully designed to link with all other organisational systems and functions in order to clearly support overall corporate goals and objectives. Thus, current HRM research imperatives often focus on how HRM strategies or programmes contribute to the attraction and retention of human resources, investments, or assets; yield better financial returns for firms; add value to other organisational functions such as production, marketing or services; or on how these activities might be better implemented and measured.

This edition of the Research and Practice in Human Resource Management journal reflects new research and professional practice in many of these areas. Thus, Scott-Ladd and her colleagues utilise social organisational support concepts in order to explore how ‘employee-friendly’ workplaces can enhance the attraction and retention of employee talent in Australian firms. Kam, Tsahuridu and Ding analyse the linkages between a large variety of HRM practices (specifically, induction, recruitment and selection, performance management, human resource development and reward management) and integrated logistics services (ILS), information and communication technology (ICT), flexible supply chain (FSC) solutions, and industry specific logistics expertise (ISLE) in a sample of Chinese logistics service providers. Amah’s following paper returns to the effects of supportive organisational cultures on the reduction of family-work conflict in Nigerian firms through the implementation of work-family friendly strategies and policies. He emphasises the need not only for the development of such policies, but also for associated ‘favourable (work) environments’.

Ibrahim and Dickie reflect on the links between HRM ‘climate’ theory and the controversial concept of ‘workplace friendships’ in Australian firms. They suggest that HRM climate can be a ‘powerful determinant in the opportunity for, and development of, workplace friendships’. The following paper by Townsend and Lee provides an interesting application of HRM theory to the practices employed in the hospitality sector in an esoteric Australian tourism location. Finally, the Research Note by Sukirno and Siengthai adds to our understanding of complex HRM research methodology, through their analysis of the graded response model and classical test theory.

Overall, this edition of the journal reports on a broad collection of theoretical and applied HRM research which is likely to provoke interest and innovation amongst both HRM researchers and professionals.

Dr Alan Nankervis
Dr Cecil Pearson
December 2010