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HRM in Western Europe: Differences without, differences within

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date22/04/2018
Host publicationHandbook of Research on Comparative Human Resource Management
EditorsChris Brewster, Wolfgang Mayrhofer, Elaine Farndale
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages24
Edition2nd ed
ISBN (print)9781784711122
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This chapter introduces and explores HRM in Western Europe. It addresses what it is that distinguishes HRM in Western Europe from that in other parts of the world. It explains the nature of HRM in Western Europe by highlighting the importance of seven factors in particular: a unique political, social and economic landscape; a stakeholder-centred approach; the heightened role of the state, the importance of social welfare, complex patterns of ownership; traditions of employee involvement and employee representation. The chapter successively examines some of the differences within Europe. It examines differences between a variety of proposed clusters of European countries, exploring in turn categorisations based on HRM-practices, cultural differences, social welfare groupings, and institutional factors such as legislation and politics, and theories of synthetic comparative capitalisms. It discusses HRM in Western Europe beyond consideration of country clusters. Despite taking a Western European frame, there remain differences between individual European countries, geographical differences within certain countries at regional level, and also now emerging institutional arrangements in the context of the changing economic geography of West European firms.