Asian countries offer rich and diverse contexts to examine how multinational companies (MNCs) manage the workforce and engage amid institutional transitions. This chapter maps out three key areas where institutions in Asian countries have informed our understanding of managing MNCs. The first area is the exploration of employment regimes, paradigms and practices as the result of the intersection between comparative political economy and organisational strategy. The second area is the interplay between different employment systems at workplaces, which has envisaged novelty in organising work and managing the workforce. The third area is the emergence of MNCs from less-developed countries, which have presented significant challenges and yet unique opportunities to aspect of the conventional wisdom on managing people across countries. The chapter concludes by urging researchers to move away from being tempted to draw out integration or coherence in the management of MNCs in Asia. Instead, appropriation of complexity in Asian countries is more promising for building theory from context-rich empirical work on managing MNCs in and from Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Human Resource Management in Asia
EditorsFang Lee Cooke, Sunghoon Kim
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Electronic)9781315689005
ISBN (Print)9781138917477
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • human resource management
  • multinational corporations
  • Asia

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