University of Gothenburg


The Centre for Global Human Resource Management (CGHRM) is the leading research institute on Human Resource Management in Sweden and aims to be a prominent actor in an international perspective.

Transformational HR

At the core of CGHRM’s research is how the HR function can contribute to a good utilization of human resources that really contributes to organizational resilience. The HR function can be viewed as administrative, transactional and bureaucratic. However, the HR function can also contribute to organizational growth and renewal, and this is an area that is very important for CGHRM and our partners. 

Therefore, the overarching theme of CGHRM’s research is transformational HR. This concept emphasizes an ambition to strengthen the impact and importance of the HR function to give an important contribution to organizational efficiency, development, renewal, as well as the welfare of the individual worker and a more sustainable labour market. The research within CGHRM can provide knowledge about how such transformational HR can take place, and also what conditions must be met to achieve this goal. 

The global dimension of transformational HR is of central importance here, i.e. how the HR function can contribute to organizational development in multinational and diverse cultural settings (see for instance the discussion ´best practice vs best fit’). 

Identified research areas 

Four related research areas have been identified in accordance with the overall mission and scope of CGHRM research. Within each area, there are several ongoing and planned research projects.  

HR & digitalization

Here we study how the HR function can be organized with an interest in new ways of working (for instance HR analytics, agile HR) within the HR function and its consequences for organizations, individuals and society.  

HR & change and adaptation

We study the important role of the HR function in supporting organizational change and adaptation processes, for instance to acquire new competences and take an active role in organizational development efforts. 

HR & work environment and health

We study the role of the HR function in supporting activities related to leadership, the work environment, employee health and gender equality.  

The labour market in transition

A fourth area of study deals with research on the functioning of the labour market, for example atypical forms of employment, the inclusion of young people, the elderly, migrant workers and workers with disabilities and other work-life issues with an impact on HRM.  

CGHRM also strives to provide an open research environment that gives possibilities for new themes to emerge. 

Research scope 

In terms of theories and applied methods, CGHRM strives for pluralism and that each research project may have a unique and diverse disciplinary framing and that the research design is functional in relation to the specific research aim and questions. Important areas to be investigated in CGHRM’s research are the HR profession, HR policies and practical work, industrial relations and different management issues for example leadership and strategy. Some areas of specific importance are diversity management, work environment, employment, employee engagement, digitalization, flexibilization, agile work and people analytics.

Research at CGHRM

CGHRM is a knowledge hub and central meeting point for research and work within HRM, e.g. issues related to hiring, developing and retaining staff as well as the organization and management of work and performance. At the Centre directors, professors and doctoral students work in close collaboration with other researchers, both within and outside the participating departments.

Research projects are funded through membership fees, donations and external research grants, and the focus is on interdisciplinary and needs-driven research that takes place through dialogue with partners.


Human Resource Management (HRM) is defined as policies and practices for managing people in work settings, not only employees but also people at subcontractors, staffing agencies, freelancers and other stakeholders. HRM is otherwise a multidisciplinary research field that is covering disciplines such as management studies, sociology, psychology, educational studies, law, occupational medicine and work science. 

CGHRM strives to have an open and inclusive research environment for researchers from different disciplines and universities. CGHRM also has a special interest in the global dimension of HRM.


Since 2019 CGHRM is the Swedish partner in the Cranet network - the largest network of HRM researchers in the world!

The network conducts a survey of HRM and industrial relations every 4-5 years. This gives CGHRM access to a network of prominent HRM scholars and opportunities to launch collaborative research and to bring a global dimension to CGHRM research. The Cranet survey contains a wide range of issues related to HR practices and industrial relations and constitutes an important platform for multidisciplinary research both internally within the university and externally. In fall of 2021 CGHRM will send out the Cranet survey to HR Chiefs and Directors in Sweden. 

Use this link to find out more information about Cranet


Sweden's first professor in HRM

CGHRM established Sweden’s first ever professorship in HRM

A primary goals since the start has been to establish Sweden's first professorship in HRM. In autumn 2019, a new professorship in human resource management – HRM, the first and only of its kind in Sweden - was inaugurated and is held by Professor Stefan Tengblad

Before joining CGHRM, Professor Stefan Tengblad has been leading research for more than 15 years. After graduating, he studied for a PhD, which he obtained in 1997 with a thesis on the sourcing of managers. In 2008, he was made a professor at the University of Borås and switched to Skövde the following year.

“HR is naturally an important component, covering the actual HR function and the people who work on it. But HRM is the overarching subject area and the theory behind it, with a wider remit that includes leadership and people-related work more generally,” says Stefan Tengblad.

About the future Professor Tengblad says: "I want to build up an environment of maybe 30–40 researchers, who can study HRM from different perspectives, including the employee’s perspective and that of trade union organisations"

You can read the full interview with Professor Stefan Tengblad here