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Workforce reduction across borders: The role of legal frameworks

Journal article
Authors Ola Bergström
Published in Journal of Industrial Relations
Volume 60
Issue 2
Pages 224-245
ISSN 0022-1856
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Business Administration, Management & Organisation
Centre for Global Human Resource Management
Pages 224-245
Language en
Keywords Human resource management, labour law, multinational corporations, practice transfer, workforce reduction
Subject categories Business Administration


This article reports on a case study of a Swedish multinational corporation where human resource practices were successfully transferred to its foreign subsidiaries in the context of extensively regulated host country institutional environments, offering an opportunity to provide a deeper understanding of the role of legal frameworks when transferring human resource practices within multinational corporations. The findings indicate that the transfer of human resource practices was not simply a matter of passively adapting to host country legal frameworks. A more balanced conceptualisation of the role of legal frameworks in human resource practice transfer is needed, including a view of law as negotiable and open to interpretation and that host country institutional environments can also contribute to and support multinational corporations to transfer human resource practices across foreign subsidiaries.

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