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Comparative international human resource management (CIHRM) in the light of the Cranet Regional Research Survey in Transitional Economies

Jozsef Poor (Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Szent István University, Gödöllo, Hungary)
Zsuzsa Karoliny (Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Pécs, Pécs, Hungary)
Ruth Alas (Estonian Business School, Tallinn, Estonia)
Elizabeta Kirilova Vatchkova (International University College, Sofia, Bulgaria)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The primary aim of the paper is to draw attention to the similarities in the historical background and in the transitional period of the post‐socialist CEE (Central and East European) countries, which make this region a distinctive cluster in Europe.


In this paper, the authors attempt to supplement existing research by outlining the modernisation of a range of HR functions in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, and would like to explain how this special issue arose, to provide a historical perspective for the work undertaken by the Cranet research team from Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary and to outline the context and significance of each of the attempts at modernisation in the HRM field.


This analysis of developments, based on the Cranet surveys, aims to describe and explain the similarities and differences found among the three specific countries (Bulgaria, Estonia and Hungary), the somewhat broader sample comprising the CEE region and the full sample of those participating in the survey. All of these signs increase the need for a contextual Comparative HRM model – which supports not only the snapshot analysis, but also a longitudinal one, incorporating both the path‐dependent and the path‐creation considerations of the changes taking place.


The need to understand HRM from a European – as opposed to a merely Western – perspective has become a dominant theme as the HR peculiarities of the new capitalism emerge. However, during the transition period, everyone needed – somehow – to meet the great challenge of turning the omelette back into eggs!



Poor, J., Karoliny, Z., Alas, R. and Kirilova Vatchkova, E. (2011), "Comparative international human resource management (CIHRM) in the light of the Cranet Regional Research Survey in Transitional Economies", Employee Relations, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 428-443.



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