C. Rowley (Cass Business School, City University, Oxford, UK and Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia)
Sudhanshu Joshi (Operations and Supply Chain Management, School of Management, Doon University, Dehradun, India)

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management

ISSN: 2040-8005

Article publication date: 10 December 2019

Issue publication date: 10 December 2019



Rowley, C. and Joshi, S. (2019), "Editorial", Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, Vol. 10 No. 1/2, pp. 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCHRM-10-2019-042



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Strategic human resource management and supply chain orientation in Asia: growth potential and research agenda

Since the first article that discussed strategic human resource management (SHRM) alignment with supply chain management (Schuler and MacMillan, 1984), there is a dearth of more scientific research in this area in the recent time. Although very few researchers are aiming to target the underpinning theories and challenges in this direction and they started integrating this with the sustainable performance and strategic orientation of the firm (O'Connor et al., 2018; Ahuja et al., 2019; Hong et al., 2019; Wu et al., 2019) and restricted to strategic supply chain from the perspective of a single business unit and excludes the network approach and only limited to few research topics (Wright et al., 2018; Su et al., 2018; Boon et al., 2019). In past few years, contemporary dimensions of supply chain management and strategic human resource management including customer human resource, supplier–human resource management. Corporate culture, HRM polices and firm’s orientation toward its employees contribute significantly in the formulation of supply chain management strategy of a firm (McAfee et al., 2002). With the emergence as world leader, countries such as China in past few decades have undergone economic industrial change and upgrading. In this direction, benchmark practices can be attained and sustained by leveraging human resource factor across the supply chains (Gowen Iii and Tallon, 2003; Jacobs et al., 2016; Rowley and Ulrich, 2016).

Hall et al. (2012) have suggested various area of research in the area of SHRM in context to supply chain orientation (SCO), considering the emergence of value chain concept as a strategic tool. The past researchers highlighted the significance of human resource management as cost drivers and sources. The special section covers various underpinning theories and research directions for the future researchers through variety of articles. The research contributions of the past are highlighted to understand the evolvement of SHRM into SCO, particularly in the areas, namely, market-oriented philosophy (Kohli and Jaworski, 1990; Narver and Slater, 1990), combination of value chain, market orientation and inter-functional coordination (Narver and Slater, 1990) Particularly as the result of multidisciplinary and combination of the areas including value chain, market orientation, and customer value research reshaped the supply chain management thinking (Ellram and Murfield, 2019; Jääskeläinen and Heikkilä, 2019).

SCO has emerged as highly used approach for deploying these types of multidisciplinary coupling research in the recent times (Esper et al., 2010; Aydiner et al., 2019; Neutzling et al., 2018). The research ideas presented through selected papers in this special section showcase several implications for the industries in South Asia, particularly for Chinese economy. Few implications include flexibility in operations, which help firms to reshape the approach of balancing performance with flexibility using SHRM for sustainable supply chains. Second imperative could be decision models for HR managers working for supply chain firms. Third important implication is the value creation at various levels to optimize the profits of the firm. Besides, the multidisciplinary contribution in the areas of supply chain management and organization theory, SHRM helps the future researchers to understand, optimize and leverage the firm level benefits. Owing to enhancement in the size and scope of the supply chain networks among firms, the role of SHRM research is not confined to a single firm. Every set of partner is now influence with the SHRM decisions, and it affects the overall supply chain orientation of the ecosystem. The special section shall contribute to the research developments in the area and help the future researchers in this direction.


Ahuja, J., Panda, T.K., Luthra, S., Kumar, A., Choudhary, S. and Garza-Reyes, J.A. (2019), “Do human critical success factors matter in adoption of sustainable manufacturing practices? An influential mapping analysis of multi-company perspective”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 239, pp. 117-981.

Aydiner, A.S., Acar, M.F., Zaim, S. and Delen, D. (2019), “Supply chain orientation, ERP usage and knowledge management in supply chain”, Proceedings of the International Symposium for Production Research 2019, Springer, Cham, pp. 580-590.

Boon, C., Den Hartog, D.N. and Lepak, D.P. (2019), “A systematic review of human resource management systems and their measurement”, Journal of Management, Vol. 45 No. 6 doi: 10.1177/0149206318818718.

Ellram, L.M. and Murfield, M.L.U. (2019), “Supply chain management in industrial marketing–relationships matter”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 79, pp. 36-45.

Esper, T.L., Clifford Defee, C. and Mentzer, J.T. (2010), “A framework of supply chain orientation”, The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 161-179.

Gowen Iii, C.R. and Tallon, W.J. (2003), “Enhancing supply chain practices through human resource management”, Journal of Management Development, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 32-44.

Hong, P., Jagani, S., Kim, J. and Youn, S.H. (2019), “Managing sustainability orientation: an empirical investigation of manufacturing firms”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 211, pp. 71-81.

Jääskeläinen, A. and Heikkilä, J. (2019), “Purchasing and supply management practices in customer value creation, supply chain management”, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 317-333.

Jacobs, M.A., Yu, W. and Chavez, R. (2016), “The effect of internal communication and employee satisfaction on supply chain integration”, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 171, pp. 60-70.

Kohli, A.K. and Jaworski, B.J. (1990), “Market orientation: the construct, research propositions, and managerial implications”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 54 No. 2, pp. 1-18.

Neutzling, D.M., Land, A., Seuring, S., D. and Nascimento, L.F.M. (2018), “Linking sustainability-oriented innovation to supply chain relationship integration”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 172, pp. 3448-3458.

O'Connor, N.G., Yang, Z. and Jiang, L. (2018), “Challenges in gaining supply chain competitiveness: supplier response strategies and determinants”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 72, pp. 138-151.

Rowley, C. and Ulrich, D.O. (Eds) (2016), Leadership in the Asia Pacific: A Global Research Perspective, Routledge.

Schuler, R.S. and MacMillan, I.C. (1984), “Gaining competitive advantage through human resource management practices”, Human Resource Management, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 241-256.

Su, Z.X., Wright, P.M. and Ulrich, M.D. (2018), “Going beyond the SHRM paradigm: examining four approaches to governing employees”, Journal of Management, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 1598-1619.

Wright, P.M., Nyberg, A.J. and Ployhart, R.E. (2018), “A research revolution in SHRM: new challenges and new research directions”, Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 141-161.

Wu, K.J., Chen, Q., Qi, Y., Jiang, X., Gao, S. and Tseng, M.L. (2019), “Sustainable development performance for small and medium enterprises using a fuzzy synthetic Method-DEMATEL”, Sustainability, Vol. 11 No. 15, pp. 41-19.

Further reading

Joshi, S. (2019), Operations and Supply Chain Area, School of Management, Doon University.

Lengnick-Hall, M.L., Lengnick-Hall, C.A., Andrade, L.S. and Drake, B. (2009), “Strategic human resource management: the evolution of the field”, Human Resource Management Review,, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 64-85.

Morales, J. and Ruiz-Alba, J. (2019), “The market orientation and customer orientation continuum: a literature review for service marketing”, XXXIII AEDEM Annual Meeting, AEDEM.

Rowley, C. (2019), Faculty of Management, Cass Business School, City University, London.


This paper forms part of a special section “Strategic human resource management and supply chain orientation in Asia: growth potential and research agenda”, guest edited by C. Rowley and Sudhanshu Joshi.

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