International Human Resource Management 7th by PETER J. DOWLING MARION FESTING ALLEN D. ENGLE, SR.
In writing the Preface for the 7th Edition of International Human Resource Management two important
published documents illustrate the context for HRM in International Business in the first quarter of the 21st
Century. One is the Internet document Decent Work and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) which states that “over 600 million
need to be created by 2030, just to keep pace with the growth of the working-age population. That is
around 40 million per year. We also need to improve conditions for the 780 million women and men who
are working but not earning enough to lift themselves and their families out of US$2-a-day poverty”.
In addition, we observe the demographic challenges of low birth rates in many industrialized countries and
a lack of qualified talent.
A second document is the Special Report on Companies published by The Economist (17 Sept. 2016)
titled The rise of the superstars. This report notes that “a small group of giant companies (some old, some
new) are once again dominating the global economy” and asks the question “Is that a good or a bad
thing?”. There is also a chart which lists the world’s ten largest listed companies by market capitalization
in billions of US dollars in 2006 and 2016. The 2016 companies are Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Berkshire
Hathaway, Exxon Mobil, Amazon, Facebook, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric and China Mobile.
Of this list only Microsoft, Exxon Mobil and General Electric were on the 2006 list, indicating the extent
of change in what The Economist describes as “a virtually new world” (page 5).
We also acknowledge the so-called megatrends highlighted by many authors, mainly from consulting
firms. An important issue they address is the complex and ongoing effect of demographic shifts on global
business practices. In part, many countries are characterized by higher life expectancies and lower birth
rates. This is not only a challenge for the social welfare systems1 but also for companies and their human
According to this and other studies other challenges include the rise of the individual, the enabling
technology and digitalization, the interconnected global economy, new market and global responsibilities
as well as a rise in entrepreneurship2. In preparing the 7th Edition
the authors have attempted to pay considerable
care and attention to this new world of international business.
The world of global business is very different than it was in 1990 when the first edition of this text was
introduced. Our task remains to capture key human issues, those complexities, challenges, and choices faced by
individuals and organizations engaged in global business and exchange. This world remains as compelling and
critical as it was some 27 years ago.
The more significant changes to the Seventh Edition include the following:
Several of the IHRM in Action cases embedded throughout the chapters have been significantly updated.
These changes will help students grasp the principles and models in the chapter and better apply these
ideas to a range of settings or contexts.
A new case, written particularly for this