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The Dynamics of HRM Systems in Indian BPO Firms




This paper highlights the context within which business process outsourcing (BPO) has rapidly grown in India and the critical need to investigate the dynamics of human resource management (HRM) practices and systems in this sector. Using a mixed-method approach involving both in-depth interviews and self-completing questionnaires, we analyze the nature of HRM systems in BPO organizations operating in India. The analysis is based on a sample of 51 BPO companies, a majority of which are located near the capital of New Delhi. The results focus on the nature and structure of work and organization of Indian BPOs, as well as the strategic role played by HRM in such organizations. Furthermore, the findings highlight the way specific HRM practices such as recruitment, performance appraisal, training and development, and compensations are implemented. Our study suggests the existence of formal, structured, and rationalized HRM systems in Indian BPOs. A number of insights related to HRM policies and practices are shared by the HR managers interviewed shedding more light on the inner workings of the Indian BPO companies and their challenges. The analysis provides original and useful information to both academics and practitioners and opens avenues for future research on the nature of HRM systems and practices in the Indian BPO industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Pawan S. Budhwar & Harsh K. Luthar & Jyotsna Bhatnagar, 2006. "The Dynamics of HRM Systems in Indian BPO Firms," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 27(3), pages 339-360, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:tra:jlabre:v:27:y:2006:i:3:p:339-360

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    Cited by:

    1. Bhaskar Vira & Al James, 2012. "Building Cross-Sector Careers in India's New Service Economy? Tracking Former Call Centre Agents in the National Capital Region," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 43(2), pages 449-479, March.
    2. Mohan Pyari Maharjan & Tomoki Sekiguchi, 2015. "Shaping Japanese Management Abroad: How and Why Japanese Companies are Embedded with Particular Practices in India," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 15-02, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP).
    3. Agrawal, Narendra M. & Khatri, Naresh & Srinivasan, R., 2012. "Managing growth: Human resource management challenges facing the Indian software industry," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 159-166.
    4. Demirbag, Mehmet & Mellahi, Kamel & Sahadev, Sunil & Elliston, Joel, 2012. "Employee service abandonment in offshore operations: A case study of a US multinational in India," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 178-185.
    5. Carlos M. F-JARDON & Miguel GONZALEZ-LOUREIRO, 2013. "Human Capital as Source for Sustained Competitive Advantages in SMEs: A Core Competencies Approach," Economia. Seria Management, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(2), pages 255-276, December.
    6. Mishra, Sushanta Kumar & Bhatnagar, Deepti & D’Cruz, Premilla & Noronha, Ernesto, 2012. "Linkage between perceived external prestige and emotional labor: Mediation effect of organizational identification among pharmaceutical representatives in India," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 204-212.
    7. Lahiri, Somnath & Kedia, Ben L., 2009. "The effects of internal resources and partnership quality on firm performance: An examination of Indian BPO providers," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 209-224, June.
    8. Lahiri, Somnath & Kedia, Ben L., 2011. "Co-evolution of institutional and organizational factors in explaining offshore outsourcing," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 252-263, June.

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