Exploring terra incognita: preliminary reflections on the impact of the global financial crisis upon human resource management
Since 2007, the global financial crisis (GFC) appears not only to have shaken the foundations of the financial markets and the real economy; it also appears to have harmed the social and political life of many countries. For human resource management (HRM), the global crisis represents an external shock-wave that changes the parameters within which HR professionals at all levels operate. This paper discusses issues related to the link between the GFC and HRM at a general level. First, we differentiate three stages in the GFC, which overlap in their time-span. Taking a broad perspective, the second section discusses the causes of the GFC. We argue not only that the GFC represents a crisis for markets, organizations and institutions, but also that it represents a cultural crisis of ideas, assumptions, and values. The third section discusses the link between the GFC and HRM, focusing on HR managers in the management of uncertainty. The final section summarizes the main points of the paper and poses questions for future research. 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.