Abstract: Politics, Race, and Nationalism: German Multinationals' HR Policy in India, 1920s-1940s

Christina Lubinski


This paper deals with Human Resource Management (HRM) in German multinationals in India from the 1920s to the 1940s. It identifies the most important HR challenges and how they changed over time, responding to recent calls for a stronger contextualization of HR research. Drawing on theoretical concepts of institutionalism, the paper shows that HR was heavily influenced by different stakeholders in the host country, India, but also by home country politics and the local perceptions of the MNE's origin country. Not institutional distance or foreignness, but the concrete, and sometimes misleading, ideas about Germany shaped HR practices as well as their evaluation by local stakeholders.