The Changing Role of External Providers of HRM: Empirical Evidence from Consecutive Cranet Surveys

  • József PoórEmail author
  • Geoffrey Wood
  • Zsuzsa Karoliny
  • Ildikó Éva Kovács
  • Andrew Gross
  • Ágnes Szlávicz
  • Nemanja Berber
  • Katalin Szabó
Part of the Forschung und Praxis an der FHWien der WKW book series (FPGHW)


This is a study based on comparative transnational survey evidence from across Europe. It examines recent trends in the use of external providers to manage human resources and how this use has changed since the global economic crisis that began in 2008. The study shows that the use of external HRM providers significantly decreased following the onset of the crisis; this would indicate that firms primarily perceived it as a luxury or something that could support discretionary managerial initiatives rather than a means for making firms more efficient or contributing to more added value. In addition, after 2008 a large number of firms abandoned their HRM function entirely, probably because of the increase in cheap, easily disposable labor in many national contexts. The study reveals that these trends were most pronounced in the emerging market economies of Central and Eastern Europe. The consequences of the crisis appear to have contributed to enhancing national differences instead of bringing the national contexts closer together.



We thank Prof. Allen D. Engle Sr. (Eastern Kentucky University, KY-US) for his encouraging comments and suggestions on this version of our manuscript. We also thank all our colleagues from the Cranet network ( for allowing us to use their collected data in the course of our research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • József Poór
    • 1
    Email author
  • Geoffrey Wood
    • 1
  • Zsuzsa Karoliny
    • 1
  • Ildikó Éva Kovács
    • 1
  • Andrew Gross
    • 1
  • Ágnes Szlávicz
    • 1
  • Nemanja Berber
    • 1
  • Katalin Szabó
    • 1
  1. 1.Szent István University & MehrereBudapestUngarn

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