A Foucauldian exploration of human resource management practices in post-colonial, global-south contexts

Chidozie Umeh, Ashiq Ali Jhatial, Eric Pezet, Nelarine Cornelius, James Wallace

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Although macro-social influences on managerial and international HRM practices have been extensively reported in the literature, the alignments between these practices in post-colonial states are, however, poorly understood. This paper examines the HRM role and practices of traditional and Western-informed non-traditional elite managers, implementing universal HRM practices and agendas, under a Praetorian regime in post-colonial Pakistan. In-depth interviews were conducted with HRM professionals, union representatives, and managers working in the public and private sectors and multinational organisations, in Pakistan. Through the lens of Foucauldian discourse, analyses of these interviews revealed the coexistence of managerial global-HRM orientated elite and Praetorian post-colonial elite managers, and how their HRM practices impacted employees’ experience of equality and inequality within their organisations. This ‘intertextual coexistence’ is predicated on the dynamics of hierarchical and heterarchical relations of power and resistance within the organisation, and the imbrication, or interleaving, of local history and culture, global culture, and influential HRM practices. Our findings suggest the need for greater consideration of social practices, including forms of subjectivity, meanings, and power relations, when managing human resources to achieve equality in organisations within post-colonial countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication38th EGOS Colloquium, Vienna 2022
Subtitle of host publicationSub-theme 34: Inequality, Institutions, and Organizations
EditorsJohn Amis, Johanna Mair, Kamal Munir
PublisherEuropean Group for Organisatuional Studies
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Jun 2022

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