Changing HRM systems in two Russian oil companies: Western hegemony or Russian spetsifika?

Sarah E.A. Dixon, Marc Day*, Chris Brewster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


We contrast attempts to introduce what were seen as sophisticated Western-style human resource management (HRM) systems into two Russian oil companies – a joint venture with a Western multinational corporation (TNK-BP) and a wholly Russian-owned company (Yukos). The drivers for Western hegemony within the joint venture, heavily influenced by expatriates and the established HRM processes introduced by the Western parent, were counteracted to a significant degree by the Russian spetsifika – the peculiarly Russian way of thinking and doing things. In contrast, developments were absorbed faster in the more authoritarian Russian-owned company. The research adds to the theoretical debate about international knowledge transfer and provides detailed empirical data to support our understanding of the effect of both organizational and cultural context on the knowledge-transfer mechanisms of local and multinational companies. As the analysis is based on the perspective of senior local nationals, we also address a relatively under-researched area in the international HRM literature which mostly relies on empirical data collected from expatriates and those based solely in multinational headquarters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3134-3156
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2014


  • HRM practices
  • MNCs
  • Russia
  • culture
  • indigenous companies
  • knowledge transfer
  • national context


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