The Impact of Narcoterrorism on HRM Systems

Jacobo Ramirez, Sergio Madero, Carlos Muñiz

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    This paper presents a study on the emergence of human resource management (HRM) systems in a narcoterrorism context based on a mixed-method approach. We conducted 40 interviews at 24 firms in Mexico to explore emerging HRM systems in narcoterrorism environments. The interviews were complemented with a quantitative content analysis of 204 news stories to explore the direct and indirect impacts of narcoterrorism on firms. Our analysis of firms’ responses with respect to HRM systems, which is supported by our quantitative analysis on the impacts of narcoterrorism, indicates that trust appears to shape HRM systems. We identified an adaptation strategy to design HRM systems based on a combination of strict employee’s screening and control an emphasis on humanistic practices such as soft-skills training and development, and a flexible work schedule, which appears to facilitate the development of trust in narcoterrorism environments. Identifying the similarities of objects and issues in the narcoterrorism context can help develop an understanding of this local phenomenon, with implications for the HRM and terrorism literatures on a global scale. Our findings highlight the importance of reinforcing values such as trust, openness, involvement and participation to develop a strong HRM system to adapt to narcoterrorism environments
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
    Issue number19
    Pages (from-to)2202-2232
    Number of pages31
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • HRM Systems
    • Mexico
    • Narcoterrorism
    • Strategic HRM
    • Terrorism

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