Human resource management practices in the context of rising right-wing populism

Douglas J. Cumming, Geoffrey Wood, Shaker A. Zahra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We review the relationship between the causes and impact of rising right-wing populism and human resource management practice, drawing on the recent experiences of the United States and the United Kingdom. Specifically, we explore the links between right-wing populism and firms and their HRM practices. Although the links between declining standards of work, employment, and populism may be indirect and spatially uneven, each impacts the other in a manner that reinforces existing trends. We pay particular attention to migration and labour mobility, pay dispersion, and job and occupational security. At the level of the workplace, the populist turn undermines workforce diversity and makes transnational mobility more difficult. At the same time, structural pressures mitigating against a greater commitment to employees and their development and well-being contribute to a general climate of insecurity, which, in turn, reinforces populism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-536
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We owe thanks to Sofia Johan for helpful comments and suggestions. Douglas Cumming gratefully acknowledges the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for financial support.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • Brexit
  • Trump
  • entrepreneurship
  • human resource management
  • international business
  • right-wing populism


Dive into the research topics of 'Human resource management practices in the context of rising right-wing populism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this