Cross-boundary working: implications for HRM theory, methods and practice

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Major changes have taken place in work organisation, which originate predominantly from working across organisational boundaries. This paper argues for a more sophisticated approach to HRM that includes three types of cross‐boundary working, that is, intraorganisational, interorganisational, and transorganisational. Herein lies the contribution of our paper; we argue that we cannot assume a transition from one type of working to another because cross‐boundary forms of working coexist. We also need to understand the tensions of this simultaneity at the levels of the organisation/network, HRM systems, and the individual. We consider the impact of the simultaneous existence of these types of cross‐boundary working for the following: (a) theory, especially the development of HRM systems; (b) methods, including an activity‐based unit of analysis; and (c) practice, where we pay attention to the challenges of control, collaboration, and consistency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-99
Number of pages14
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal (HRMJ)
Issue number1
Early online date23 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2020


  • HRM systems
  • attitudes
  • cross-boundary working
  • organisational boundaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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