The scope and purpose of this special issue is to reassess the relationships between private equity (PE) investors and their portfolio companies in the light of the need for venture capital/ private equity (VC PE) firms to adapt their strategies for value creation in the light of the recent financial crisis. We particularly focus upon VC PE characteristics that differently contribute to portfolio firm performance. The papers presented in this special issue capture this aim in various ways, reflecting the heterogeneity of VC PE investors and the firms in which they invest. We begin this introductory paper by providing a brief overview of each paper’s contribution. We articulate themes for an agenda for future research relating to the heterogeneity of investor types and the contexts in which they invest.
In search of an answer to the question to what degree context determines human resource management (HRM) practices, a holistic picture of contextual factors seems indispensable. However, due to ample interpretations and the vague characterization of this construct, a self-revealing definition seems impossible. In order to address this dilemma, we firstly tackle the need for a discussion on what context is and, secondly, how it is embedded in the field of international comparative Human Resource Management. We start this paper with a short summary of the Universalistic versus Contextual Perspective on the one hand, and the Convergence versus the Divergence paradigm on the other. We discuss the influence of context within both debates. Secondly, we elaborate on the mapping of the construct of context by scrutinizing the relevant literature within the international comparative HRM field. Thirdly, the link between this construct and the Cranet Network is investigated. Finally, the usefulness of the Cranet data, in light of the contextual, is discussed with the focus on future research and its practicability in further research endeavors.
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