Organization Management Journal


This article examines human resource management (HRM) in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry vis-à-vis its role in the management of women shop-floor workers in the Global South. Informed by poststructuralist notions of language, it analyzes the rupture of HRM that appeared at the moment HRM emerged in the industry in the 1990s. The article suggests that this rupture led to the formation of two (apparently) antagonistic sets of labor management practices: “doing” and “undoing” HRM. Along with the language of HRM, the article examines these two practices, and shows that HRM in the apparel industry appears or unfolds a “web of texts.” It further shows that HRM in this context problematizes a rhetoric/reality distinction. This work concludes that the “antagonism” between “doing” and “undoing” HRM is the means by which HRM maintains its continued existence in Sri Lanka’s apparel industry.