In the strategic human resource management (SHRM) field three approaches have dominated, namely, the universal or best-practice, best-fit or contingency and resource-based view (RBV). This study investigates evidence for the simultaneous or mixed adoption of these approaches by eight case study firms in the international hotel industry. Findings suggest there is considerable evidence of the combined use of the first two approaches but that the SHRM RBV approach was difficult to achieve by all companies. Overall, gaining differentiation through SHRM practices was found to be challenging due to specific industry forces. The study identifies that where companies derive some competitive advantage from their human resources and HRM practices they have closely aligned their managers’ expertise with their corporate market entry mode expertise and developed some distinctive, complex and integrated HRM interventions, which have a mutually reinforcing effect.