Strategic human resource management

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Missing variables in theories of strategic Human Resource Management: Time, cause, and individuals

Missing variables in theories of strategic Human Resource Management: Time, cause, and individuals

Patrick M. Wright, John J. Haggerty * Missing Variables in Theories of Strategic Human Resource Management: Time, Cause, and Individuals ** Much progress has been made with regard to theory building and application in the field of Strategic Human Resource Management (HRM) since Wright and McMahan’s (1992) critical review. While researchers have increasingly investigated the impact of HR on economic success within the Resource Based view of the firm, and have de- veloped more middle level theories regarding the processes through which HR im- pacts firm performance, much work still needs to be done. This paper examines how future theorizing in SHRM should explore the concepts of time, cause, and individu- als. Such consideration will drive more longitudinal research, more complex causal models, and consideration of multi-level phenomena.
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Cultural standards of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Empirical findings and implications for strategic human resource management

Cultural standards of Bosnia and Herzegovina: Empirical findings and implications for strategic human resource management

JEEMS 02/2012 211 Method The goal to identify cultural standards for Bosnia is observed through critical incidents collected in narrative interviews with Austrian and Bosnian managers. First introduced by Flanagan (1954), the critical incidents technique has been used for many applications and disciplines. Wight (1995) and Dant (1995) demonstrate the fruitfulness of this method in the field of cross-cultural management research. As a method of data collection, the critical incidents technique offers the opportunity to preserve the advantages of the interactive interview whilst at the same time imposing a form of questioning which ensures that all respondents focus upon the same issues (Norman et al. 1992). Regarding cultural standards, a situation is considered critical, if one or both counterparts are confronted with unexpected behaviour and reactions, and where the meaning cannot be understood due to different cultural systems of orientation (Thomas 2005:24). In addition, the situation must derive from an everyday occurrence, and a conflict must be perceived from at least one party, that is, one party perceives a behaviour of the other party in a particular situation as inadequate (ibid.). According to Fink et al. (2005), short stories about real incidents are suitable to identify cultural standards. The authors emphasise that such stories gained from narrative interviews permit to analyse reported events and to convert the experience of managers into knowledge, without only collecting information about reflections, prejudices and stereotypes of the interviewed persons. Similarly, Romani et al. (2011) point to the high validity of this method. Thus, while the influences of prejudices and stereotypes in narratives can never be completely eliminated, the critical incidence technique minimises them by focusing on distinctive situations and the interviewees’ real-life experience. In addition, the cultural standard method comprises both comparisons between different narratives regarding coherence and prevalence of specific descriptions and feedback sessions with experts from the involved countries. This procedure suppresses biases due to individually held prejudices or extreme situations. Many prior empirical studies aim at the identification of cultural standards (e.g., Brislin et al. 1986; Triandis 1995; Cushner/Brislin 1996; Landis/Bhagat 1996; Thomas 2005). They all analyse critical situations and discover cultural difference and characteristics that become effective in intercultural encounters.
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The development of the human resource function towards a strategic role - four essays in human resource management focusing on strategic human resource management involvement, human resource outsourcing and human resources mangement and the relationship w

The development of the human resource function towards a strategic role - four essays in human resource management focusing on strategic human resource management involvement, human resource outsourcing and human resources mangement and the relationship with organizational performance / von Diplom Kaufmann, Klaas Szierbowski-Seibel ; First Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Kabst, Second Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Martin Schneider

Third, the study reveals country differences in the relationship between the existence of an HR partnership and employee turnover. The results indicate that, in the USA, the involvement of HR specialists in HR-related boundary decisions leads to higher employee turnover. Two important factors might explain these findings, which are contrary to our hypotheses. First, there are relevant institutional and cultural differences between the USA and Germany (Gooderham & Nordhaug, 2011; Peretz & Fried, 2012; Vaiman & Brewster, 2014). There- fore, it is conceivable that US organizations might use their HR function to pursue an ap- proach based on relatively high employee turnover (Velasquez & Velazquez, 2002) to main- tain competition among employees. This explains the increasing employee turnover that has resulted from a higher degree of HR involvement and is partially in line with previous re- search stating that that a higher employee turnover rate might be useful (Glebbeek & Bax, 2004). Second, the Cranet survey was administered during the 2008/2009 financial crisis. Or- ganizations in the USA faced incentives to reduces employees in the short term to save costs, but they were able to fill job vacancies easily in the year after the crisis. In Germany, organi- zations reacted with part-time work and employee pay cuts instead of reducing the number of employees because the labor market had shifted to a buyer s market, especially for well- educated engineers (Dewettinck & Remue, 2011). Therefore, it would be desirable for further research to examine the aspects of strategic HR involvement in greater detail, especially through the use of additional dependent variables. In addition, the use of HR strategy as mod- erator instead of as predictor variable appears to be a fruitful avenue for empirical investiga- tions in the field of HRM.
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The configurational approach to linking strategic human resource management bundles with business performance: Myth or reality?

The configurational approach to linking strategic human resource management bundles with business performance: Myth or reality?

On the basis of the above five approaches, researchers proposed a number of human resource practices that, if employed strategically, would lead to sustainable competitive advantage (Delaney et al. 1989; Pfeffer 1994; Huselid 1995; Koch/ McGrath 1996; Flanagan/Deshpande 1996; Delery/Doty 1996). However, none of the above approaches has proved better than any other in identifying the specific HR practices that are most closely related to organizational competitiveness. As Ferris et al. (1999) note, all approaches are subject to many of the same limitations and offer lit- tle consensus: in particular with regard to precisely which HRM practices should be included. In addition, questions are raised in the literature as to whether these prac- tices are universal or context specific, and if the latter, then which practices are appro- priate for achieving fit to the various contexts investigated (Ferris et al. 1999; Boxal/Steeneveld 1999).
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Editorial: Human resource management and economic success

Editorial: Human resource management and economic success

In the first article, Patrick Wright and John Haggerty look at missing variables in theories of strategic human resource management. They argue that much progress has been made in the last decade with regard to theory building and application in the field. While researchers have increasingly analysed human resource management’s im- pact on economic success within the resource based view of the firm, and have devel- oped more meso-level theories, much work remains to be done. The authors examine how future theorizing needs to explore the relevance of time, causation, and the role of individuals.
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Effective strategies for human resource management in educational organizations: conflict management case studies

Effective strategies for human resource management in educational organizations: conflict management case studies

case study of the Public Vocational Training Institute of Karditsa and specifically to conflict management and conflict management, which took place in the particular educational organization between the Director and an administrative officer and in which a conflict the rest of the staff were involved. Secondary research is based on the analysis of the contents of strategic human resources management theories and conflicts between managers, educational-administrative staff, and students and examines their effectiveness. The sample of the survey was the staff at that time at the Public Vocational Training Institute of Karditsa, and was the director and the two deputy directors, who were deputy directors for the first time as a training officer in their professional career, as well as four administrative officials, one of whom served for ten consecutive years in the service, while for the other three employees it would have been their first year of service in the training unit concerned, after having carried out.
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Modeling strategic-knowledge-resource management based on individual competencies in SMEs

Modeling strategic-knowledge-resource management based on individual competencies in SMEs

Enterprises functioning in a market economy have to implement changes in the systems of organisation and management that they use. In economic practice, mak- ing a decision in an enterprise is typically conditioned by the actions of competitors and changing environ- mental factors, e.g. technical progress and the results of research. The added value for SMEs can be defined as knowledge, the skills and abilities of employees, social relations, know-how, and effective investment in intel- lectual capital. Enterprises, which invest in human capital, usually achieve a competitive advantage because of their workers’ readiness to learn and qualify, and also thanks to effective information and communication transfer (Edvinsson and Malone, 2001).
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Effective strategies for human resource management in educational organizations. Conflict management case studies

Effective strategies for human resource management in educational organizations. Conflict management case studies

case study of the Public Vocational Training Institute of Karditsa and specifically to conflict management and conflict management, which took place in the particular educational organization between the Director and an administrative officer and in which a conflict the rest of the staff were involved. Secondary research is based on the analysis of the contents of strategic human resources management theories and conflicts between managers, educational-administrative staff, and students and examines their effectiveness. The sample of the survey was the staff at that time at the Public Vocational Training Institute of Karditsa, and was the director and the two deputy directors, who were deputy directors for the first time as a training officer in their professional career, as well as four administrative officials, one of whom served for ten consecutive years in the service, while for the other three employees it would have been their first year of service in the training unit concerned, after having carried out.
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Human Resource Management: The need for theory and diversity

Human Resource Management: The need for theory and diversity

Explanations based on both economic theories, and resource-oriented ap- proaches necessarily demand abstraction. That is their strength. Simultaneously, ab- straction limits the possibility of capturing the complexity and laws which explain technologies or rather make the way to action comprehensible. Hence evolutionary and political approaches complement the spectrum of explanatory capacities within HRM. Political approaches center around interests and conflicts. Whereas the previ- ously addressed views focus on strategic action, questions of acceptance of actions or implementation of interests through tactical or rather political behavior can be cap- tured by micro political approaches of HRM.
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Re-tooling Human Resource Management. A critical analysis of chances, risks and barriers of People Analytics in Human Resource Management

Re-tooling Human Resource Management. A critical analysis of chances, risks and barriers of People Analytics in Human Resource Management

Rapid changes in technology and, along with it, the advancing progress of digitalization in business is another current trend influencing HRM. New technological tools and information technology have changed almost every HRM practice, i.e. from using online job boards and social media for recruiting, sophisticated e-learning platforms for training and e-performance systems to digital personnel files, compensation systems and employee self-service systems (cf. Jain, 2014, pp. 7-12). As a consequence, former administrative HR functions should theoretically become more and more substituted by technology solutions which would enable HR to spend more time on strategic tasks and collecting and transforming data into valuable business insights. Therefore, companies need to carefully examine and invest in these tools in order to stay competitive as well as to build up the competencies and skills in HR needed to efficiently operate these tools. The increasing use of new media by companies, such as social networks or social hiring channels, to support recruitment has led to the emergence of digital talent data and metrics. HR needs to focus on analyzing this data to optimize recruiting efforts in order to stay ahead of competition in the war for best talent (cf. Isson et al., 2016, p. 34).
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Sustainable human resource management

Sustainable human resource management

First, given the importance of talent in innovative activities and new product development, an HR program that supports talent is expected to strengthen innovation-related pursuits. Firms are increasingly facing a War for Talent, as attracting and retaining talent provides firms with sustainable competitiveness [ 77 ]. Huselid at al. [ 78 ] argue that there is disproportionate importance placed on a firm’s ability to execute some parts of its strategy and wide variability in the quality of work displayed among employees in different positions. While the term talent does not have a widely accepted definition, it is often reported that firms, in practice, define talent as executives, directors, or A-player managers in all functions, or future business leaders with more strategic capabilities than just skills related to operational excellence [ 79 ]. One of the most adopted definitions for talent management is “activities and processes that involve the systematic identification of key positions that differentially contribute to the organization’s sustainable competitive advantage, the development of a talent pool of high-potential and high-performing incumbents to fill these roles, and the development of a differentiated human resource architecture to facilitate filling these positions with competent incumbents, and to ensure their continued commitment to the organization,” by Collings and Mellahi [ 70 ] (p. 305). Talent management is closely related to the improvement of operational excellence since a firm’s talent is comprised of key decision makers who can handle complex decision processes [ 80 ]. Talent provides creative ideas and knowledge creation and enables organizations to improve competitiveness [ 81 – 83 ]. Managing critical talent within the organization is especially important for firms that face uncertainties as talent is most needed when firms have important strategic decisions to make. Joyce and Slocum [ 84 ] find that an organization’s particular strategic situation increases the need for talent management as it allows the organization to achieve its highest levels of performance. Hence, we expect that the innovation process will be handled more efficiently by firms that have practices that support talent.
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Microfoundations of strategic management: Toward micro–macro research in the resource-based theory

Microfoundations of strategic management: Toward micro–macro research in the resource-based theory

Managerial intervention One of the main ideas that microfoundations emphasize is the fundamental mandate of strategic management: to enable managers to gain and sustain competitive advantage through their decisions and actions. To achieve this, man- agerial intervention is required, which inevitably has to take place at the micro level ( Abell et al., 2008; Foss, 2010 ). A correlation between collective culture and collective out- comes tells the manager very little about what should be done to change culture. It makes little sense to argue that managers can directly intervene on the level of capabili- ties. However, managers can influence capabilities by hiring key employees or by changing human resources policies, all of which involve the micro level. The collectivist orienta- tion underlying the capabilities approach provides a radical departure from the raison d’etre of strategic management, which ought to provide actionable and useful theoretical insights for the practicing manager. Microfoundations try to align with this key characteristic of strategy. The origins of collective concepts are likely to be at the individual level and ultimately to be rooted in purposeful and intentional action ( Felin and Foss, 2005 ).
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Editorial: Electronic Human Resource Management. Transformation of HRM

Editorial: Electronic Human Resource Management. Transformation of HRM

Recent studies on e-HRM applications suggest that these are now pushing HRM into a more strategic transformation, by supporting HR decisions with adequate de- scriptive and prognostic information. Electronic recruiting, training, compensation and many other HRM areas have unlocked a world of possibilities: by introducing new actors to HRM, by involving line managers in people management, by supporting a

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Personnel economics: An economic approach to human resource management

Personnel economics: An economic approach to human resource management

quate to describe companies’ training decisions. Such models have the advantage that they clearly show how institutional influences and market forces as well as strategic decisions act together to produce a specific training strategy. This in turn helps to find out how e.g. politically induced changes in a vocational training system will influence the amount and the kind of companies training activities. From an international per- spective it is clearly shown that different training measures are functionally equivalent to working with a skilled workforce. Therefore, international comparisons should no longer look at formal or certified training activities only. They should pursue a broader view in order to get a realistic picture of the competitiveness of companies. Further- more, political discussions should no longer concentrate on improving initial voca- tional education. Surely, the well regulated German dual system once more proved to be competitive. However, the (more or less voluntary) further training strategies of French companies proved to be successful as well. In a world where technological in- novations and skills become obsolete ever quicker, the competence to repair skill defi- ciencies and thereby to cope with constant change and ever changing skill require- ments may become a competitive advantage. If companies like French companies, have already developed routines to compensate for all kinds of occurring skill defi- ciencies they should be well prepared for those future challenges. Furthermore, one can expect that their employees will also have only few problems in accepting ongoing change and constant further training requirements and will probably easier adjust to the needs of lifelong learning. French workers for example are used to go through on- going training to become a skilled worker, whereas for German workers the successful completion of an apprenticeship was more or less a guarantee for a lifelong skilled works position. Therefore, the main challenge for German vocational education and training institutions is to motivate companies as well as employees to rethink. Dual Vocational Education is still a major success factor and should be preserved. How- ever, it will no longer be sufficient to rely on initial training. In future, significantly more emphasis should be laid on building up a similarly successful institutional frame- work for further training (Backes-Gellner 1995).
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Human Resource Management – Eine Annäherung in kritischer Absicht

Human Resource Management – Eine Annäherung in kritischer Absicht

Der wissenschaftliche Kontext, innerhalb dessen HRM-Diskurse stattfinden, ist in Deutschland (wie auch in Österreich und teilweise in der Schweiz) auch bemer- kenswert anders. Während in den USA das HRM in den Business Schools namhafter Universitäten entwickelt und in Ausbildungskonzepte umgesetzt wurde und während in GB der HRM-Diskurs maßgeblich von Wissenschaftlern mit einem IR-Hintergrund bestritten wurde, traf HRM in Deutschland (D) auf eine aufstrebende wissenschaftli- che Disziplin, die Personalwirtschaftslehre (o.ä.), die sich innerhalb der Betriebswirt- schaftslehre (BWL) etabliert hatte. Dies hatte zweierlei zur Folge. Zum Einen waren die Fachvertreter primär BWLer (vgl. Müller 1999: 468). Ihnen war die Verbindung zu anderen Teilbereichen der BWL (Rechnungswesen, Finanzierung, aber auch zu dem sich entwickelnden Gebiet des Strategischen Management) selbstverständlich, so dass eine Verknüpfung („strategic integration“) der Personalaspekte mit anderen Funkti- onsbereichen üblich war. Zum Anderen waren die Wissenschaftler durch ihre Fach- Sozialisation davor gefeit, nicht auf jedes Modewort („buzz word“), was über den Atlantik drang, aufzuspringen. Diese Skepsis rührte nicht, wie in GB, aus der sozial- wissenschaftlichen Orientierung der ehemaligen IR-Wissenschaftler, vielmehr versteht sich die deutschsprachige BWL überwiegend weniger als Managementlehre sondern als „Wissenschaft“ – ein Status, der den Anfängen dieser Disziplin in den Handels- hochschulen nach 1900 lange bestritten worden war, insbesondere von den akademi- schen Disziplingen Jura und VWL, bzw. Staatswissenschaften. Der Stachel der Nicht- Anerkennung steckt tief im Fleisch der BWL und man wollte diesem Makel im Laufe der Fachgeschichte immer wieder durch eigene wissenschaftstheoretische Bemühun- gen entgegenwirken. Es ist bezeichnend, dass eine der wenigen deutschen Auseinan- dersetzungen mit dem HRM-Konzept (Festing et al. 1998) dessen Verwendbarkeit für den deutschen Kontext mit dem Hauptargument ablehnte, dass es nicht den Charak- ter einer „Theorie“ aufweise!
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Innovative Human Resource Management

Innovative Human Resource Management

About the author Světlana Myslivcová is a professional assistant in the Department of Marketing and Trade at the Technical University of Liberec. Her teaching activities are focused on the subjects of marketing, strategic marketing, consumer behaviour, business ethics in the European context and ethics in public administration. For the past three years, Myslivcová's research activities have addressed the issue of personnel marketing. She is currently the principal investigator of the SGS project, the co-investigator of a facultative project and she is also participating in the OP VVV-ROLIZ project in the field of human resource development. The author can be contacted at
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European Human Resource Management: Researching developments over time

European Human Resource Management: Researching developments over time

Can we distinguish a version of HRM in Europe that is different from the ver- sions existing in, for example, Japan or the USA? The latter case is of particular sig- nificance, given the power of the US version of human resource management. It has been argued that the US is an inappropriate model for Europe (see Cox/Cooper 1985; Thurley/Wirdenius 1991; Pieper 1990; Brewster 1994; Brewster 1995b). The vision of HRM that has come to us in Europe from the USA is culture bound (Trompenaars 1994; Adler/Jelinek 1986) and in particular a view of HRM as based on the largely un- constrained exercise of managerial autonomy has been attacked as being peculiarly American (Guest 1990; Brewster 1993; Brewster 1995b). In Europe, organizations are not so autonomous. They exist within a system which constrains (or supports) them, first, at the national level, by culture and by extensive legal and institutional limitations on the nature of the contract of employment, and second, at the organizational level, by patterns of ownership (by the State, by the banking and finance system and by families) which are distinct from those in the USA. It has been argued elsewhere (Brewster 1993) that a new ‘European’ model of HRM is required, one that takes ac- count of State and trade union involvement – a concept of HRM which directs us to re-examine the industrial relations system approach outlined in 1958 by Dunlop (Brewster 1995a).
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Human resource management and economic success: An Australian perspective

Human resource management and economic success: An Australian perspective

7. Performance Management . Australia’s unfair dismissal laws have often pre- sented a challenge to managers lacking the skills necessary to conduct effective employee performance through traditional employee appraisal systems (Way 2003b). Nevertheless, assessing employee performance by adopting performance management techniques in both the private and public sectors, especially among white collar workers, increased significantly during the 1990s (De Cieri/Kramer 2003: 286). Moving beyond the narrow focus of performance appraisals, per- formance management has developed in response to the globalisation of Austra- lian industries. In its modern Australian context, performance management at- tempts to move beyond the traditional focus of employee appraisals in an attempt to align individual behaviour and outcomes with a firm’s global business strategy. Given the difficulties of geographic and cultural distance faced by many Austra- lian firms operating in the international market, performance management is now very much entrenched as part of a firm’s overall management system (Dowling/Welch 2004: 235). By aligning individual behaviour and outcomes with global business strategy, managers expect these behaviours and outcomes at both the subsidiary level and at headquarters.
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The benefits of discourse analysis for Human Resource Management

The benefits of discourse analysis for Human Resource Management

3.1 Experience management as a current topic in HRM Given the increasing abundance and complexity of knowledge in today’s business en- vironments, knowledge management has come to be an important topic for HR de- partments, if not even a means of establishing a competitive advantage (e.g. Frappaolo 2006, 2; Mertens et al. 2003, 1). Both companies and Human Resource Management researchers deal with the question of how individuals and organisations gain, transfer, organise and conserve knowledge. Experience management is a specific subarea of knowledge management that focuses on the question of how companies can conserve and use the individual experiences of their staff. Whereas knowledge is primarily a cog- nitive achievement or process, experience is a form of implicit knowledge or know-how, that includes an emotional component and that is difficult to communicate and to transfer. Already Polanyi (1966) who introduced the term in the 1960’s argued that implicit knowledge is very difficult to verbalise and thus to transfer. For the discussion of the question of how experiences can be transferred, we have to distinguish between two specific forms of experience or implicit knowledge: First, individuals can have ex- perience, ‘know-how’ or ‘tacit knowledge’ (Polanyi 1966) concerning practical skills and technical aspects (e.g. to know how to handle certain machines). This form of practical knowledge or know-how, that can be learnt by instruction, imitation or one’s own experience, was not part of the focus of our project. Second, there is a form of experience (or implicit knowledge learnt by experience), that is unconscious but that can be verbalised. For example, managers have experiences concerning the question of how to manage complex projects and how to motivate people. The implicit knowl- edge gained by these experiences is often unconscious and most often it cannot easily be verbalised. Since in practice, managers actually try to explain and transfer such knowledge, the question of our project was how managers communicatively realise such a transfer of experiences.
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Creating service excellence through Human Resource Management practices

Creating service excellence through Human Resource Management practices

University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), Bellville, South Africa Suggested Citation: Browning, Victoria (1998) : Creating service excellence through Human Resource Management practices, South African Journal of Business Management, ISSN 2078-5976, African Online Scientific Information Systems (AOSIS), Cape Town, Vol. 29, Iss. 4, pp. 135-141,

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