Title

Strategic Dilemmas: How Managers Use HR Practices to Meet Multiple Goals

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2019

Abstract

© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Contrary to the classic assumptions in the business and human resource (HR) strategy literatures, real-world organizations often pursue multiple and potentially contradictory performance goals. They may adopt ‘hybrid’ strategies to maximize both differentiation and low cost — leading middle managers to face dilemmas in how to achieve different goals using the same HR practices. We link employee-level surveys of HR practices to establishment-level data on service quality, labour efficiency and profitability to examine the effects of HR practices on these outcomes. We find that establishments with greater use of high involvement practices have significantly higher service quality, which mediates the relationship between HR practices and profitability. Findings for labour efficiency are positive, but generally not significant. These findings also have implications for the quality of jobs.

Publication Name

British Journal of Industrial Relations

Volume Number

57

First Page

513

Last Page

539

Issue Number

3

DOI

10.1111/bjir.12433

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