Human Resource Management and Performance: a matter of people, processes and strategy

Rita Bissola, Tanya Bondarouk, Martina Gianecchini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Significant research attention has been devoted over the past 20 years to understanding how HRM can facilitate the accomplishment of a firm’s strategic goals. Huselid’s (1995) study on the relationship between HR practices and corporate financial performance serves as the seminal work in this area. Numerous researches have built upon this foundation, obtaining consistent and promising, but also conflicting and weak results (Guest, 2011). Limitations of this domain also refer to theoretical base because of its reference uniquely to the Resource Based View perspective (Chadwick & Dabu, 2009). Based on doubtful interpretation of the empirical results, Guest (1997) , made a plea for more theory driven research. Later on, Wright and Boswell (2002) suggested a typology of four HRM research areas based on two dimensions: the level of analysis (individual/group or organizational, also named micro/macro) and the number of HR practices (single or multiple). The suggested four areas of research offer a multilevel and comprehensive framework of analysis for studying the “HRM – firm performance” link not only within each area, but also in the overlaps between the micro and macro domains (Paauwe, 2009). The integration of these two levels suggests designing a differentiated HR architecture within firms aligned with the strategic value of the jobs (Huselid and Becker, 2011). But empirical evidence on this theory still lack. However, it is yet unclear whether the emphasis on financial performance as an outcome variable in the “HRM – firm performance” studies is enough and sufficient to validate the contribution of HRM. Jenssen & Steyaert (2009) put it even stronger, suggesting that the emphasis on the financial performance is misleading, and as an alternative they propose adopting a stakeholders’ perspective on performance. In short, we depart from the idea that the current “HRM – firm performance” studies lack theoretical, methodological, and empirical rigor, and therefore, we call for new conceptualizations on this subject.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationN/A
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventWorkshop dei Docenti e Ricercatori di Organizzazione Aziendale - Verona
Duration: 27 May 201228 May 2012


ConferenceWorkshop dei Docenti e Ricercatori di Organizzazione Aziendale


  • HR architectures
  • Performance
  • Strategic Human Resource Management

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