Title page for ETD etd-01172008-124835

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Herdman, Andrew Orr
URN etd-01172008-124835
Title Explaining the Relationship Between the Hr System and Firm Performance: a Test of the Strategic Hrm Framework.
Degree PhD
Department Management
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Arthur, Jeffrey B. Committee Chair
Carlson, Kevin D. Committee Member
Cobb, Anthony Terry Committee Member
Gnyawali, Devi R. Committee Member
Lang, James R. Committee Member
  • hr system measures
  • employee attitudes behaviors
  • hotel performance
  • strategic human resource management
Date of Defense 2008-01-16
Availability unrestricted
Recent meta-analytic treatments of the Strategic Human Resource Management literature suggest a relationship between the adoption of ‘high-commitment’ HR practices and organization level performance outcomes (Combs, Lui, Hall & Ketchen, 2006). However, there is considerable variability in the manner in which the HR system construct is conceptualized and measured (Arthur & Boyles, 2007; Delaney & Huselid, 1996). Further, relative little attention has been given to how these systems of HR practices operate to influence organizational outcomes (Ostroff & Bowen, 2000). Drawing on the extant SHRM literature, the present study attempts to lend clarity to these issues by specifying and assessing a number of unique measures of the HR system. Several attitudinal, motivation and behavioral employee outcomes are also identified and assessed as possible mediators between the HR system measures and organizational outcomes. An integrated model proposing relationships both among these measures and their effects on various organizational outcomes is offered and tested.

Data obtained from 202 hotel locations provided mixed support for the proposed model of relationships. However, results generally support the relationships between measures of the HR System and important organizational outcomes. Findings also reinforce the utility of expanding the measurement of the HR system beyond the formally established HR programs, the need to better understand intra-organizational variability in HR systems along functional lines and the challenges and opportunities inherent in multi-respondent designs. Finally, the failure to demonstrate the mediating role of the specified human capital characteristics in HR’s relationship with firm performance presents a continued challenge to future research to effectively model this relationship.

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