A distinguishing feature of strategic human resource management research is an emphasis on human resource (HR) systems, rather than individual HR practices as a driver of individual and organizational performance. Yet, there remains a lack of agreement regarding what these systems are, which practices comprise these systems, how these systems operate, and how they should be studied. Our goal in this paper is to take a step toward identifying and addressing several conceptual and methodological issues regarding HR systems. Conceptually, we argue that HR systems should be targeted toward some strategic objective and operate by influencing (1) employee knowledge, skills, and abilities, (2) employee motivation and effort, and (3) opportunities for employees to contribute. Methodologically, we explore issues related to the relationships among policies and practices, sampling issues, identifying the appropriate referent group(s), and who should serve as key informants for HR system studies.
Lepak, D.P., Liao, H., Chung, Y. and Harden, E.E. (2006), "A Conceptual Review of Human Resource Management Systems in Strategic Human Resource Management Research", Martocchio, J.J. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 25), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 217-271. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-7301(06)25006-0
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