This paper has three purposes: first, to study whether organizational learning capability (OLC) is related to human resource management (HRM) practices such as selection, development, appraisals and rewards; second, to assess to what extent the value and uniqueness of human capital is associated with OLC; and lastly, to consider the possible mediating role of human capital in the relationships between HRM practices and OLC.
This research was conducted with a sample of companies in the most innovative sectors of Spanish industry, applying the partial least squares (PLS) technique.
The results in this paper demonstrate the direct association of selection and appraisals practices and both dimensions of human capital with learning. Furthermore, developmental practices are associated with the value of human capital, and the selection and appraisal practices are related to uniqueness. Therefore, human capital is partially mediating the relationships between HRM practices and OLC.
The principal limitation of the paper comes from the cross‐sectional nature of the research, especially the dynamic character of the OLC and the absence of causality test, which requires the necessity of a longitudinal study design.
The results of this paper suggest first that a firm focused on learning needs to incorporate HRM practices such as potential‐based selection and appraisals. Second, it is also necessary to take into consideration that learning is associated with a firm's human capital of greater value and/or uniqueness. Third, the management of the value and uniqueness of human capital requires different HRM practices in each case. This will allow managers to apply appropriate HRM practices according to the type of human capital that is needed.
The results in the paper suggest a relationship between human capital and the value and uniqueness of employees' knowledge and this human capital is associated to HRM practices. A final contribution of this paper is the assumption of human capital as a mediating variable in the relationship between HRM practices and OLC.
López‐Cabrales, Á., Real, J. and Valle, R. (2011), "Relationships between human resource management practices and organizational learning capability: The mediating role of human capital", Personnel Review, Vol. 40 No. 3, pp. 344-363. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483481111118658Download as .RIS
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