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Offering choice in benefits: a new Dutch HRM arrangement

Carlien Hillebrink (Utrecht School of Economics, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Joop Schippers (Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands and Institute of Labour Studies (OSA), Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Anneke van Doorne‐Huiskes (Department of Social Sciences, Utrecht University. Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Pascale Peters (Department of Business Administration, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 11 July 2008




The purpose of this study is to examine what kinds of Dutch organisations offer their employees a choice in the composition of their benefits with the aid of a theoretical model that incorporates insights from rational choice theory, the theory of institutional pressures and the bundles of human resource management (HRM) theory.


To test the theoretical model data were collected from nearly 600 Dutch organisations in the market sector. Multivariate binary logistic regression analyses were used to analyse these data.


The research showed that flexible benefit plans (FBPs) are widespread and show a considerable degree of consistency in the options they offer. FBPs are most likely to be offered by organisations that have freedom to manoeuvre in their benefits, that witness other organisations around them offering such arrangements, and that offer HRM policies and practices that are strongly focussed on the combination of work and family, and on flexibility in working arrangements.

Research limitations/implications

Attention to HRM policies in addition to a combination of rational choice and institutional theory proved valuable in explaining the uptake of a new arrangement, and this merits further exploration.

Practical implications

FPBs offer Dutch organisations the opportunity to give their employees more choice in the way they are paid, and to adjust this pay to their personal situation. Offering this choice fits in with a family‐friendly HRM structure and increases flexibility for both parties.


The paper provides useful information on FBPs.



Hillebrink, C., Schippers, J., van Doorne‐Huiskes, A. and Peters, P. (2008), "Offering choice in benefits: a new Dutch HRM arrangement", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 304-322.



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Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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