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Do big data-driven HR practices improve HR service quality and innovation competency of SMEs

Surabhi Verma (Center for Integrative Innovation Management and Department of Marketing and Management, SDU, Odense, Denmark)
Vibhav Singh (Human Resource Management, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management and Higher Studies, Navi Mumbai, India)
Som Sekhar Bhattacharyya (Department of Strategic Management, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 5 October 2020

Issue publication date: 15 July 2021




Today, big data (BD) is considered as a crucial investment for firms to stay competitive. However, the human resource (HR) function within small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been slow to adopt this innovation. Drawing on the organizational learning theory (OLT), this study aims to propose that BD can improve HR functions, especially of SMEs, thereby yielding them a competitive edge.


This study analyzed unstructured data from 41 journal papers, based on which, a conceptual framework was developed. Further, this framework was validated with responses collected from 148 SMEs in India.


Bibliometric analysis and results of partial least squares techniques revealed that better BD quality is needed to improve HR practices, human resource service quality (HRSQ) and innovation competency of SMEs.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to the extant literature by considering strategic management theories such as resource-based view and OLT to evaluate BDA’s effect on organizational functional practices such as HR and HRSQ.

Practical implications

In Indian SMEs, BD quality has a substantial effect on BD HR practices and HRSQ. However, these factors influence can constructively impact SMEs, if SMEs are open to organizational change, whereby they need to develop technical skills and competencies of the HR professionals.


Though BD research works have shown exponential growth in recent times, scholarly empirical research investigating BD’s impact upon human resource management (HRM) is scarce. The present study appraises extant literature on BD in HRM.



The authors would like to acknowledge the valuable insights given by the Editor, Associate Editor, and reviewers to improve the article.

Funding: There is no funding for this project.


Verma, S., Singh, V. and Bhattacharyya, S.S. (2021), "Do big data-driven HR practices improve HR service quality and innovation competency of SMEs", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 29 No. 4, pp. 950-973.



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