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Human resource flexibility and performance in the hotel industry: The role of organizational ambidexterity

Mercedes Úbeda-García (Departament d’Organitzacio d’Empreses, Universitat d’Alacant, Alicante, Spain)
Enrique Claver-Cortés (Departament d’Organitzacio d’Empreses, Universitat d’Alacant, Alicante, Spain)
Bartolomé Marco-Lajara (Departament d’Organitzacio d’Empreses, Universitat d’Alacant, Alicante, Spain)
Patrocinio Zaragoza-Sáez (Departament d’Organitzacio d’Empreses, Universitat d’Alacant, Alicante, Spain)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore if human resource (HR) flexibility facilitates the development of organizational ambidexterity, which in turn has positive effects on firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The research hypotheses are tested by partial least squares with data from a sample of 100 Spanish hotels.

Findings

The results confirm a total mediator effect of organizational ambidexterity on the relationship between HR flexibility and performance. However, it was not possible to check that such flexibility directly influences performance. This may be due to the fact that HR flexibility has a gradual effect on the development of organizational ambidexterity.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study contribute to the knowledge on the impact of HR flexibility on performance. This paper, thus, stresses the strategic role that HRs play within organizations, insofar as their flexibility makes it possible to develop a highly relevant organizational capability such as ambidexterity. The study’s limitations are the analysis technique utilized (it assumes linearity between latent variables) and that the research only explores the hotel industry.

Practical implications

HR managers need to consider that HR flexibility contributes to developing organizational ambidexterity and the ability to combine the learning of exploration and exploitation, which affects the firm’s performance and, therefore its competitiveness.

Originality/value

The results of this study can contribute to broaden the knowledge about the impact of HR flexibility on performance. In fact, the studies on HR flexibility performed so far have focused on analysing the role played by that flexibility as a mediator variable between high performance work system and performance. This work goes one step further, trying to examine the extent to which HR flexibility influences the ability to undertake exploitation and exploration processes at the same time. This paper, thus, stresses the strategic role that HRs play within organizations, insofar as their flexibility makes it possible to develop a highly relevant organizational capability as is ambidexterity.

Keywords

Citation

Úbeda-García, M., Claver-Cortés, E., Marco-Lajara, B. and Zaragoza-Sáez, P. (2017), "Human resource flexibility and performance in the hotel industry: The role of organizational ambidexterity", Personnel Review, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 824-846. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-12-2015-0315

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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