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Article

Mirta Diaz-Fernandez, Mar Bornay-Barrachina and Alvaro Lopez-Cabrales

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and innovation performance in Spanish manufacturing firms. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and innovation performance in Spanish manufacturing firms. The paper focuses on the number of existing patents, analyzing the extent to which this variable is favored by HRM practices. It will also assess the extent to which patents explain the firm performance and mediate in the relationship between the latter and HRM practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The objective is to assess these relationships using the Spanish Survey of Industrial Strategic Behavior. The longitudinal analysis focuses on the years between 2001 and 2008, a period of great economic growth in Spain.

Findings

The findings show that the most innovative firms were also the most competitive ones. Furthermore, employment security positively affects innovations over time and training on new technologies is associated with the number of patents, when overall compensation practices are high.

Practical implications

This study demonstrated the existence of two objectives that HR managers should be aiming at. On the one hand, the development of patents should be a priority for obtaining better results over time. On the other hand, management should invest in HRM practices because they favor innovation and are neither a waste of time nor resources.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature, surpassing the limitations of previous research, by assessing the role of HRM practices in innovation and company outcomes and by using a longitudinal study design.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article

Alvaro Lopez-Cabrales, Mar Bornay-Barrachina and Mirta Diaz-Fernandez

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the antecedents of the development of dynamic capabilities from an HRM perspective, considering the leading role of leadership…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the antecedents of the development of dynamic capabilities from an HRM perspective, considering the leading role of leadership styles and their potential impact on the orientation of HR systems and a firm’s capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors designed an empirical study of a sample of 107 Spanish industrial firms, asking HR, production and marketing managers to assess the CEO’s leadership styles, the system of HRM practices applied in their organizations and dynamic capabilities. They applied multiple regressions and mediation analysis.

Findings

The authors’ results suggest that both transactional and transformational leadership styles are positively associated with dynamic capabilities (sensing, seizing and reconfiguration), directly and indirectly, through their effects on HR systems.

Research limitations/implications

This paper approaches dynamic capabilities by using cross-sectional data. A longitudinal analysis would enrich this study. Also, the data aggregation in this paper does not allow to check different HR orientations from different departments. Finally, other HRM practices and strategic orientations could be assessed.

Practical implications

This paper highlights the need to develop CEOs who are able to combine leadership behaviors in such a way that they promote HR systems (skill-based development vs job-based development) and to use them as mediating mechanisms and in order to generate greater dynamic capabilities in the organization.

Originality/value

The authors are proposing that HRM can be applied to leverage a firm’s competitive advantage, as HR systems mediate for obtaining different dynamic capabilities. Second, it could be concluded that any CEO should combine or display traits of both forms of leadership styles (transformational and transactional) in order to develop the full range of dynamic capabilities. Finally, this paper can provide some insights into the way dynamic capabilities can be measured and approached, through HRM microfoundations.

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Article

Dolores de la Rosa-Navarro, Mirta Díaz-Fernández and Alvaro Lopez-Cabrales

A strong HRM system (encompassing the dimensions of distinctiveness, consistency and consensus) facilitates a collective interpretation of Human Resource Management (HRM…

Abstract

Purpose

A strong HRM system (encompassing the dimensions of distinctiveness, consistency and consensus) facilitates a collective interpretation of Human Resource Management (HRM) practices in a common direction, and consequently, a conjoint response by employees. The purpose of this paper is two fold: first to argue that those dimensions have a direct impact on the reaction of employees (organisational citizenship behaviour, OCB and intention to remain, IR); and second, the authors propose that these dimensions are not independent, but rather can interact in such a way that consensus impacts on the consistency of an HRM system, and consistency mediates the relationship between consensus and OCB and IR.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors surveyed HR managers and employees from a sample of 102 Spanish hotels. Specifically, HR managers were asked to complete a questionnaire assessing the dimensions of HRM strength, and employees completed a different questionnaire reporting their levels of OCB and IR. The authors examined the reliability and validity of measures by means of Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Finally, structural equations models were applied to test direct effects and mediating hypotheses.

Findings

As an initial finding, the authors obtained two dimensions of HRM strength: consistency and a new factor, which is a combination of distinctiveness and consensus, labelled the “Reputation” of the HRM system. A second result is that such the reputation of the HRM system positively affects OCB and IR. Third, consistency mediates in the relationships between the reputation of the HRM system and OCB and IR.

Research limitations/implications

Although the authors are aware of the limitations of our paper, regarding the cross-sectional data design and the assessment of HR strength by managers, the authors believe that the results highlight the importance of HRM system strength, since it affects individual outcomes.

Originality/value

One of the valuable contributions made by this paper is that the authors obtained two dimensions for HRM strength instead of the three proposed by Bowen and Ostroff (2004): consistency and reputation (as a combination of distinctiveness and consensus). The authors explain that the new dimension is related to the concept of employer branding, emphasising HRM system’s internal image, facilitating common expectations that guide employees towards the desired responses. Second, Reputation impacts Consistency, improving employees’ OCB and IR; hence, the dimensions of HRM system strength are not independent, but they are better able to interact in order to affect employee outcomes.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 42 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article

Yosdenis Urrutia-Badillo, Alvaro Lopez-Cabrales and Ramon Valle Cabrera

Using a multilevel approach, this theoretical paper aims to build a framework to explore the cognitive and non-cognitive dimensions of human capital, which may in turn…

Abstract

Purpose

Using a multilevel approach, this theoretical paper aims to build a framework to explore the cognitive and non-cognitive dimensions of human capital, which may in turn explain how they become a source of competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents several propositions to be empirically tested in further research using multilevel analysis. Starting at the individual level, four configurations of human capital are determined by considering cognitive and non-cognitive human capital. Based on these settings, interactions of human capital at intermediate or departmental level are discussed, taking into account the complexity of the task environment and psychosocial processes. These interactions constitute microfoundations, which explain why human capital may influence different types of organizational capabilities.

Findings

The theoretical analysis carried out allows proposing four configurations of human capital, combining individual cognitive and non-cognitive dimensions. These configurations form a human capital portfolio classifying different types of employees. In addition, this paper shows how individual human capital aggregates into departmental level and generates human capital emergence processes by contextualizing through the complex task environments and psychosocial processes. The development of these emergence processes enables proposing the association of certain organizational capabilities with cognitive elements of human capital (absorptive capacity, innovativeness and technical capacities), whereas a second group of organizational capabilities is linked to non-cognitive human capital aspects (organizational commitment, leadership and customer intimacy).

Originality/value

This paper combines individual dimensions in the study of the content of human capital from a multilevel and microfoundational approach, explaining the effects of emerging human capital on different organizational capabilities when human capital is contextualized at departmental level. This theoretical paper is a new step towards understanding and measuring the concept of human capital, enriching the resource-based view framework.

Propósito

Utilizando un enfoque multidimensional, este paper teórico tiene como objetivo el diseño de un marco conceptual que explore las dimensiones cognitivas y no cognitivas del capital humano, de cara a explicar cómo puede convertirse en fuente de ventaja competitiva.

Diseño

En este artículo se presentan varias proposiciones teóricas que pueden ser testadas empíricamente en investigaciones futuras a través de análisis multinivel. Comenzando a un nivel individual, se determinan cuatro configuraciones de capital humano, al considerar las dimensiones cognitivas y no cognitivas. En base a esto, a nivel intermedio o departamental se discuten las interacciones de capital humano, teniendo en consideración la complejidad del entorno de tareas y los procesos psicosociales. Dichas interacciones se convierten en microfundamentos que explican cómo el capital humano puede influir en diferentes capacidades organizativas a nivel de empresa.

Hallazgos

El análisis teórico que se realiza nos permite proponer cuatro configuraciones de capital humano al combinar las dimensiones individuales cognitivas y no cognitivas. Estas configuraciones forman un portafolio de capital humano que permiten clasificar cuatro tipos de trabajadores. Además, este artículo muestra cómo se agrega el capital humano individual a nivel departamental, generando procesos de surgimiento del capital humano, los cuales se contextualizan por la complejidad del entorno de tareas y los procesos psicosociales. Dicho proceso de surgimiento nos permite proponer la asociación de capacidades organizativas como la de absorción, innovación y tecnológica, con los elementos cognitivos del capital humano, mientras que un segundo grupo de capacidades organizativas (compromiso, liderazgo, intimidad con el cliente) se asocia a aspectos no cognitivos del capital humano.

Originalidad/valor

Este paper combina las dimensiones individuales del capital humano en el estudio de su contenido, desde una perspectiva multinivel y basada en microfundamentos, explicando los efectos del surgimiento del capital humano en diferentes capacidades organizativas, una vez que dicho capital humano se contextualiza a nivel departamental. Este paper teórico sería un paso más en el conocimiento y medición del capital humano, enriqueciendo el marco de la Teoría Basada en los Recursos.

Propósito

Usando uma abordagem multidimensional, este paper teórico tem como objetivo a construção dum marco conceptual que explore as dimensões cognitivas e não cognitivas do capital humano, de modo a explicar como se pode tornar em fonte de vantagem competitiva.

Concepção

Neste artigo apresentam-se várias proposições teóricas que podem ser testadas empiricamente em futuras pesquisas através da análise multinível. Partindo dum nível individual, determinam-se quatro configurações de capital humano, considerando as dimensões cognitivas e não cognitivas. Baseado nisto, a nível intermédio ou departamental debatem-se as interações do capital humano, tendo em consideração a complexidade do ambiente de tarefas e os processos psicossociais. Ditas interações constituem-se em microfundamentos que explicam como o capital humano pode influir em diferentes capacidades organizacionais a nível de empresa.

Achados

A análise teórica realizada nos permite propor quatro configurações de capital humano ao combinar as dimensões individuais cognitivas e não cognitivas. Essas configurações formam um portfólio de capital humano que permitem classificar quatro tipos de trabalhadores. Aliás, este artigo mostra como se agrega o capital humano a nível departamental, gerando processos de surgimento do capital humano, os quais contextualizam-se pela complexidade dos ambientes de tarefas e dos processos psicossociais. O desenvolvimento destes processos de surgimento nos permite propor a associação de determinadas capacidades organizacionais como a de absorção, a de inovação e a tecnológica, com os elementos cognitivos do capital humano, enquanto que um segundo grupo de capacidades organizacionais (compromisso, liderança, proximidade com o cliente) está ligado a aspectos não cognitivos do capital humano.

Originalidade/valor

Este paper combina as dimensões individuais no estudo do conteúdo do capital humano desde uma perspectiva multinível e micro-fundacional, explicando os efeitos do surgimento do capital humano em diferentes capacidades organizacionais quando o capital humano se contextualiza a nível departamental. Este paper teórico seria mais um passo no conhecimento e medição do conceito do capital humano, enriquecendo o marco da Teoria Baseada nos Recursos.

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Article

Andrés Salas-Vallina, Álvaro López-Cabrales, Joaquin Alegre and Rafael Fernández

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between transformational leadership (TFL), organizational learning capability (OLC) and happiness at work…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between transformational leadership (TFL), organizational learning capability (OLC) and happiness at work (HAW), and offers a new measure for HAW.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used confirmatory factor analysis to test the theoretical model in order to check the psychometric properties of HAW. They examined a sample of 167 medical staff working in allergy units, which represents a response rate of 25 per cent.

Findings

The research showed that HAW can be measured using the proposed new measurement scale, and that TFL predicts HAW through the mediating role of OLC.

Practical implications

The results suggest that hospital managers and heads of allergy services should consider the effects of TFL, under certain learning conditions, to enhance HAW.

Originality/value

This research is the first that examines the effects of TFL and OLC on HAW, a higher order construct that has been implemented closely following previous research.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article

Mirta Diaz-Fernandez, Mar Bornay-Barrachina and Alvaro Lopez-Cabrales

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource (HR) practices and innovative performance in the Spanish industry. Specifically, the authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the relationship between human resource (HR) practices and innovative performance in the Spanish industry. Specifically, the authors will focus on innovativeness, analysing the extent to which this capability is favoured by some human resource management (HRM) practices as investments on training and whether it is also affected by the use of full time and/or temporary workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose the assessment of these relationships by means of the Spanish Survey of Industrial Strategic Behaviour. The authors focus the longitudinal analysis on the period 2001-2008, years of the highest economic growth in Spain during the last decades.

Findings

The findings show that the most innovative firms are also the most competitive ones in terms of added value. Moreover, while a significant and positive relationship between the use of full-time workers and innovativeness is demonstrated, the role of temporary workers employees remains unclear. Finally, and surprisingly, training investments on new technologies, languages and data processes do not have any impact on innovativeness. The paper is closed with a discussion about some lessons the authors may learn from these wealthy years and the role played by HRM investments on firms.

Practical implications

This study demonstrates the existence of two objectives that managers should seek to achieve. On one side, they should focus on innovation as a way of increasing firm performance. And, on the other side, managers should invest on specific training, in order to develop more innovative and profitable organizations.

Originality/value

This paper proposes and tests a model where innovation mediates the relationships between HRM practices and performance. Such mediation would be a contribution to the strategic HRM field as very recent research call for the study of new mediators. Also, this paper employs panel data (2001-2008) for assessing these relationships. This is worthy because it is coherent with the idea of internal development of capabilities, instead of cross-sectional analyses and because the authors may infer causality with the study design, as it is demanded by researchers.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

Keywords

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Article

Álvaro López‐Cabrales, Juan C. Real and Ramón Valle

This paper has three purposes: first, to study whether organizational learning capability (OLC) is related to human resource management (HRM) practices such as selection…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was conducted with a sample of companies in the most innovative sectors of Spanish industry, applying the partial least squares (PLS) technique.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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Article

Alvaro López‐Cabrales, Ramon Valle and Jose L. Galan

This paper seeks to analyse whether the firm model of employment relationships is associated with functional flexibility and organisational learning (exploratory versus…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to analyse whether the firm model of employment relationships is associated with functional flexibility and organisational learning (exploratory versus exploitative). It also aims to assess the mediating effect of functional flexibility in the relationship between a specific employment mode (mutual investment) and organisational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This research was conducted using a sample of Spanish companies in the food industry, from which data from HR managers and production managers in each firm were collected. Cluster analyses, MANOVA and regression analyses were applied to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results suggest that those firms developing a mutual investment employment relationship outperform other firms in terms of functional flexibility and organisational learning (both exploitative and exploratory learning). The paper also finds a mediating effect of one dimension of functional flexibility (range‐number of activities) between mutual investment and exploitative learning.

Research limitations/implications

The principal limitation of this paper is the cross‐sectional study design, because the dynamic character of learning would require a longitudinal study design. The main research implications are derived from the combination of employment relationships, variety of dimensions of flexibility and learning, and identification of a model of direct and mediating effects among variables.

Practical implications

The results of this paper suggest that a model of employment relationships (mutual investment) favours not only functional flexibility but also ambidextrous learning. Thus, the findings not only provide a broader understanding of the variables associated with HRM, employment relationships and/or flexibility, but also reinforce the strategic role of HRM through its contribution to the development of such a relevant organisational capability that learning represents.

Originality/value

The paper combined a series of variables that previous studies have rarely treated in combination: employment relationships, functional flexibility and exploitative versus exploratory learning. This paper also discusses different dimensions of functional flexibility (range‐number of activities, heterogeneity, mobility, and uniformity), demonstrating the association of some of these dimensions with exploratory or exploitative learning.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

Content available
Article

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Content available

Abstract

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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