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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Klaas Szierbowski-Seibel and Ruediger Kabst

Two simultaneous trends have arisen in the field of HRM: the development of the human resource (HR) function toward a more strategic, value adding unit and the trend of HR…

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Abstract

Purpose

Two simultaneous trends have arisen in the field of HRM: the development of the human resource (HR) function toward a more strategic, value adding unit and the trend of HR outsourcing (HRO). Opinions are divided in the field of HRM research regarding the interdependences between these two trends and whether the HR function has a positive or negative effect. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to examine the triangular relationship among strategic HR integration, the HR-to-employee ratio and HRO.

Design/methodology/approach

This study analyses data from three large evaluations conducted in 14 European countries and compares the results obtained from the 2000, 2005 and 2010 Cranet survey waves. For the hypotheses, a multilevel regression design was used.

Findings

The results allow concluding that HRO supports the professionalization of the HR function in an effort to make it a strategic asset.

Research limitations/implications

This study extends prior understandings of the theoretical perspective on HRO and its organizational impact. The sample is nested within 14 European countries and influenced by cultural aspects and institutional factors. These influences could be an exciting avenue for further research.

Practical implications

This paper includes important implications for HR practitioners. The results support a rather optimistic view of the HR function regarding its relationship with HRO and the latter’s impact on the HR-to-employee ratio and strategic HR integration.

Originality/value

The study answers the question: has HRO downsized internal HR staff over the past decade, and how is it related to the strategic integration of the HR function? In this context, this study analyses Cranet data to contribute to the discussion on the development of strategic HR integration and the impact of HRO on such efforts. Moreover, the study examines the influence of HRO on internal HR staff based on the theoretical framework of the resource-based view.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 39 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2018

Klaas Szierbowski-Seibel

This paper aims to separately consider studies from the three major economies, the USA, Europe and China, to illustrate differences and similarities. A comparison of these…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to separately consider studies from the three major economies, the USA, Europe and China, to illustrate differences and similarities. A comparison of these three clusters allows the author to conclude that the US human resource management (HRM) model was adopted by European and, subsequently, Chinese organizations through the mechanism of mimetic isomorphism. In addition, the majority of studies have confirmed that certain HR procedures have a positive impact on organizational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay reviews and reappraises existing empirical studies in the field of HRM and organizational performance.

Findings

As European organizations adopted HRM configurations and the notion that HR should play a more strategic role from US organizations, the review suggests that Chinese organizations are now imitating US and European HRM. In all summarized studies, there is robust empirical evidence that the HR function is able to directly add value and improve organizational performance.

Originality/value

The study compares Chinese to Western HR functions and examines the effectiveness of strategic HRM by evaluating the existing research. At a minimum, in response to the title of the manuscript and the question, “do Chinese organizations adopt appropriate HRM policies?”, the general answer is yes. Given the mechanism of mimetic isomorphism, it can be assumed that Chinese organizations adopt the most efficient HR configurations from Western organizations. The summarized studies also support the prediction that subsidiaries of Western multinational organizations accelerate the development of the Chinese HR functions.

Details

Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8005

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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

The German author set out to review existing studies of human resource management (HRM) in the USA, Europe, and China. His goal was to assess whether Chinese organizations…

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364

Abstract

Purpose

The German author set out to review existing studies of human resource management (HRM) in the USA, Europe, and China. His goal was to assess whether Chinese organizations had successfully imitated the HR strategies of organizations in Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

The author first reviewed studies of organizations in the US, where HRM strategies originated. He then turned to studies of European organizations. Only then did he turn to China and assess the many studies of HRM's effect on organizations there.

Findings

A clear process of copying western HR approaches was evident in China. The research confirmed that HRM could have a similarly positive effect in China as in the USA and Europe. But the results should be treated with caution, partly because the studies didn’t take into consideration environmental factors, such as industrial relations, unions, market conditions, and national culture.

Originality/value

The value was in demonstrating the enormous Chinese capacity to learn from Western HR strategies and benefit from them. It was also apparent that the differences in approaches were becoming narrower and narrower.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest , vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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