HR flexibility and firm performance: analysis of a multi-level causal model

Ketkar, S. and Sett, P.K. 2009. HR flexibility and firm performance: analysis of a multi-level causal model. International Journal of Human Resource Management. 20 (5), pp. 1009-1038. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585190902850240

TitleHR flexibility and firm performance: analysis of a multi-level causal model
AuthorsKetkar, S. and Sett, P.K.
Abstract

Human resource flexibility as a construct, how it develops, and its effect on firm performance have not received adequate attention in strategic HRM literature in spite of their obvious importance in today's dynamic competitive environment. Based on a study of 98 manufacturing and 103 service firms in India, this paper addresses these issues by developing and testing a multi-level model that attempts to explore the 'black box' of the interlinkages between the various components of HR flexibility and firm-level human, operational, and financial outcomes. The results suggest that a certain set of ambidextrous HR practices constitute a distinct dimension of HR flexibility, beyond the dimensions of flexibilities of skill, behaviour and HR practices as already identified in the existing literature. Evidences from both manufacturing and service sectors support the notion of HR value chain that suggests that HR system has a direct impact on firm-level HR outcomes which are most proximal, and its effects on increasingly more distal operational and financial outcomes are mediated by HR outcomes that it produces. Another important finding is that HR practices as a system have both direct and indirect (mediated by behavioural flexibility) effects on firm-level HR outcomes. Existence of significant direct effects highlights the important role that HR practices play as a structural mechanism in achieving superior firm performance.

JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Journal citation20 (5), pp. 1009-1038
ISSN0958-5192
YearMay 2009
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09585190902850240
Publication dates
PublishedMay 2009

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