Abstract and Keywords
The theoretical model of the CBHRT — which includes factors such as industrial relations, strategy, human resource management, and performance — was proved to have value on the sectoral, individual organization, and international comparative levels. In attempting to achieve the balance between social justice and competitiveness to further the uniqueness of HRM, this book has tried to illustrate some practical insights on HR roles and introduce the 4logic HRM scorecard. Research and development in the area of HRM and performance carries on as this proves to be a relevant topic for enchancing the competitive advantage of firms. HRM is concerned with several issues regarding legitimacy, fairness, sustainability, and other such issues. This concluding chapter realizes that it takes a lot to study the factors that shape HRM practices and policies, and it is important for practitioners to consider a unique HRM approach that is appropriate for their respective organizations.
Our journey of developing a contextually based human resource theory has come to an end. We started with the discovery of the building blocks in strategy, industrial relations, human resource management, and related performance. The theoretical model itself then had to prove its value at the level of the individual organization, the sector, and the international comparative level. Finally there were some practical insights into HR roles and the development of the 4logic HRM scorecard—a relevant chapter for those practitioners who sincerely want to achieve a fair balance between competitiveness and social justice in order to achieve uniqueness in the area of human resource management.
This is a tentative end, because endeavours will continue to generate more insights into the factors that are important in shaping HRM policies and practices. Some people proclaim that the research topic of HRM and performance is dead, either because they think that everything has already been investigated, or because of the many flaws and methodological pitfalls encountered thus far (Gerhart, Wright and McMahan, 2000; Wright and Gardner, 2001; Sels, 2002). I am convinced that the research track into the factors that are decisive in shaping HRM is a fruitful one, irrespective of whether or not such practices contribute to performance.
The topic of HRM and performance is an important one, but it does not tell the whole story. The number of variables having an effect on the bottom line, on the performance of a firm, might easily add up to more than 300, of which HRM will be just one. But the field of HRM has a lot to say in the areas of bringing about fairness and legitimacy, contributing to sustainability, willingness to change, improving agility, etc. In the end, these topics will prove to be far more important than ‘proving’ that an improvement in HRM sophistication implies an increase in added value per employee.
So the quest to unravel the factors that are decisive in shaping HRM policies and practices is a rewarding and promising one, and—as the empirical chapters indicate—is also important for practitioners who want to develop a unique approach in HRM, one that fits their organization in its context and serves viability in the long run.