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HRM and the use of personnel services: an empirical analysis of German firms

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  • Dorothea Alewell
  • Sven Hauff
  • Katrin Weiland
  • Kirsten Thommes
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    Abstract

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse how characteristics of the HR department and HR work, which relate to resource availability and resource needs, influence HR outsourcing. The study examines the subject of human resource (HR) outsourcing. Design/methodology/approach – The potential influence of firms' characteristics on HR outsourcing is analysed theoretically and empirically. The dataset (n=1,021) covers a broad spectrum of personnel services and is based on computer-aided telephone interviews with chief executives and human resource managers of German firms. Findings – Generally, we find that firm size and previous reorganization activities significantly raise the probability of an HR outsourcing. In contrast, there is no overall significant influence of central characteristics of HR work or the HR department on HR outsourcing in general. Originality/value – Although there is a trend toward the outsourcing of work, little research is being done on the relationship between the expected effects of outsourcing, the make-or-buy decision of decision makers, and the firm's characteristics themselves. This study sheds some more light on the relationship between HR outsourcing and firms' characteristics and finds some interesting relationships.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 394-409

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:32:y:2011:i:4:p:394-409

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    Related research

    Keywords: Firms' characteristics; Germany; Human resource management; Outsourcing; Personnel services;

    References

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    1. Oliver E. Williamson & Michael L. Wachter & Jeffrey E. Harris, 1975. "Understanding the Employment Relation: The Analysis of Idiosyncratic Exchange," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(1), pages 250-278, Spring.
    2. Kakabadse, Andrew & Kakabadse, Nada, 2002. "Trends in Outsourcing:: Contrasting USA and Europe," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 189-198, April.
    3. Jér�me Barthélemy & Bertrand V. Quélin, 2006. "Complexity of Outsourcing Contracts and "Ex Post" Transaction Costs: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(8), pages 1775-1797, December.
    4. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, 2nd ed," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, July.
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