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Looking into the black-box: analysis of the effectiveness of human resources strategy


  • Isidro Pena Garcia Pardo

    () (Faculty of Law and Socials Sciences of Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real, Spain)

  • Ma del Valle Fernandez Moreno

    (Faculty of Law and Socials Sciences of Ciudad Real, Ciudad Real, Spain)


Numerous studies have shown a positive relationship between Human Resources Management (HRM) and firm performance. However, in spite of the variety of studies, adopted approaches and statistical methodologies to be found, it has not been possible to clarify the exact manner and conditions under which HRM can become a source of competitive advantage. This can be explained by the fact that most empirical works have ignored mediating hypothesis and merely examined the direct relationship between High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) and firm performance. This article, attempts to gain further insights into such an analysis by integrating the two main theoretical approaches in this field: The Resource Based View (RBV) of firm and Behavioural Theory. Using a sample of 62 financial firms we examined this mediating and moderating effect of Human Capital and HR Outcomes on the HPWS – Business Performance linkage. Hierarchical Regression Analysis revealed that HPWS was positively related to firm performance, Human Capital and HR outcomes. In addition, the level of Human Capital and HR outcomes mediate the relationship between HPWS and firm performance. These results shed new light on the mechanisms through which HPWS impacts business performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Isidro Pena Garcia Pardo & Ma del Valle Fernandez Moreno, 2009. "Looking into the black-box: analysis of the effectiveness of human resources strategy," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 31-56.
  • Handle: RePEc:rfe:zbefri:v:27:y:2009:i:1:p:31-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David E. Guest & Jonathan Michie & Neil Conway & Maura Sheehan, 2003. "Human Resource Management and Corporate Performance in the UK," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 41(2), pages 291-314, June.
    2. Mahoney, Joseph T., 1995. "The management of resources and the resource of management," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 91-101, June.
    3. Ken Kamoche, 1996. "Strategic Human Resource Management Within A Resource-Capability View Of The Firm," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(2), pages 213-233, March.
    4. Harvie Ramsay & Dora Scholarios & Bill Harley, 2000. "Employees and High-Performance Work Systems: Testing inside the Black Box," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 38(4), pages 501-531, December.
    5. J. A. Molina & R. Ortega, 2003. "Effects of employee training on the performance of North-American firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(9), pages 549-552.
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    More about this item


    human resources management (HRM); resource-based view of the firm; behavioral theory;

    JEL classification:

    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation


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