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Development and validation of an instrument measuring the strength of the human resource management system




Notwithstanding the theoretical and empirical support for the human resource managementorganisational performance connection, authors still do not know how this association works. Bowen and Ostroff (2004) introduced the concept of the strength of the human resource system. In such systems, messages regarding what is appropriate behaviour are sent to employees in an unambiguous and consensual way. Human resource strength affects the way people interpret their environment (situation strength): strong human resource management leads to stronger situations, whereas weak human resource management leads to weaker situations. This research presents an instrument aimed at measuring the concept of strength; furthermore, it assesses Bowen and Ostroff’s (2004) model. Data was collected via questionnaires in six companies, from two distinct studies. Study 1 is based on 90 questionnaires from five companies; results from this study allowed us to improve the quality of the instrument developed, which in turn was used in a second study, carried out in a single company (88 valid questionnaires). Overall, results show good reliability estimates of the new instrument, as well as a partial confirmation of Bowen and Ostroff ’s (2004) model. Explanations for these mixed results are presented and discussed. These explanations may be related to the research design itself, but they may also be due to unsatisfactory or inadequate definition in some of the elements of Bowen and Ostroff’s model. Implications for future research are examined

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  • Gomes, Jorge & Coelho, Joaquim & Correia, Anabela & Cunha, Rita, 2010. "Development and validation of an instrument measuring the strength of the human resource management system," Spatial and Organizational Dynamics Discussion Papers 2010-10, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:cieodp:2010_010

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    Cited by:

    1. Fernandes, Silvia, 2013. "Aligning Technology with Business: A Continuous Effort," Spatial and Organizational Dynamics Discussion Papers 2013-6, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve.
    2. Gonçalves, António & Zacarias, Marielba & Sousa, Pedro, 2013. "How to Model People Work Practices from Ontological Transactions," Journal of Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, CIEO-Research Centre for Spatial and Organizational Dynamics, University of Algarve, vol. 1(1), pages 46-65.

    More about this item


    human resource management; instrument development; strength;

    JEL classification:

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

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