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HR Practices and Firm Performance: What Matters and Who Does It?


  • Fabling, Richard

    (Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand)

  • Grimes, Arthur

    () (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research and University of Waikato)


We examine the impact of human resource practices on firm performance. The analysis uses data from an economy-wide survey to determine whether firms that adopt certain individual HR practices, or that adopt a suite of practices, perform better than their rivals. We find that adoption of a suite of high performance practices (and adoption of specific practices pertaining to staff training and performance pay) impacts positively on firm outcomes. The strength of the relationships differ by firm size and age, having their strongest impact on small and large firms; curiously they do not appear relevant for mid-sized firms. The nature of firms that adopt high performance practices varies strongly according to size, age and sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur, 2007. "HR Practices and Firm Performance: What Matters and Who Does It?," Occasional Papers 07/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:nzmedo:2007_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Richard Fabling & Arthur Grimes, 2009. "The "suite" smell of success: complementary personnel practices and firm performance," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2009/13, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    2. Mok, Penny & Mason, Geoff & Stevens, Philip & Timmins, Jason, 2012. "A Good Worker is Hard to Find: Skills Shortages in New Zealand Firms," Occasional Papers 12/5, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.

    More about this item


    HR practices; performance pay;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General


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