欢迎来到51Due,请先 | 注册
关注我们: 51due论文代写二维码 51due论文代写平台微博
英国论文代写,英国essay代写知名品牌微信

更多范文

为您解决留学中生活、学习、工作的困难、疑惑
释放自我

高绩效工作系统对公司绩效的影响--英国论文代写范文精选

2016-01-19 | 来源:51Due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

51due英国论文代写网精选paper代写范文:高绩效工作系统对公司绩效的影响”。这篇论文介绍了在目前的研究中,有关人员开发了一个“实践-资源-应用”方法,系统地解释了高绩效工作系统(HPWS)在专业服务环境上对公司绩效的间接影响。

摘要—ABSTRACT


在目前的研究中,有关人员开发了一个“实践-资源-应用”方法,系统地解释了高绩效工作系统(HPWS)在专业服务环境上对公司绩效的间接影响。认为HPWS开发创造了人力资本、社会资本和企业资本资源。在有效的探索和利用的同时,这些资源将为公司创造更大价值。HPWS对公司业绩的间接影响的分析,这有助于理解HPS如何以及为什么会影响公司绩效,通过识别有价值的资源并找出方法,并将这些方法实施于专业服务型公司(psf)。对于企业资源观(Barney, 1991)、企业知识理论(Grant, 1996a, 1996b)和企业动态能力的讨论,我们会提供理论依据。

关键词:高绩效工作系统;专业服务型企业; 企业资源观

探索高绩效工作系统对专业服务型企业的影响:“实践-资源-应用”方法。

介绍—INTRODUCTION

研究人员认为战略人力资源管理和人力资源(HR)实践是一体化的,而不是个人行为,研究人力资源系统对组织绩效的影响时,这将是分析的主要核心(Huselid,1995;MacDuffie,1995)。例如,经研究发现,高绩效工作系统(HPWS)(Datta, Guthrie, & Wright, 2005)给公司带来高产能效果,特别是在制造业公司,比如财务业绩(Guthrie, 2001; Huselid, 1995),员工流动率(Richard & Johnson, 2001),公司生产力(Guthrie, 2001),效率和灵活性(Evans & Davis, 2005),和组织承诺(Youndt, Snell, Dean Jr, & Lepak, 1996)。

摘要—ABSTRACT

In the present study, we develop a practices-resources-uses approach to systematically explain the indirect effect of high performance work systems (HPWS) on firm performance in professional service context. We argue that HPWS result in the creation of human capital, social capital and organizational capital resources. These resources in turn create value for firms when they are effectively explored and exploited. Our analysis of the indirect impact of HPWS on firm performance contributes to the understanding of how and why HPWS affect firm performance by identifying valuable resources and finding out the way to effectively use them in professional service firms (PSFs). We also provide theoretical support for the arguments of the resource-based view of firm (Barney, 1991), the knowledge-based theory of firm (Grant, 1996a, 1996b) and the dynamic capabilities (Teece, Pisano & Shuen, 1997) perspectives.

Key words: High Performance Work Systems; Professional Service Firms; Resource-Based View of Firm

Exploring the Performance Impact of High Performance Work Systems in Professional Service Firms: A practices-Resources-Uses Approach

介绍—INTRODUCTION

Researchers on strategic human resource management (SHRM) argue for a focus on the bundle of human resource (HR) practices rather than individual practices, as a primary unit of analysis when examining the impact of HR systems on organizational performance (Huselid, 1995; MacDuffie, 1995). For example, high performance work systems (HPWS) (Datta, Guthrie, & Wright, 2005) have been found to positively relate to firms' outcomes especially in manufacturing firms, such as financial performance (Guthrie, 2001; Huselid, 1995), employee turnover (Richard & Johnson, 2001), firm productivity (Guthrie, 2001), efficiency and flexibility (Evans & Davis, 2005), and organizational commitment (Youndt, Snell, Dean Jr, & Lepak, 1996).

However, the relationship between HPWS and firm performance is indirect and many scholars call for deeper and more theoretical approaches to understand how and why high performance work systems (HPWS) affect firm performance (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004; Combs, Liu, Hall, & Ketchen, 2006; Delery & Shaw, 2001), especially in service organizations (Combs et al., 2006). Based on the existing research, we argue that HPWS results in the creation of human capital (Becker, 1964; O'Sullivan & Sheffrin, 1998), social capital (Burt, 1992; Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998) and organizational capital resources (Youndt, Subramaniam, & Snell 2004; Subramaniam & Youndt 2005). Only when these resources are effectively managed and utilized, firms can generate superior profit above that which returns to competitors in perfectly competitive environment (Schultz, 1961), achieve sustainable competitive advantage and create value (Barney & Arikan, 2001; Sirmon, Hitt, & Ireland, 2007). The causal chain between resource endowment and firm performance is unclear and is in need of theoretical explication and empirical investigation (Leana & Van Buren III, 1999). Thus, we pursue two research questions: (1) How do HPWS affect firm performance in the professional services context? (2) What are the valuable resources for PSFs and how are they utilized by firms to help PSFs to achieve high firm performance?

Guided by the contingency theory, the resource-based view of the firm (RBV) (Barney, 1991), the knowledge-based theory (Anand, Gardner, & Morris, 2007; Grant, 1996a, 1996b; Teece, 2003; Winch & Schneider, 1993) and dynamic capabilities theory (Teece et al., 1997; Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000), we propose a 'practices-resources-uses' performance approach to add insight to our understanding of the value creation-exploitation process in the professional service firms.

The paper is structured as follows. First, we briefly introduce the literature on PSFs and explain why we chose these specific organisations to conduct our study by illustrating their distinctiveness from traditional firms. We then propose a conceptual model that demostrates how HPWS affect firm performance. We argue that HPWS affect firm performance in PSFs through two steps. First, HPWS create firm resources, i.e., human capital, social capital, and organizational capital. And then these resources are exploited to improve firm performance in the short run and are explored to improve firm performance in the longer run.

Within the HPWS and firm performance relationship research, our model draws on the "practices-resources-uses" perspective, and provides important theoretical foundations for understanding how and why human resource (HR) practices affect firm performance. We then discuss the further implications of the study for practitioners and explore the potential areas for future research.

正文语境—CONTEXT

Professional Service Firms (PSFs) are "those whose primary assets are a highly educated (professional) workforce and whose outputs are intangible services encoded with complex knowledge" (Greenwood, Li, Prakash, & Deephouse, 2005: 661). Examples of professional services include accounting, engineering consulting, management consulting and legal services.

According to Løwendahl (2000), PSFs are "substantially different from ... [the] traditional manufacturing firms" (p. 31). PSFs are knowledge-intensive (Morris, 2001; von Nordenflycht, 2007, 2010). Their inputs are mainly the knowledge of the professional workforce (Starbuck, 1992). And their outputs are the expertise knowledge in the form of customized solutions for the clients (Empson, 2007; Greenwood et al., 2005; Hitt, Shimizu, Uhlenbruck, & Bierman, 2006; Løwendahl, 2000; Morris & Empson, 1998; von Nordenflycht, 2007, 2010).

There are three resources where the knowledge is embedded. One resource is the individuals, i.e. human capital. The professionals in PSFs receive the explicit knowledge from formal education and the tacit knowledge from their daily work and on-the-job training (Hitt, Bierman, Shimizu, & Kochhar, 2001). They embody the expertise knowledge and translate it to the customized solutions for clients.

Another resource is the relationships among individuals, i.e., social capital. The professionals build and maintain internal relationships which facilitate the knowledge exchange and sharing within teams since most of work in PSFs is program or project based. They also develop and maintain external clients' relationships which attract new business continuously and bring firms profits directly.

The third resource is the organizational processes, routines, databases, and systems, i.e., organizational capital. The professionals are playing an important role in forming efficient organizational routines and building organizational databases and systems which facilitate the knowledge exchange and sharing within firms.

To summarize, the human resource constitutes the critical asset of PSFs. Therefore, we would like to investigate how to build the resources of human capital, social capital and organizational capital through human resource management practices systems. We also want to know about how to use these resources in the firm level to help PSFs to achieve higher performance.

Our following analysis will represent a good site to examine SHRM because human resources constitute the critical asset and therefore a strong test of the practices-uses-resources model - which is what we need to justify.

理论背景和议题—THEORETICAL BACKGROUND AND PROPOSITIONS

战略人力资源管理(SHRM)—Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Strategic human resource management (SHRM) is defined as "the pattern of planned human resource deployments and activities intended to enable an organization to achieve its goals" (Wright & McMahan, 1992: 298). Because firm performance stands out as a major organizational goal, many studies have been conducted that examine the linkage between human resources management practices and firm performance (Arthur, 1994; Becker & Gerhart, 1996; Datta et al., 2005; Delery & Doty, 1996; Guthrie, Flood, Liu, & MacCurtain, 2009; Huselid, 1995; MacDuffie, 1995; Richard & Johnson, 2001; Terpstra & Rozell, 1993; Youndt et al., 1996).
Most of the researchers in this field find the positive relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and firm performance. And they mainly adopt a system perspective which focuses on a bundle or a system of human resource (HR) practices rather than individual practices in examining the performance impact of HRM on relevant organizational outcomes. For example, the study by Youndt et al. (1996) demonstrates that human capital-enhancing HR system was directly related to multiple dimensions of operational performance, i.e., employee productivity, machine efficiency, and customer alignment. The results of Collins and Clark (2003) indicate that the network-building HR practices positively related to the organizational performance, i.e., growth in sales and stock return. The research by Huselid (1995) illustrates a positive relationship between high performance work practices and organizational turnover, productivity and financial performance. The research on high performance work systems (HPWS) conducted by Datta et al. (2005), Guthrie et al. (2009) and Combs et al. (2006) finds that HPWS positively affected firm's labour productivity, employee absenteeism and turnover. The two meta-analysis by Combs et al. (2006) and Subramony (2009) on HRM bundles and firm performance relationship provides support though revealing that HRM bundles or systems are positively related to firm performance and they have larger effect (.28, in Combs et al., 2006) than individual HRM practice (.14, in Combs et al., 2006) on firm performance.

Most previous literature on the relationship between HRM practices and firm performance has looked at the direct relationship in the general manufacturing firms such as auto manufacturing plants, steel companies (Datta et al., 2005; Ichniowski & Shaw, 1999; Ichniowski, Shaw, & Prennushi, 1997; MacDuffie, 1995), some general service firms like banks (Delery & Doty, 1996; Richard &Johnson, 2001) or their mix (Huselid, 1995; Guthrie et al., 2009). This causes two arguments in literature.

First, HR practices might affect firm performance not directly but in various ways. Many scholars agree that there are probably some moderating and mediating variables through which HRM practices affect firm performance. According to Combs et al. (2006), they suggest that organizational strategy and context may moderate the HRM and firm performance relationship based on their meta-analytical investigation in 92 relevant studies. In one empirical study, Youndt et al. (1996) find that organizational manufacturing strategy, such as cost strategy, quality strategy, and flexibility strategy moderates the HR practices and firm performance relationship. In another empirical study, Datta et al. (2005) investigate the moderating role of industry characteristics such as industry capital intensity, industry growth, industry product differentiation, and industry dynamism. Their results illustrate the potential for industry context to moderate the relationship between HR systems and organizational effectiveness.

Combs et al. (2006) also suggest the employees' knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs), and the social structure as mediators between high performance work practices and organizational performance. Guest (1997) shows that SHRM improve firm performance by improving employees' quality, i.e., their skills and abilities. Collins and Clark (2003) provide support for the mediating role of social structure. They examine the mediating effect of social networks of top management teams (TMT) on the relationship between HRM and firm performance. And they find that the mediating effects of TMT networks account for nearly all of the effect of network-building practices on sales growth and less than half of the effect of incentive pay practices based on organizational performance. In addition, Wright, Dunford, and Snell (2001) argue that HPWS might play a role in creating organizational cultures and shared organizational knowledge that enable the firm to form and maintain its core competencies. They indicate that HR practices may help shape organizational processes, systems, and ultimately competencies.

The second argument comes from the samples in the existing research. Many researchers conduct their research in the general manufacturing firms such as auto manufacturing plants, steel companies (Datta et al., 2005; Ichniowski & Shaw, 1999; Ichniowski et al., 1997; MacDuffie, 1995), some general service firms like banks (Delery & Doty, 1996; Richard &Johnson, 2001) or their mix (Huselid, 1995; Guthrie et al., 2009). They omit another important context - the professional service firms who are facing more dynamic environments rather than the "stable business conditions" faced by the above sample firms (Collins & Smith, 2006: 545). The PSFs gain competitive advantages manly lying on their intangible assets, i.e., their expertise knowledge, their internal and external relationships and their efficient routines, database and systems, rather than the tangible physical assets owned by the above sample firms. Collins and Smith (2006) suggest to focus on the firms that "facing similar environments rather than on firms with diverse environments, because within- rather than cross-industry studies will better allow researchers to identify the firm capabilities necessary for success" (Collins & Smith, 2006: 554).

And also many scholars call for deeper and more theoretical approaches to understand how and why high performance work systems (HPWS) affect firm performance (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004; Combs et al., 2006; Delery & Shaw, 2001), especially in service organizations (Combs et al., 2006). As Wright and Gardner (2000) write, "One of the first issues that must be settled in the effort to understand how HR practices impact performance is to theorize the means through which this relationship occurs, in essence specifying the intervening variables between the measure of HR practices and the measure of firm performance" (p. 4). Therefore, we analyse the mediating role of firm resources, i.e., human capital, social capital and organizational capital in the HPWS and firm performance relationship. And we choose professional service firms as the research context because they share the same characteristics that the knowledge is their inputs and outputs. In addition, they are facing the more dynamic environments (Morris, Gardner, & Anand, 2007; Professional Services Global Competitiveness Group Report, 2009).
高绩效工作系统和公司绩效—HPWS and Firm Performance
The resource-based view of firm (RBV) argues that a firm's competitive advantages lie primarily on the valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable, and non-substitutable resources that firm already have (Barney, 1991; Penrose, 1959; Wernerfelt, 1984). The resources include tangible and intangible resources.

The knowledge-based theory of firm considers intangible resources - knowledge as the most strategically significant resource of the firm (Grant, 1996a, 1996b). This knowledge is embedded and carried through multiple entities including individuals, relationships and organizational processes, routines, database, and systems.

Guided by the resource-based view of firm (Barney, 1991) and the knowledge-based theory of firm (Grant, 1996a, 1996b), we define HPWS as an integrated system of HR practices that not only enhance employees' knowledge and skills (Datta et al., 2005; Guest, 1997; Guthire, 2001; Huselid, 1995), strength their internal and external relationships (Bowen & Ostroff, 2004; Evans & Davis, 2005), but also build organizational processes, routines, databases, and systems in such a way that the firm's resources are created to gain sustainable competitive advantages. The HPWS include staffing, training and development, compensation, performance control, and communication and information sharing (Becker & Huselid, 1998; Datta et al., 2005; Guest, 1997; Guthire, 2001; Guthrie et al., 2009; Huselid, 1995). These practices are listed and explained in Table 1.

These practices represent the general human resource management practices commonly used in most HPWS research. But the sub-indexes are different from those that are used in general context. For example, the performance control practice does not only include the performance appraisals as general but also include monitoring trainees. In PSFs, many trainees are recruited every year. They are different from other employees because that they are 'students' too. They could not become qualified professionals only with their degrees achieved from colleges or universities. They have to pass all of the required examinations to become qualified professionals during their work. They generally sign a three-year contract with some PSF. They get training for their examinations and accumulate experience from their daily work. After three years, most of them will choose to leave though few will stay. They are usually self-motivated to get qualification. However, the monitoring or coaching is necessary. The efficient monitoring practice could help PSF reduce cost and then improve firm performance. Therefore, we add it into the HPWS due to the distinctiveness of PSFs.

Based on the existing research in PSFs, firm performance could be defined as financial performance, such as the turnover (Nucham, 1999) and profit per partner (Pinnington & Morris, 2003), operational performance, such as productivity measured by revenue per professional (Greenwood, Deephouse, & Li, 2007; Greenwood et al., 2005), and innovative performance, such as the number of creativity awards won in a given year (von Nordenflycht, 2007) and the self-reported innovation scales (Subramaniam & Youndt, 2005).

We propose the HPWS is positively related to the firm performance such as financial returns, productivity and innovation in PSFs.

Proposition 1: The PSF's investments in HPWS are positively related to its financial, operational and innovative outcomes.

高绩效工作系统和公司资源—HPWS and Firm Resources
There is a positive relationship between HPWS and firm performance. But how HPWS affect firm performance remains to be understood.

We argue that HPWS affect firm performance by creating valuable, rare, imperfectly imitable, and non-substitutable resources (Barney, 1991), i.e., human capital, social capital, and organizational capital. And these resources can also be understood as the knowledge that embedded in individuals, relationships among individuals and the organizational routines, database, and systems.

The human capital, social capital and organizational capital are also defined as three components of intellectual capital. One systematic research conducted by Youndt et al. (2004) find that organizations have superior performance with higher levels of human, social, and organizational capital. Another research by Subramaniam and Youndt (2005) suggest that an organization's HR practices may need to focus not only on shoring up their employees' functional or specific technological skills/expertise, but also on developing their abilities to network, collaborate, and share information and knowledge.

Human capital. Human capital refers to the stock of skills and knowledge embodied in individuals (Becker, 1964; O'Sullivan & Sheffrin, 1998). It could be achieved through education and training (Becker, 1964).

There some scholars found HPWS affect firm performance through improving employees' human capital. For example, Guest (1997) indicates that SHRM improve firm performance by improving employees' quality, i.e., their skills and abilities. Snell and Dean (1992) argue that HRM affect firm's financial performance by creating higher human capital skills, experience and knowledge. Wright et al. (2001) assert that HPWS "might have resulted in the creation of a high quality human capital pool that cannot be easily imitated because of time compression diseconomies" (p. 710). Becker and Huselid (1996) explain that human resource activities contribute to firm's competitive advantages by developing employees' skills. They argue that the highly skilled workforce will help firm to achieve higher financial performance.

In PSFs, the human capital is defined as the knowledge embedded in the professionals that can be used to produce high quality professional services for clients (Hitt et al., 2001; Hitt et al., 2006; Pennings, Lee, & Van Witteloostuijn, 1998).

Human capital is very important asset of PSFs (Hitt et al., 2001; Morris & Snell, 2008).

Higher human capital means more expertise knowledge embedded in highly professionalized workforce in PSFs. It could help PSFs build good reputation by signalling that the professional service firm with it has the potential to provide more efficient solutions for its clients. And the clients would prefer to choose the PSF with higher human capital since they believe that smarter people would provide better solutions when other conditions are the same. PSFs achieve high human capital through recruiting graduates from top institutions because they potentially have better learning capability. In addition, extensive training programmes could help to build human capital. Most of people want to learn more and are interested in the opportunities that develop personal skills. So the higher human capital also helps PSFs to attract more talent and brighter graduates from top institutions to join in.

To build high human capital, PSFs need to identify, attract and retain superior professionals. This can be achieved through HR practices such as selection, recruitment, training and skill-based pay. Thus we propose that HPWS affect firm performance through improving PSFs' human capital.

Proposition 2a: The PSF's human capital mediates the relationship between HPWS and firm performance.

Although human capital has many positive benefits, it represents costs to firms as well. For example, PSFs usually try to recruit the best graduates from top institutions. To attract them, firms need to provide "compensation which is more than their marginal productivity early in their careers" (Hitt et al., 2001: 15). And the extensive training programs mean high investments. Especially PSFs have to invest a lot into the trainees, not only through the training programs but also the coaching from partners and senior professionals. However, most of them will leave when their contracts are finished. Therefore, in the short run, the cost for the employees especially for the new ones may exceed their capitals (Hitt et al., 2001). In the partner level, Hitt et al. (2001) has found a curvilinear relationship between human capital and firm performance. The relationship is negative early in the partners' tenure but becomes positive. Similarly, we propose that there is a curvilinear relationship between the PSFs' human capital and firm performance in the firm level.

Proposition 2b: There is a curvilinear relationship between the PSF's human capital and firm performance. The relationship is negative early in the professionals' tenure but becomes positive.

Social capital. Social capital is a resource which is embedded in the relationships among individuals (Coleman, 1988; Bourdieu; 1985; Burt, 1992; Putnam, 1993; Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998; Lin, 2001). It is different from human capital. Social capital is "embedded within, available through, and derived from the network of relationships possessed by an individual or social unit" (Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998: 243) while human capital is embedded in individual's head (Becker, 1964; O'Sullivan & Sheffrin, 2003).

There are some scholars found that many human resource management practices have a significant role to play in creating social capital. For example, Wright et al. (2001) argue that HPWS affect firm performance in many different ways and give one example that "... theses [human resource management] systems may promote and maintain socially complex relationships characterized by trust, knowledge sharing, and teamwork" (p. 710). Bowen and Ostroff (2004) identify that the human resources management influences organizational performance by fostering a collective organizational climate. They describe organizational climate as "a shared perception of what the organization is like in terms of practices, policies, procedures, routines, and rewards at the firm level" (p. 205). The concept of organizational climate in Bowen and Ostroff (2004) comes from psychology. It responds to the Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998)'s description of cognitive facet of social capital as "shared representations, interpretations, and systems of meaning among parties" (p. 244). Then Bowen and Ostroff (2004)'s research provide the support for the mediating role of social capital between HR practices and firm performance. Leana and van Buren III (1999) find that employment practices foster organizational internal social capital and then organizational internal social capital creates value for firms. In other words, organizational social capital mediates the human resource management practices and organizational performance relationship. They also indicate that employment practices could also reduce the organizational internal social capital. But what employment practices reduce internal social capital remains unanswered. Evans and Davis (2005) study the mediating role of internal social structure between high performance work systems and organizational performance. Their build a framework to illustrate the human resource practices that enhance organizational internal social structure will create organizational internal social capital and then improve organizational financial efficiency and organizational flexibility.

In one way, the relationships between PSFs and clients, i.e., external social capital, help PSFs to attract and retain clients. The service delivered by PSFs suffers from "opaque quality" because of PSFs' knowledge intensity (von Nordenflycht, 2010). As von Nordenflycht (2010) explains, "this refers to situations where the quality of an expert's output is hard for non-experts (i.e., customers) to evaluate, even after the output is produced and delivered" (Broschak, 2004; Empson, 2001; Levin & Tadelis, 2005; Løwendahl, 2000; cited in von Nordenflycht, 2010: 161). In this situation, personal relationships are important criteria for client when they choose service providers (Alvesson, 2001). Generally, "other things being equal, potential clients will choose a firm as a service provider on the basis of previous interpersonal relationships with the firm's professionals" (Pennings et al., 1998: 427). Pennings et al. (1998) define the firms' social capital as the ties between the professionals and the potential clients. And they find that a firm's human and social capital has great influence on firm dissolution in PSFs. Their study shows that firm-level human and social capital could be important sources of competitive advantage.

In the other way, the capital embedded in the internal relationships among professionals within the firm, i.e., internal social capital, could help PSFs deploy teams, coordinate tasks and communicate within the firm efficiently.

We define the PSFs' social capital are the knowledge embedded in the relationships among professionals and between professionals and clients. Some HR practices contribute to building social capital through training, compensation, and communication and information sharing practices. For example, to build internal social capital, PSFs could provide training programs for improving professionals' teamwork and communication skills, compensation policy such as group-based pay and bonus sharing plan, and open vertical and horizontal communication channels for professionals sharing and exchanging knowledge within the firm by employee suggestion systems. To build the external social capital, PSFs could provide professionals external training opportunities, and reimburse them for developing networks with potential and existing clients.

Based on the above analysis, we propose that the PSFs' social capital mediates the relationship between HPWS and firm performance.

Proposition 2c: The PSF's social capital mediates the relationship between HPWS and firm performance.

Organizational capital. Organizational capital is defined as the institutionalized knowledge residing within organizational processes, routines, systems and structures (Youndt et al., 2004; Subramaniam & Youndt 2005). It is the result of integrating and combining individual knowledge into organizational knowledge (Grant, 1996a, 1996b) which is preserved over time (Daft & Weick, 1984). The organizational capital is a source of organizational competitive advantage (Teece, 2000).

Some scholars propose that HR practices affect firm performance through building organizational capital. For example, Ferris, Arthur, Berkson, Kaplan, Harrell-Cook, & Frink (1998) point out that HR practices affect organizational effectiveness by shaping organizational work climate. According to Kopelman, Brief, & Guzzo (1990)'s definition[1], the work climate can be understood as to the extent that managements known the organizational processes, databases and systems that employees could use to accomplish their work. In addition, Wright et al. (2001) argue that HPWS might play a role in creating organizational cultures and shared organizational knowledge that enable the firm to form and maintain its core competencies. Their work indicates that HR practices may affect firm performance by forming organizational processes, and systems.

In PSFs, organizational processes are highly institutionalized due to their knowledge-based of work (Freidson, 1986; Greenwood, Hinings, & Brown, 1990; Robertson, Scarbrough, & Swan, 2003). The organizational routines in PSFs are informal work practices that are formed by professionals during their team work (Morris, 2001). Some big PSFs build their own databases and systems that store individual experience and expertise knowledge (Suddaby & Greenwood, 2001). The professionals in the firm could access them and gain previous experience. They are also called knowledge centres (Moore & Birkinshaw, 1998). These databases and systems provide support for professionals to reuse and exploit existing knowledge. Most of PSFs have flat organizational structures (Greenwood et al., 1990; Stumpf, Doh & Clark, 2002) that facilitate knowledge flow between seniors and juniors.

Organizational capital constitutes an important resource of PSFs by facilitating the knowledge creation, sharing, combination and exchange (Morris & Snell, 2008). Besides facilitating knowledge integration, organizational capital also shapes professionals' image and identity (Empson, 2001) which play an important role in attracting new clients.

Some HR practices contribute to building organizational capital in PSFs through staffing, training, performance control (Youndt et al., 2004; Kang & Snell, 2009). In detail, when recruiting new people, the fit between candidates' attitudes and organizational culture need to be considered. During the training process, not only the professional knowledge but also the organizational databases and systems and the shared values among the firm need to be introduced to employees. In the performance control, the errors could be embraced to encourage employees to explore new knowledge to form an organic organizational capital[2] or be avoided in exploiting existing knowledge to form a mechanistic organizational capital[3] (Kang & Snell, 2009).

These above arguments lead to the following proposition.

Proposition 2d: The PSF's organizational capital mediates the relationship between HPWS and firm performance.

公司资源的应用—The Uses of Firm Resources
The resource-based view of firm (RBV) and knowledge-based theory of firm contribute to identifying the existing resources that have the potential to constitute a source of sustainable competitive advantage (Hitt et al., 2006). However, the firms only with these resources may be not able to achieve sustainable competitive advantages (Barney & Arikan, 2001; Priem & Butler, 2001; Sirmon et al., 2007). These valuable resources must be effectively managed and utilized to achieve superior profit (Schultz, 1961) and a competitive advantage (Sirmon et al., 2007).

The emphasis on the use of resources is consistent with the dynamic capabilities perspective (Teece et al., 1997) which includes considerations such as how resources are developed, how they are integrated within the firm and how they are released.

Using these resources is the same as using the knowledge which is embedded in the individuals, the relationships and the organizational processes, routines, databases, and systems. There are two approaches on using these knowledge or resources (March, 1991). One focuses on how to reuse or replicate existing knowledge, i.e., exploitation. The other one focuses on how to generate new knowledge, i.e., exploration. The effective use of resources may help a PSF balance the effective exploitation of existing resources with exploration of knowledge to create new capabilities. The following matrix shows how PSFs create value by exploiting and exploring existing resources.

The matrix shows that the exploration of resources in PSFs is to deliver new products or service to new clients and to deliver new products or service to old clients. It also shows that the exploitation of resources in PSFs is to deliver existing services or products to the existing clients or new clients as there is no new knowledge/capability required. The exploration process needs to explore the human capital to invent new products or services and the social capital to attract new clients and new business and the organic organizational capital (Kang & Snell, 2009) that facilitate this delivery. The exploitation process needs to reuse or refine the existing products or services and existing clients, which requires the standardized organizational capital (Kang & Snell, 2009) to facilitate this delivery.

To illustrate exploration and exploitation more detail, four sufficient capabilities of PSFs are identified to effectively exploit existing resources with exploration of knowledge to create new capabilities. They are managing teams, leveraging knowledge, combining and exchanging knowledge, and sensing the changes in the external environment capabilities.

Managing teams. In professional service firms, most of work is project or program-oriented. To meet client's needs, a partner needs to choose several professionals to form a team to solve client's problems. The team forms the basic unit of work in the professional service firm. And the team management is vital for the successful completion of project.

First, PSFs need to deploy the team and coordinate tasks efficiently. The dynamic global economic environment accelerates PSFs' work speed. Usually the customers' assignments are much more compressed in term of time (Morris et al., 2007). The PSFs have to compress their work into much shorter time. As in Morris et al. (2007)'s study, a partner from a consulting firm said "... [we need] compress six months work into a three week assignment".

Another issue in managing teams is the conflict management. All of the professionals in PSFs are knowledge workers. They have high autonomy and prefer self-managements. There may be conflict between them when they do not have consistency with some work design. PSFs have to transform these conflicts into cooperation in team management. Otherwise, It may "lead to mass defections and the destruction of enterprise value, even more assuredly than in an industrial company setting" (Teece, 2003: 900).

Since professionals need to work together, the communication among them is very important to accomplish the work. They need to exchange their opinions, create solutions through teamwork to meet the clients' needs.

The efficient team management will contribute to the improving the efficiency of firm's human capital and social capital during their creating new knowledge.

Leveraging knowledge. Leveraging knowledge, that is the transfer of tacit knowledge from seniors to juniors in client assignments (Hitt et al., 2001).

PSFs compete with each other by leveraging knowledge (Greenwood et al., 2005). In PSFs, partners own the most human capital and social capital in a firm (Hitt et al., 2001; Pennings, et al., 1998). To meet clients' demands, partners need to select other professionals to form a team to possess the required knowledge, skills, and experience. In this way, the partners' knowledge and capabilities are leveraged between them and other professionals.

Leverage ratios are measured by total number of associates divided by the total number of partners (Hitt, et al., 2001; Phillips, 2001). From the knowledge perspective, high leverage ratios mean that more codified and explicit knowledge is imputed by junior professionals. Lower leverage means high professionalized expertise knowledge is imputed by more senior ones (Maister 1993; Hansen, Nohria, & Tierney, 1999). High leverage ratio focuses more on exploiting existing knowledge while low leverage ratio focuses more on exploring new knowledge.

Effective leveraging the knowledge embedded in partners and associates helps PSFs to balance exploiting and exploring knowledge and then to meet existing and new clients' needs (Teece et al., 1997; Hitt et al., 2001). Hitt et al. (2001) has found the empirical support for the positive effect of leveraging knowledge on firm performance in professional service context.

Combining and exchanging knowledge. Combining and exchanging knowledge allows the possibility of knowledge flow between individuals and within organizations. This ability helps PSFs to create new knowledge which enables firms to innovate and to gain competitive advantages in dynamic environments (Collins & Smith, 2006; Grant, 1996).

Nahapiet and Ghoshal (1998) suggested that the social capital generated from the relationships among individuals drives knowledge exchange and combination processes.

Collins and Smith (2006) also find the empirical support for that the organizational social climate conditions facilitate knowledge exchange and combination and result in higher firm performance.

Sensing the changes in the external environment. Sensing the changes in the external environment reflects the ability of PSFs to understand the market environment dynamics, develop products or service required by new markets, and attract the potential clients. With sensing capability, PSFs could find and build relationships with new clients, and could generate new product or service for the markets. For example, when private equity (PE) firms[4] came into prominence in the market, some professional service firms have a dedicated PE practice to attract PE firms. Another example is the new reduction service provided by Deloitte during global crisis. To help the organizations review their internal management, the professionals in Deloitte form an 'Evolve to Succeed' team which involves the people from different apartments, e.g., the human capital, employment tax and pensions & investment departments, providing redundancy plan service.

To gain this sensing ability, professionals are required to spend time on generating future business through their social capital. They are also required to explore their human capital to generate new products or service to meet clients' needs. During these process, organizational capital has importance effect on the exploration.

To summarize, PSFs use their resources through managing teams, leveraging knowledge, combining and exchanging knowledge, and sensing the changes in the external environment capabilities.

These above arguments lead to the following proposition.

Proposition 3: The use of resources mediates the relationship between human capital, social capital, and organizational capital and PSF performance.

讨论—DISCUSSION

对组织和策略理论的影响—Implications for Organization and Strategic Theories
In this paper we have introduced a new perspective to look into the underlying mediating mechanisms for the link between HR practices and PSF performance. The 'HR practices-resources-uses-performance' approach intends to look at two potential mediators (resources, effective use of resources) which explain if and how SHRM affects firm performance.

Second, our analysis on the HR practices-performance link will provide insights into a special context, that is, professional service firms. The distinctive characteristics of PSFs such as knowledge intensity explain why HRM is so significant in this context. And our analysis has built a framework on PSFs management.

对公司经理的影响—Implications for Managers
Several important lessons for practitioners can be drawn from our discussion of the uses of firm's internal and external resources. First, we provide decision making information for the mangers in PSFs by identifying the resources and resource use effectiveness. For example, when they know that their external social capital is high, they may exploit it to win more new business through a focussed exploration strategy.

We also have highlighted how managers improve the pool of human capital, social capital and organizational capital and how to explore and exploit them to create new products and service and to attract new clients and new business.

总结—CONCLUSION

The purpose of this study is to investigate the indirect impact of SHRM on firm performance in the professional service context.

We have answered the question that how HPWS affect firm performance in PSFs by using a systematic approach of 'HR practices-resources-uses'. The HPWS affect firm performance through improving the firms' resources of human capital, social capital and organizational capital and using them effectively.

We also find the valuable resources of PSFs which are human capital, social capital and organizational capital that knowledge is embedded in and carried through. We identified two types of utilizing these resources as exploitation and exploration. We also identify four sufficient ways to achieve exploration and exploitation. Internally, PSFs could manage teams through coordinating tasks, transforming conflicts and communication, leveraging knowledge between seniors and juniors, combining and exchanging knowledge within teams and firms to reuse the existing knowledge. Externally, PSFs need to sense the changes in the dynamic environments to find the potential clients and generate new products or services through exploring new knowledge.

The future research could focus two directions. First, the new approach of 'HR practices-resources-uses' requires empirical support. Second, the research on how to achieve the balance of exploration and exploitation is another important area.

51Due网站原创范文除特殊说明外一切图文著作权归51Due所有;未经51Due官方授权谢绝任何用途转载或刊发于媒体。如发生侵犯著作权现象,51Due保留一切法律追诉权。

更多英国论文代写范文欢迎访问我们主页 www.51due.net 当然有论文代写需求可以和我们24小时在线客服 QQ:800020041 联系交流-H

我们的优势

  • 05年成立,已帮助上万人
  • 24小时专业客服
  • 团队成员都毕业于全球著名高校
  • 保证原创,支持检测

英国站