شیوه های مدیریت منابع انسانی و سرمایه اجتماعی سازمانی : نقش ویژگی های صنعتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4399||2013||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 66, Issue 5, May 2013, Pages 678–687
This study investigates the relationship between human resource management (HRM) practices and organizational social capital (OSC) and the moderating effects of industrial characteristics. Based on a sample of 161 firms, the results of this study indicate that HRM practices that focus on facilitating relationships among employees are positively related to OSC, and the relationship is stronger for firms operating in less regulated industries. Further, knowledge intensity itself shows no moderating effect but appears to join industrial regulation in influencing the link of HRM practices and OSC. The findings of a post hoc analysis suggest that HRM practices have a positive effect on OSC with high but not with low knowledge intensity in a more regulated context. This study presents implications for research and practice along with directions for future research.
Social capital generally denotes the aggregate of resources embedded within, available through, and obtained from the relationships of an individual or organization (Bolino et al., 2002, Inkpen and Tsang, 2005 and Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998). A firm can derive great benefit from both intra- and inter-organizational relationships. Internally secured social capital facilitates a firm's internal coordination, knowledge creation and accumulation, and creativity (Leana and Pil, 2006, Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998 and Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998). Social relationships between organizational members enhance innovation (Maurer et al., 2011 and Subramaniam and Youndt, 2005), growth (Maurer et al., 2011), and other organizational outcomes (Andrews, 2010 and Batjargal, 2003). Externally secured social capital promotes innovation through knowledge utilization (Pérez-Luño, Cabello Medina, & Carmona Lavado, 2011), and increases a firm's competitiveness and likelihood of success (Fischer and Pollock, 2004, Inkpen and Tsang, 2005 and Wu, 2008). This study follows Leana and Van Buren (1999) in conceptualizing organizational social capital (OSC) as a resource that reflects the social relationships within the firm, which pertains to the concept of internal social capital (Adler and Kwon, 2002 and Leana and Pil, 2006). Firms must make investments to develop and manage OSC (Ellinger et al., 2011 and Prusak and Cohen, 2001). However, this research theme has received little attention and requires further exploration (Bolino et al., 2002 and Payne et al., 2011). Without neglecting values of the links with external stakeholders, this study focuses on the internal aspect of OSC that primarily arises from social relationships among organizational members. To nurture OSC, firms should create opportunities for, and increase the motivation and ability of, organizational members to build their relationships (Adler & Kwon, 2002). In this regard, human resource management (HRM) practices serve as a potential means through which firms can effectively accumulate and develop the depth and content of their OSC (Kang et al., 2007 and Leana and Van Buren, 1999). Although scholars have conceptually identified HRM practices that can play the role (Kang et al., 2007, Leana and Van Buren, 1999, Lengnick-Hall and Lengnick-Hall, 2003 and Morris et al., 2005), empirical evidence remains scarce with a few studies that either examine this topic at the individual level (Gittell, Seidner, & Wimbush, 2010) or dyadic level (Kaše, Paauwe, & Zupan, 2009), or use a unique sample of top management teams (Collins & Clark, 2003). The literature still lacks empirical research on how HRM practices nurture social capital around other employees instead of top managers (Collins & Clark, 2003) and at the firm level (Payne et al., 2011). OSC is a relational construct that inherently hinges on the interaction of individuals, which takes place within particular work contexts (Johns, 2006 and Leana and Pil, 2006). Scholars argue for the necessity of a contingency approach that accounts for contextual conditions that strengthen or limit the effects of HRM practices (Datta et al., 2005, Jackson and Schuler, 1995, Kim and Wright, 2011 and Sun et al., 2007). However, studies that focus on the relationship between HRM practices and OSC neglect contextual factors, particularly the firm's external environments. The current study identifies industry as a pivotal context within which firms frame and execute HRM practices (Datta et al., 2005, Jackson and Schuler, 1995 and Kim and Wright, 2011), incorporating industrial characteristics (industrial regulation and knowledge intensity) into the research framework. This study builds on and extends existing literature (e.g., Collins and Clark, 2003, Gittell et al., 2010 and Kaše et al., 2009) by exploring employee-focused OSC and examining the relationship between HRM practices and OSC at the firm level. More importantly, this study investigates the contingent effects of industrial characteristics to identify the context in which HRM practices are likely to exert differential influence on OSC. The next section formalizes the concept of OSC and identifies HRM practices that promote relationship-building among employee and foster OSC. It also explores the potentially moderating effects of industrial regulation and knowledge intensity. 3 and 4 respectively present the methodology and results of this empirical study. Finally, Section 5 discusses the research and managerial implications of the findings and highlights directions for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Although OSC is a critical resource for firms, the conditions that encourage and support this resource receive little attention. This study investigates the influence of HRM practices on OSC, and more importantly, the moderating role of industrial characteristics. The results of this study reveal that a firm's OSC increases when the firm's HRM practices focus on building good relationships among employees. However, the relationship between HRM practices and OSC is weaker in a more regulated context. Although not hypothesized, the findings of this study indicate that, in a more regulated environment, HRM practices effectively facilitate OSC for firms operating in comparatively high knowledge-intensive industries. 5.1. Research implications This study contributes to the strategic HRM and social capital literature and provides several research implications. First, this study provides a complementary test of the HRM–OSC research by conducting firm-level, employee-focused empirical analysis. Extending previous research, the results suggest that, in addition to encouraging individual employees or mangers to build good relationships with their peers and coworkers as other studies have presented (Collins and Clark, 2003, Gittell et al., 2010 and Kaše et al., 2009), HRM practices can also foster internal relationship resources of the organization as a whole. The findings are important because theory and research based on multilevel approach (Kozlowski & Klein, 2000) indicate that what applies at one level (e.g., the individual or group level) may not necessarily apply to another level (e.g., the firm level). Focusing on the firm-level phenomena, this study identifies what HRM practices devised around the strategic focus are the potential antecedent of OSC and delineates how HRM practices can facilitate OSC by addressing the three mechanisms of ability, motivation, and opportunity, and offers a better understanding of the critical role of HRM practices in developing OSC. Next, this study strengthens the contingency perspective by exploring the moderating effects of industrial regulation and knowledge intensity to specify the industry context in which HRM practices are likely to exert greater or smaller influence on OSC. The investigation manifests the context-specific attribute of OSC (Leana & Pil, 2006) and answers calls for HRM research to address external contextual factors when examining the effects of HRM practices (e.g., Datta et al., 2005, Jackson and Schuler, 1995, Kim and Wright, 2011 and Sun et al., 2007). The results support theorizing that industrial regulation serves as an important boundary condition for the influence of HRM practices on OSC. Indeed, the relationship between HRM practices and OSC is stronger for firms that are relatively free of regulatory pressures, while the general levels of OSC change marginally as a function of HRM practices for more regulated firms. These findings provide preliminary support for Kim and Wright's (2011) assertion that the influence of HRM practices depends on a regulatory context, and promote understanding of the cross-contextual variation of the HRM–OSC link. Further, previous studies on industrial moderators of the relationship between HRM practices and organizational outcomes usually focus on one industrial factor or examine the influence of multiple industrial factors individually (e.g., Batt, 2002 and Datta et al., 2005). However, multiple industrial factors tend to exist simultaneously in the organizational context and jointly influence managing practices and their outcomes. Results of this study highlight the importance of considering the interplay between industrial regulation and knowledge intensity when examining the relationship between HRM practices and OSC. Employees are less likely to perceive the adoption of HRM practices as a voluntary action in a regulatory context, particularly if the environment mainly depends on blue-collar workers without large investments in research and development. The success of such firms depends mostly on work efficiency rather than innovation. In such an environment, social interaction and knowledge flows within the firm are not urgent, and employees are less likely to realize the benefits of good relationships. Thus, the efficacy of HRM practices is limited. In contrast, although employees may be skeptical of the employer's intention to adopt HRM practices in a highly regulated context, HRM practices can still have a significant effect on OSC in an environment where information-processing and knowledge sharing among employees, particularly knowledge workers, plays a pivotal role in firm success. Employees who receive messages through HRM practices for encouraging good quality relationships may perceive that good relationships can help them work in an effective manner and receive better performance evaluation and rewards. Given that internal relationship resources are critical for both knowledge-intensive firms and their employees, firms that invest resources in HRM practices to develop OSC can facilitate relationships among employees in a more regulated context. Although industrial regulation seems to be a more influential moderator than knowledge intensity in the present study, the various conditions of knowledge intensity in more regulated industries also alter the HRM–OSC relationship. This study suggests a new perspective that future research on OSC and HRM may need to explore critical contextual factors simultaneously to uncover the real picture. Such an approach avoids examining individual moderators in isolation, which limits the relevance of important contextual information. 5.2. Managerial implications This study has important managerial implications. The findings support the notion that investment in complementary HRM practices aligned with strategic imperatives is worthwhile. Employees are essential to the execution of business strategies. Firms can use different HRM configurations to achieve different strategic objectives. In order for employees to behave toward the strategic objectives, managers need to clarify their strategies and then implement HRM practices that send clear messages to employees. Specifically, managing employees with an emphasis on developing social relationships can encourage network-building behaviors, which are helpful in developing OSC. Further, managers should design HRM practices that aim at three focal mechanisms of ability, motivation, and opportunity. HRM practices can improve employees' abilities to interact with coworkers, increase their willingness to build good social relationships, provide them with more opportunities, and thus facilitate the accumulation of OSC. More importantly, the findings of this study caution managers that the effects of HRM practices on OSC may be contingent on industrial characteristics such as industrial regulation and knowledge intensity. Employees receive messages embedded within HRM practices about the firm's intentions. Through these practices, the firm demonstrates its investment in employees toward building good quality relationships within the firm. However, the influence of HRM practices on employees may vary depending on the regulatory context. Managers may find that investments in HRM practices produce higher returns when their firms are operating in a more loosely regulated context. In this regard, managers can improve their communication with employees and send strong messages in a way that the adoption of such HRM practices is for employees' sake rather than for regulatory constrains. For firms in highly regulated settings, HRM practices can facilitate OSC development in relatively high knowledge-intensive contexts, but they are more difficult to do so in low knowledge-intensive settings. This study suggests that managers can benefit from considering industrial characteristics when designing HRM practices that foster OSC. 5.3. Limitations and future research This study has some limitations and offers directions for future research. First, this study does not investigate consequences of OSC and thus may limit its implications. Nonetheless, the body of literature linking OSC with firm performance lends support to the advantages of OSC. This study also acknowledges the possible dark side of OSC (Gargiulo & Benassi, 1999), and the cost associated with the development of OSC could diminish its benefits. Thus, future research should include critical indicators of organizational performance to construct a more complete research framework. Further, although two respondents for each firm who provide different information can reduce the possibility of common method bias, this study collects survey data at the same time. This cross-sectional design limits inferences of causality. Although it is unlikely that higher levels of OSC will lead to more investment in HRM practices, a reverse flow from that assumed in the current study, future research on this topic would benefit from longitudinal designs that can address this issue with more certainty. Another limitation relates to data collection. This study employs different sampling processes to solicit potential participants, generating two possible heterogeneous samples. Nevertheless, a series of sample comparison tests shows no significant difference and thus offers a rational to pool the two similar samples together in subsequent analyses. In addition, those senior executives who respond to the first questionnaire distribute the HRM questionnaire within their firms. The authors ask senior executives to carefully identify the most appropriate and knowledgeable HRM executive/manager to assess HRM practices; however, this study cannot rule out the chance that the selection of the HRM respondents might be due to the senior executives' bias, particularly if there are multiple HRM managers. Future research can improve the reliability of this measure by collecting HRM data from multiple respondents (Gerhart, Wright, McMahan, & Snell, 2000). Additionally, although this study develops the items of HRM practices based on theory and literature and several HRM researchers and practitioners validate the scale, some relevant practices may be absent. Future research can attempt to improve the quality of the HRM measure. For other scales adopted from published work, this study employs the translation approach for scale development, which has been widely used in Chinese management research (Farh, Cannella, & Lee, 2006). Despite the use of back-translation procedure and additional steps to ensure validity and avoid cultural bias, the level of equivalence may be still a concern (Farh et al., 2006). Therefore, subsequent studies should develop measures for OSC-related research in Chinese culture. A related limitation is that the sample is from a Chinese context, in which power distance is greater than in Western countries, and thus may limit the generalizability of the findings. However, the sample can also be a strength because Chinese culture, which is well known for its relationship emphasis (Hitt, Lee, & Yucel, 2002), provides an appropriate cultural context for testing issues related to OSC. Considering the wider sample frame, many industries in China are complex and dynamic, representing a rich research context for studying industrial characteristics (Luo, 2003). Nevertheless, future research should examine the robustness of the current theoretical predictions in other cultural settings or across cultures. Finally, the current results do not show consistency of the moderating role of knowledge intensity. Despite a nonsignificant difference in the slope comparison test, HRM practices exert a greater influence on OSC for firms operating in a relatively less regulated, less knowledge-intensive context. These findings may reflect the theory of HRM attribution (Nishii et al., 2008), such that employees tend to believe that firms with less regulation have voluntarily chosen to implement HRM practices for developing OSC, and their perceptions may be stronger in industries where knowledge is not a key factor for operating activities. Further investigation into this specific finding can offer additional insights.