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Human resource development and human resource management levers for sustained competitive advantage: Combining isomorphism and differentiation

Elizabeth F Chapman, Faye A Sisk, Jeff Schatten and Edward W Miles

Journal of Management & Organization, 2018, vol. 24, issue 4, 533-550

Abstract: Numerous studies have investigated human resources as a source of sustained competitive advantage, indicating that the high-performance work systems created by certain human resource development and human resource management practices lead to greater firm performance. Though the mechanism by which this link exists remains a ‘black box,’ substantial evidence shows organizations benefit by adopting the human resource development and human resource management practices that lead to high-performance work systems. We discuss two divergent perspectives, institutional theory and resource-based view, and their impact on high-performance work systems. We argue that organizations adhering to tenets of institutional theory experience isomorphism in certain human resource development and human resource management practices, whereas resource-based view attributes create ways that firms differentiate their practices. We posit that to be competitive firms must balance the push–pull effect of institutional pressure with that of resource-based view differentiation.

Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:cup:jomorg:v:24:y:2018:i:04:p:533-550_00