How Can HR Drive Growth?

How Can HR Drive Growth?

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by George Saridakis and Cary L. Cooper

The ten up-to date research reviews that are presented in this book provide new insights into the HR academic literature. The chapters provide clear lessons that can be learnt from, along with strategies, approaches and processes in which HR could be used by both practitioners and policy makers to drive growth.

Chapter 9: Employee attitudes, HR practices and organizational performance: what’s the evidence?

Yanqing Lai and George Saridakis

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour, strategic management


Employee attitude constitutes an important factor of the organizational performance process. In particular, organizational commitment and job satisfaction are the two important employee attitudes that have been commonly studied and empirically assessed in the organizational behaviour and labour economics literature. This literature suggests that positive employee attitudes, such as higher levels of organizational commitment and job satisfaction, are associated with higher levels of financial performance, labour productivity and other related organizational outcomes (e.g. Porter et al., 1974; Mathieu and Zajac, 1990; Ostroff, 1992; Hackett et al., 1994; Swailes, 2002; Schneider et al., 2003; Luchak and Gellatly, 2007; Brown et al., 2010; Suliman and Al-Junaibi, 2010). Hence, it is important to researchers, policy makers and business owners and managers to analyse and implement appropriate human resource (HR) strategies that enhance employee attitudes and workplace perceptions which in turn improve organizational performance. In this chapter we provide an analysis of this literature and highlight the key contributions and debates that emerge from studying the relationship between employee attitudes, HR practices and organizational performance (e.g. Becker et al., 1997; Purcell et al., 2003; Wright and Nishii, 2006). Looking at employee attitudes, organizational commitment is critical to organizational performance since it reflects employees’ supportive attitudes towards the organization (e.g. Baotham et al., 2010; Zeinabadi, 2010).

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