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Eva Knies

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Eva Knies

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Eva Knies

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Eva Knies and Bram Steijn

In this chapter we present the framework guiding the work on the different chapters of this Research Handbook on Human Resource Management in the Public Sector. In doing so, we first set out the importance of the Research Handbook. Next, we clarify the focus (HRM) and locus (public sector) of this Research Handbook by highlighting a short history and conceptualization of HRM and by discussing the essence of the public sector. Then we present our model of HRM in the public sector which consists of the following building blocks: strategic HRM and the HRM cycle as independent variables, various types of outcomes (organisational effectiveness, individual well-being, and social legitimacy) as dependent variables, several mediating mechanisms (e.g. job demands-resources model, job characteristics model and self-determination theory) that link HRM and outcomes, and the broader context influencing the process of value creation. These building blocks form the different sections of the Research Handbook.

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Bram Steijn and Eva Knies

In this concluding chapter, we take stock of research on HRM in the public sector based on the various chapters in this Research Handbook. We use our conceptual model to structure the discussion. The chapters convincingly show how the public context shapes the various elements of the HRM value chain. Both the institutional context itself, as well as the many stakeholders involved, make HRM in public organizations distinct. The chapter concludes with identifying the main challenges for HRM and public administration researchers and HRM practitioners in the public sector. The former are encouraged to engage in stronger theorizing and conceptualization, as well as in more, and more rigorous, empirical work. The latter are encouraged to use the insights presented in this book to address the major challenges facing public organizations.

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Edited by Bram Steijn and Eva Knies

Bringing together over fifty leading global experts, this Research Handbook provides a state-of-the-art overview of research findings regarding Human Resource Management (HRM) in the public sector. Original chapters provide useful insights from two different disciplines: public administration and HRM. They illustrate that the public context of organisations matters and discuss research findings detailing how this plays out in practice.
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Wouter Vandenabeele, Peter Leisink and Eva Knies

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Eva Knies, Peter Leisink and Paul Boselie

The focus of this chapter is on the renewal of HR policies and practices that resulted in a High Performance Work System (HPWS) at the Dutch insurance company Achmea. As the majority of publications HPWSs are based on studies of Fortune 500 companies, mainly from an Anglo-Saxon perspective (Keegan and Boselie 2006), the case of Achmea is appealing for various reasons: a range of stakeholders were involved in the creation of the HPWS (a characteristic of the Rhineland model of capitalism); Achmea is not quoted on the stock exchange; and the role of healthcare insurance providers such as Achmea is subject to major reforms resulting from economic and political developments. By studying the HPWS presented in this case study, one will gain insights into the impact of various contextual factors on the shaping of HPWSs, the relevant characteristics of an HPWS design, the different actors involved, and their interests and the outcomes related to the implementation of HPWSs.