Edited by Diana Bilimoria and Sandy Kristin Piderit
Chapter 12: The Effectiveness of Human Resource Management Practices for Promoting Women’s Careers
Alison M. Konrad Since the late 1980s and early 1990s, management researchers have shown increasing interest in organizational Human Resource Management (HRM) practices, their antecedents and their effects. Evidence that HRM practices can contribute to ﬁrm ﬁnancial performance (for example Huselid et al., 1997; Welbourne and Cyr, 1999) spawned the management subﬁeld of Strategic Human Resource Management, which resulted in a burgeoning and inﬂuential stream of literature (Colbert, 2004; Wright and Snell, 1998). At about the same time, the ﬁeld of workplace diversity emerged. The primary impetus of the development of the workplace diversity ﬁeld was the Hudson Institute’s publication of Workforce 2000: Work and Workers in the 21st Century (Johnston and Packer, 1987). Workforce 2000 made the case that in order to remain competitive, organizations would have to change their HRM practices to attract, motivate and retain the new, more demographically diverse workforce entering the US labor market in the year 2000. Subsequent authors elaborated these arguments to develop the business case for diversity (for example, Cox and Blake, 1991; Robinson and Dechant, 1997). The business case for diversity has three major components: • Diverse groups can outperform homogeneous groups in tasks requiring problem-solving or creativity • Market intelligence provided by a diverse employee group can provide organizations with better methods for reaching a diverse customer base • Firms that manage diversity well will attract, motivate, develop and retain the best talent from all demographic groups, thereby outperforming ﬁrms that cannot manage diversity effectively. The business case for diversity implies...
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