A Research Agenda for Human Resource Management
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A Research Agenda for Human Resource Management

Edited by Paul Sparrow and Cary L. Cooper

The book’s expert contributors provide short and succinct reviews of 12 key topics in strategic HRM, including HR strategy and structure, talent management, selection, assessment and retention, employee engagement, workplace well-being, leadership, HR analytics, productivity, innovation, and globalisation. Each chapter identifies the strengths and gaps in our knowledge, maps out the important intellectual boundaries for their field, and outlines current and future research agendas and how these should inform practice. In examining these strategic topics the authors point to the key interfaces between the field of HRM and cognate disciplines, and enables researchers and practitioners to understand the models and theories that help tie this agenda together.
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Chapter 10: HRM and productivity

Paul Sparrow and Lilian Otaye-Ebede


The chapter addresses the challenges for the field of HRM created by the drive for productivity, arguing productivity may be thought of as one form of organisational resilience. It argues the HR function thinks about productivity in relatively narrow terms – looking to individual-level productivity activities such as building workforce skills, managing employee engagement to keep skilled employees delivering, and designing performance management systems and incentives systems such as performance-related pay to maintain control over the implementation of work. It outlines two challenges: developments in national, and organisational level productivity. It explains the main factors involved in organisation level productivity, and identifies three contextual factors that HRM research will have to take into account: the role of time in the HRM–productivity challenge; the relationship between productivity, HRM, and risk; and the importance of understanding the most appropriate level of analysis question in examining the relationship between HRM and productivity. It discusses the use of human capital metrics and HR analytics in this context.

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