Elgar Introduction to Theories of Human Resources and Employment Relations
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Elgar Introduction to Theories of Human Resources and Employment Relations

Edited by Keith Townsend, Kenneth Cafferkey, Aoife M. McDermott and Tony Dundon

This Elgar Introduction provides an overview of some of the key theories that inform human resource management and employment relations as a field of study.
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Chapter 22: The Resource-Based View approach and HRM

Keith Whitfield

Abstract

At the time of its initial development in the 1980s, the Resource-Based View approach promised to provide a strong theoretical foundation for research examining differential organizational performance, and especially its human resource dimension. Adopting a more nuanced approach than key alternatives, it has attracted a large number of advocates, and has been the basis of much research in the HRM domain. However, it has not become as dominant as might have been expected, possibly reflecting that one of its key strengths (its heterogeneity) has reduced its degree of distinctiveness - perhaps less is more in this case.

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