The Impact of Human Resource Practices on Actual and Perceived Organizational Performance in a Middle Eastern Emerging Market

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Darwish, Tamer K ; Singh, Satwinder ; Wood, Geoffrey (2016)

This is a study centred on the impact of the specific set of HRM practices on organisational performance (OP) within an emerging market setting. It seeks to explore which HR practices are most closely associated with better OP within the financial services industry in Jordan based on a survey of managers and the annual reports of the companies encompassed by the study. It was found that the only HR practice seen to consistently impact on OP was training; in other words, we did not encounter any recognisable ‘bundle’ of HR practices that optimised OP across the sector. We argue that this reflects the weaker and more partially coupled nature of institutions in many emerging markets, which makes it difficult to generate the type of complementarities associated between regulation and practice in mature markets. It also reflects the limited transferability of perceived best practice models in the context of emerging market settings. Although belied by objective firm performance data, many respondents believed that it was not only training but also the extensive usage of extrinsic incentives (pay and promotion) that would translate into superior results. This highlights the limitations of relying on managerial reported performance data in exploring the consequences of specific HR practices.
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