Background: In response to recent calls in the literature to decompose both the human resources system and performance, this study has examined the effects of ability-, motivation- and opportunity-enhancing human resources practices on the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of public organizations, with job satisfaction considered as a mediating variable. Aim: Insights from Human Resource Management and performance research, mostly conducted in the private sector, have been combined with public management literature in order to gain insight into the Human Resource Management–performance relationship in the public sector. Method: Regression analysis with a bootstrapping method was used to test the mediating effects. Results: The analysis showed that the three human resources components heterogeneously impact upon the three performance outcomes. Further, the results showed that ability-enhancing and opportunity-enhancing human resources practices are more strongly related to performance outcomes than motivation-enhancing human resources practices. Conclusion: Decomposing Human Resource Management and performance provides greater insight into the Human Resource Management–performance relationship. Points for practitioners: The results show that investing in Human Resource Management positively influences performance outcomes. Moreover, our results show that various aspects of public performance require different human resources approaches. Investing in ability-enhancing human resources practices seems to be particularly relevant if one wants to enhance effectiveness. All the human resources practices, but especially ability-enhancing ones, are relevant to enhancing efficiency. However, investing in motivation-enhancing human resources practices seems to make little sense if one is seeking to enhance fairness.

Additional Metadata
Keywords ability-, Human Resource Management, job satisfaction, motivation- and opportunity-enhancing human resources practices, multidimensional perspective on performance, organizational performance
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020852315591642, hdl.handle.net/1765/103781
Journal International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration
Citation
Vermeeren, B. (2017). Influencing public sector performance: studying the impact of ability-, motivation- and opportunity-enhancing human resources practices on various performance outcomes in the public sector. International Review of Administrative Sciences: an international journal of comparative public administration, 83(4), 717–737. doi:10.1177/0020852315591642