To fully understand the relationship between human resource management and performance in different contexts, we are in need of a synthesis between resource-based theory and new institutionalism. We argue that differences in institutional settings (between for example countries or branches of industry) affect the shaping of HRM. In this paper we develop a conceptual model (human resource based theory of the firm) that will be illustrated by means of empirical evidence on macro, meso and micro level. The model enables to analyze the interaction between industrial relations and human resource management at different levels (international, national, branch of industry, company-level) and how that affects the shaping of HR policies in a specific company. In this way the paper broadens the present HRM and Performance debate by explicitly taking into account factors that are decisive in shaping HR policies. Factors like the product-market-technology dimension, administrative heritage, the social-cultural-legal dimension and the dominant coalition with its degree of leeway.

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Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Paauwe, J., & Boselie, P. (2002). Challenging (Strategic) Human Resource management Theory (No. ERS-2002-40-ORG). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Retrieved from