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date: 26 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The search for causal links between strategic HRM and business performance has dominated both academic and practitioner debate for over two decades. This article poses fundamental questions such as what is meant by performance, how an HR system is to be configured, how the causal chain between HR practices and performance outcomes is to be modeled, and what this means for research in the area. Most importantly, it challenges what we mean by human resource management. Recent research is reviewed to argue that culture, leadership, line manager behaviour, and operational management all need to fall within this area of interest. Before getting into the substance of these points, the article says something about the type of problems that have bedeviled research in the area.

Keywords: business performance, HRM, HR system, HR practices, performance outcomes, operational management, manager behavior

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