HRM and Organizational Performance: Evidence from the Public Service Organization

Yousif El-Ghalayini


The relationship between human resources management (HRM) practices and organizational performance has been invigorated by the notion that these practices results in enhanced individual and organizational performance. None the less, the literature on HRM-performance relationship has focused on private sector organizations and there has been very limited research on public service organizations. This article focuses on the relatively understudied public organization. On the basis of a large public-organization-wide survey, the impacts of HRM practices on organisational performance are assessed. This mixed-methods study examines the effects of HRM practices on individual worker attitudes in public organization by reporting the results of a staff survey and follow-up interviews conducted on a cross-section of one of the largest UN agencies. The agency has a quasi-governmental role, delivering essential public services including education, healthcare, social services, and emergency aid. The empirical evidence has shown that the effects of specific HRM practices, such as training and development, outperform other practices, such as staffing and recruitment. The results also indicated that HRM practices have synergistic and complementary effects on each of the employee attitudes that exceed their individual effects. The paper concludes that although there are significant positive effects of some bundles of HRM practice and worker attitudinal outcomes, there are other factors that may positively or negatively moderates the effectiveness of these practices, raising thus the question of reverse causality.

Keywords: HRM practices, HRM outcomes, organizational performance, employee attitudes

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