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Title:The influence of competition and business strategy on organizations' use of high-performance work systems
Author(s):Prince, Nicholas Ryan
Director of Research:Leblebici, Huseyin
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Leblebici, Huseyin
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Martocchio, Joseph J.; Bednar, Michael K.; Harris, Brad
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
strategic human resource management (SHRM)
High-performance work systems
business strategy
Abstract:Articles on high-performance work systems (HPWS) often imply that competition will influence organizations’ adoption of a HPWS, yet there are few studies that empirically test this relationship (for exception see Sanz-Valle, Sabater-Sanchez, & Aragon-Sanchez, 1999; Takeuchi, 2009). This dissertation seeks to develop a better understanding of the influence that competition has on organizations’ use of a HPWS. It does so by developing theory on competition and the expected effect that it has on organizations’ use of a HPWS. This dissertation empirically tests this relationship. The expectation was that organizations’ use of a HPWS would increase as competition increased. Statistical evidence was found to support this hypothesis. Next this dissertation takes a closer look at the effect of competition on organizations’ use of a HPWS by investigating the extent to which the constructs of market commonality and resource similarity moderate the effect of competition on HPWSs. Market commonality, the extent to which competitors markets overlap, and resource similarity, the extent to which competitors have the same resources as each other, have both been theorized to effect organizational action in a theory of competition known as the Red Queen effect. This dissertation theorizes that market commonality and resource similarity would amplify organizations’ use of a HPWS. There was no statistical support for these relationships. After investigating competition, an antecedent from the external environment, on organizations’ use of a HPWS, this dissertation shifts to investigate the influence of business strategy, an antecedent from the internal environment. There are a variety of business strategies that have been identified in the strategy literature. The business strategies used in this dissertation included the cost-reduction strategy, where organizations focus on reducing costs throughout their value chain, and two differentiation strategies, innovation and quality management. This dissertation tested the direct effect of each of these strategies and then the moderation effect of these strategies on the competition – HPWS relationship. The expected relationship was that the presence of a cost-reduction strategy would decrease the use of a HPWS. The innovation and quality management differentiation strategies were expected to increase organizations’ use of a HPWS. Similarly, the presence of a cost-reduction strategy was expected to diminish the effect of competition on organizations’ use of a HPWS. Alternately, the innovation and quality management strategies were expected to amplify the competition – HPWS relationship. When tested, these hypotheses were not supported. Of most interest was the quality management strategy. When quality management was high, organizations reduced their use of a HPWS. This was contrary to what was expected and should be studied further in future studies. Theses hypotheses were tested using a sample collected from alumni from two different Midwestern universities and an HR association.
Issue Date:2015-04-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2015 Nicholas Prince
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-07-22
Date Deposited:May 2015

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