Workforce Alignment, Human Resource Scalability and Small business sales growth

Topics: Human resource management, Human resources, Firm Pages: 113 (18662 words) Published: October 8, 2013
WORKFORCE ALIGNMENT, HUMAN RESOURCE SCALABILITY,
AND SMALL BUSINESS SALES GROWTH

A Dissertation
Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School
of Cornell University
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

by
Gerald Arthur Ericksen
January 2006

© 2006 Gerald Arthur Ericksen

WORKFORCE ALIGNMENT, HUMAN RESOURCE SCALABILITY, AND
SMALL BUSINESS SALES GROWTH

Gerald Arthur Ericksen, Ph. D.
Cornell University 2006

This study contributes to the field of strategic human resource management by providing initial insights into the extent to which, and the conditions under which, workforce alignment leads to higher levels of firm performance. Using data collected from the CEOs of 196 small businesses, I develop a measure of workforce alignment and demonstrate that workforce alignment mediates the relationship between high-performance work system use and sales growth. I also show that firms that achieve workforce alignment through either internal scalability or external scalability (but not both) are more likely to obtain high sales growth than firms that achieve workforce alignment though HR stability. Finally, I reveal other circumstances such as involuntary turnover, contract worker use, and market volatility that moderate the relationship between workforce alignment and sales growth in expected and surprising ways.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Gerald Arthur Ericksen received a B.A. from St. Olaf College, an M.B.A. from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management, and an M.S. in human resource studies from Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I am profoundly grateful to Professor Lee Dyer for his wisdom, patience, encouragement, and friendship. I would also like to thank Professor Chris Collins and Matt Allen for their help with the project. Funding for this research was provided by Gevity as well as Cornell University’s Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS) and Benjamin Miller Scholarship Fund.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter 2. Literature Review and Hypotheses . . . .
Chapter 3. Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter 4. Results
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Chapter 5. Discussion and Conclusion . . . . . . .
Appendix A . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Appendix B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Appendix C . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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LIST OF FIGURES

Figure 2.1

High-Performance Work Systems, Workforce Alignment,
and Firm Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Figure 2.2 Workforce Alignment and Temporary Competitive
Advantage
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Figure 3.1 Results of First-Order Confirmatory Factor Analysis: Internal Workforce Adaptation . . . . . . . . . . .
Figure 4.1 Results of First-Order Confirmatory Factor Analysis: Workforce Alignment
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Figure 4.2 Results of Second-Order Confirmatory Factor Analysis . Figure 4.3 Internal Scalability
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Figure 4.4 External Scalability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Figure 4.5 Overall HR Scalability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Figure 4.6 Workforce Alignment and Market Volatility . . . . . . Figure 4.7 Workforce Alignment and Involuntary Turnover . . . . Figure 4.8 Workforce Alignment and Contract Worker Use . . . . Figure 4.9 Internal Scalability and Market Volatility . . . . . . . Figure 4.10 Overall HR Scalability and Market Volatility . . . . . .

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LIST OF TABLES

Table 3.1
Table 3.2
Table 4.1
Table 4.2
Table 4.3
Table 4.4
Table 4.5
Table 4.6

Variable Definitions
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Discriminant Validity of Internal Workforce Adaptation .
Means, Standard Deviations, and...
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