n the current debate on HRM and organisational performance (Mahoney and Pandian, 1992; Storey, 1992; Paauwe, 1994; Wright et al, 1994; Flood et al, 1995; Becker and Gerhardt, 1996; Boxall, 1996; Mueller, 1996; Beatty and Schneider, 1997; Coff, 1997; Guest, 1997; Paauwe and Richardson, 1997; Boxall and Steeneveld, 1999) HR theorists, who refer to the `resource-based view of the Â® rmâ (Penrose, 1959; Wernerfelt, 1984; Barney, 1991), argue that HR is a major determinant of a Â® rmâs competitive advantage. This argument is relevant particularly in the case of professional service organisations, such as auditing and law Â® rms and management consulting organisations (Maister, 1993; Grant, 1997; Nachum, 1998). A Â® rmâs ability to generate rents depends largely on its employees competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) in tracing work-related problems, diagnosing backgrounds and designing, implementing and evaluating successful solutions. In view of the currently increasing scarcity in labour markets for professionals and the rapidly changing and expanding product markets, HR policy nowadays is even more important to a professional service organisationâs success. Adequate management of HR is a challenging task since knowledg e, skills and attitudes are vital but elusive resources. Since competencies are based on former experience
Human Resource Management Journal – Wiley
Published: Apr 1, 2000
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