Having your cake and eating it too? the relationship between HR and organizational performance in healthcare

Rebecca K. Givan, Ariel Avgar, Mingwei Liu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper examines the relationship between human resource practices in 173 hospitals in the United Kingdom and four organizational outcome categories - clinical, financial, employee attitudes and perceptions, and patient attitudes and perceptions. The overarching proposition set forth and examined in this paper is that human resource management (HRM) practices and delivery of care practices have varied effects on each of these outcomes. More specifically, the authors set forth the proposition that specific practices will have positive effects on one outcome category while simultaneously having a negative effect on other performance outcomes, broadly defined. The paper introduces a broader stakeholder framework for assessing the HR-performance relationship in the healthcare setting. This multi- dimensional framework incorporates the effects of human resource practices on customers (patients), management, and frontline staff and can also be applied to other sectors such as manufacturing. This approach acknowledges the potential for incompatibilities between stakeholder performance objectives. In the healthcare industry specifically, our framework broadens the notion of performance. Overall, our results provide support for the proposition that different stakeholders will be affected differently by the use of managerial practices. We believe that the findings reported in this paper highlight the importance of examining multiple stakeholder outcomes associated with managerial practices and the need to identify the inherent trade-offs associated with their adoption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Industrial and Labor Relations
EditorsDavid Lewin, Bruce E. Kaufman, Paul Gollan
Number of pages37
StatePublished - 2010

Publication series

NameAdvances in Industrial and Labor Relations
ISSN (Print)0742-6186

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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