• High commitment HR practices, the employment relationship and job performance: A test of a mediation model     Original Research Article
    Pages 328-337
    Felisa Latorre, David Guest, José Ramos, Francisco J. Gracia
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  • Abstract

    Purpose

    This study outlines and tests a high commitment model of human resource (HR) practices and its association with outcomes through a path including employee perceptions and attitudes, thereby seeking a new way of opening the so-called ‘black box’ between human resource management (HRM) and performance.

    Methodology

    Data were collected through a questionnaire survey with responses from 835 Spanish workers from three sectors (services, education and food manufacture). In order to test hypotheses, we conducted a path analysis.

    Findings

    High commitment HR practices were related to employee performance through the mediating effect of perceived organizational support, a fulfilled psychological contract and job security, as key features of the employment relationship, and job satisfaction.

    Research implications/limitations

    This study highlights the roles of high commitment HR and a social exchange model that places a positive employment relationship at the centre of the link between HRM and performance. In so doing, it supports a causal chain from input (HR practices) to perceptions (the employment relationship), attitudes (job satisfaction) and performance (employee behaviour). However, it is based on self-report and cross-sectional data, and hence future research should obtain independent performance data and should ideally be longitudinal.

    Originality/value

    This study is novel in its analysis of how high commitment HRM affects performance through the employment relationship within a social exchange analytic framework. As such, it offers an alternative, albeit complementary view of the HRM – performance link to the more dominant AMO (ability, motivation and opportunity) model.

    Application of signaling theory in management research: Addressing major gaps in theory     Original Research Article
    Pages 338-348
    Saud A. Taj
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  • Abstract

    Dealing with information asymmetry is essential for developing a strong signaling environment with signals flowing efficiently and effectively between the firm and its stakeholders. This study applies signaling theory to examine the flow of signals between corporate headquarters (HQ) and the local subsidiary of a multinational and explore the implementation and outcomes of employer branding change programs, with the aim of achieving authenticity in employee voice by reducing information asymmetry. Findings suggest that developing a strong signaling environment requires understanding how best to deal with negative signals; the significance of signal precedence; and the role of counter-signals (feedback) in the signaling process. These questions inform major gaps in signaling theory research to which this paper contributes. The study also has far reaching implications for subsidiary managers and extends their knowledge on reducing information asymmetry between HQ (signal designers) and local employees (signal receivers) through efficient and effective signaling, so that employer branding programs can be implemented successfully.

    Does corporate language influence career mobility? Evidence from MNCs in Russia       Original Research Article

  • Pages 363-373
    Marina Latukha, Anna Doleeva, Maria Järlström, Tiina Jokinen, Rebecca Piekkari
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  • Abstract

    The paper investigates how corporate language influences the career mobility of MNC employees in Russia. We apply human capital theory to show how language may be valued in an organizational context. In our work we use a framework that demonstrates that corporate language may act as a glass ceiling. The results show that employees in Russian MNCs with a lower level of corporate language skills will be less likely to consider vertical and horizontal career mobility than employees with a higher level of these language skills. Equally, employees in Russian MNCs with a lower level of corporate language skills will be less likely to consider internal and external career mobility than those employees with a higher level of these language skills. We prove that corporate language may act both as a barrier and as a facilitator for the career mobility of employees in Russian MNCs who have different levels of corporate language skills.

    Enterprise strategy concept, measurement, and validation: Integrating stakeholder engagement into the firm's strategic architecture     Original Research Article
    Pages 374-385
    Veselina Vracheva, William Q. Judge, Timothy Madden
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  • Abstract

    A firm's enterprise strategy is its overarching strategic orientation, addressing questions regarding its general purpose and the specific nature of its relationships with stakeholders along two dimensions: (a) scope, which represents the range of stakeholders the organization attempts to serve, and (b) type, which represents the general motivation behind stakeholder initiatives. The corporate social responsibility literature has played an important role in bringing a concern with stakeholder issues; however, this literature does not provide a systematic means of integrating these concerns into the firm's strategic architecture. Enterprise strategy offers a unifying construct, grounded in strategic considerations of both the social and economic demands placed on an organization. However, despite its conceptual importance to strategy and social issues, this construct is empirically underdeveloped. This study develops a reliable and valid measure of the enterprise strategy construct to advance the field's understanding of this increasingly important stream of research. Based on computer-aided text analyses of company letters to stakeholders, we systematically identify terminology that reflects the scope and type of a firm's espoused enterprise strategy. Overall, these data support four fundamental orientations of enterprise strategy: (1) narrow defensive, (2) narrow offensive, (3) broad defensive, and (4) broad offensive.

    Exploring the intention–behavior link in student entrepreneurship: Moderating effects of individual and environmental characteristics      Original Research Article
    Pages 386-399
    Galina Shirokova, Oleksiy Osiyevskyy, Karina Bogatyreva
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  • Abstract

    Entrepreneurial intentions lie at the foundation of entrepreneurial process. Yet the available evidence suggests that not every entrepreneurial intention is eventually transformed into actual behavior – starting and operating a new venture. Although studies in other research domains suggest high level of intention–behavior correlation, the studies of intention–behavior relationship in entrepreneurship are scarce. Using the data from the 2013/2014 Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students' Survey, we scrutinize the intention-action gap among student entrepreneurs, attributing it to the contextual factors, i.e., individual (family entrepreneurial background, age, gender) and environmental characteristics (university environment, uncertainty avoidance), affecting the translation of entrepreneurial intentions into entrepreneurial actions.

    Strategising practices in an informal economy setting: A case of strategic networking      Original Research Article
    Pages 400-413
    William Phanuel Kofi Darbi, Paul Knott
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  • Abstract

    Despite the increasing interest in strategy as situated practice, studies that examine strategising practices in the informal economy are lacking. This article draws on Bourdieu's theory of practice to understand strategic networking practices in an informal economy setting. Employing ethnographic techniques, it sets out to study how an informal business and its network partners do strategic networking. We found that their strategic networking practices pivot around co-opetition, and are characterised within four interconnected themes: open communication, mutual surrogacy, fraternal engagement and naturalisation. These themes are constitutive of an interrelated set of field-specific practices, capital, habitus and dispositions of the informal business and its network partners. The study contributes to strategy-as-practice and strategic networking literature by showing how actors adopt and internalise strategising practices, and how this predisposition may be traced to strategic networking practices, choices and outcomes.

    Reverse logistics and informal valorisation at the Base of the Pyramid: A case study on sustainability synergies and trade-offs     Original Research Article
    Pages 414-423
    Carolin Brix-Asala, Rüdiger Hahn, Stefan Seuring
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  • Abstract

    Despite a growing body of research on business with and for the Base of the Pyramid (BoP), ecological aspects of such businesses have not been considered adequately in the literature. We take a holistic view on the social and environmental consequences of a specific case of a BoP business. Water sold in plastic sachets in Africa is a typical BoP product with potentially negative ecological impact caused by littering. Reverse logistics activities could mitigate these consequences. At the same time, such activities provide opportunities for poor people to make a living from collecting waste. This in-depth single case study sheds light on the opportunities and disadvantages of informal valorisation in reverse logistics activities from both social and environmental perspectives. The case offers insights into the potential and actual trade-offs in BoP activities in different pillars of sustainability, which are otherwise rarely discussed in academic literature.

    The effects of high-performance work systems on hospital employees' work-related well-being: Evidence from Greece       Original Research Article
    Pages 424-438
    Dimitrios M. Mihail, Panagiotis V. Kloutsiniotis
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  • Abstract

    Following an employee-centric approach and based on the social and economic exchange theories, this study examines the effects of High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) on employees' work-related well-being, such as emotional exhaustion, work engagement and consequently their job satisfaction. Partial Least Squares (PLS) Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was used on a sample of 297 clinicians (doctors, and nurses) across seven Greek regional hospitals. The findings demonstrated that the HPWS effects on employee outcomes can be influenced by their perceived nature of the exchange relationship with their employers. Specifically, it was indicated that if employees perceive their relationship with the hospitals as a social exchange, emotional exhaustion tends to decrease. On the other hand, an economic exchange relationship decreases the possibility that HPWS leads to work engagement. Last but not least, employees' job satisfaction was negatively associated with emotional exhaustion, and positively with work engagement. Finally, implications are drawn for the management of employees in the healthcare sector.

    The role of institutional shareholders as owners and directors and the financial distress likelihood. Evidence from a concentrated ownership context   Original Research Article
    Pages 439-451
    Montserrat Manzaneque, Elena Merino, Alba María Priego
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  • Abstract

    Previous studies of corporate governance and the likelihood of business failure have focused on the role of large shareholders as owners; especially on the role that institutional shareholders play in management control. However, scant attention has been paid to the role of institutional shareholders as board members. To contribute towards an understanding of this issue, our study examines experimentally the role of institutional shareholders in business financial distress likelihood within the contexts of ownership concentration. We study not only the different roles of institutional shareholders as owners and board members, but also consider the diverse set of institutional shareholders' interests, categorised into pressure-resistant and pressure-sensitive. We find that directors appointed by pressure-resistant institutional shareholders, such as investment funds, pension funds, venture capital and holding firms, have a negative impact on the likelihood of business failure. This result indicates that institutional owners insist on directorships when the firm is important to them or when they judge they can keep a firm from going into distress, particularly in the context of concentrated ownership. In particular, the risk of failure acts as a catalyst to trigger reactions from the pressure-resistant institutional shareholders in the form of organizational changes in the firm. In contrast, directors appointed by pressure-sensitive shareholders have no impact on the likelihood of business failure.