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Relations industrielles / Industrial Relations

Volume 58, numéro 3, été 2003, p. 427-453

Direction : Sylvie Montreuil (directeur)

Rédaction : Sylvie Montreuil (rédacteur en chef)

Éditeur : Département des relations industrielles de l'Université Laval

ISSN : 0034-379X (imprimé)  1703-8138 (numérique)

DOI : 10.7202/007494ar

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Article

La performance organisationnelle et la complémentarité des pratiques de gestion des ressources humaines

Jacques Barrette

École de gestion

Université d’Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

barrette@uottawa.ca

Jules Carrière

École de gestion

Université d’Ottawa

Ottawa, Ontario

jcarriere@gestion.uottawa.ca

Résumé

L’article présente dans un premier temps un aperçu du rôle et de l’importance de la complémentarité des pratiques de GRH dans la prédiction de la performance organisationnelle. Après avoir expliqué le concept de grappes de pratiques, les auteurs soulèvent les limites quant aux différentes approches pour mesurer la complémentarité. Ces derniers discutent de l’importance de combiner les pratiques sur une base rationnelle et proposent une définition et une méthode en ce sens. Enfin, l’importance de prendre en considération le secteur industriel dans l’analyse du lien entre la complémentarité et la performance organisationnelle est soulevée afin de poser par la suite les objectifs et hypothèses de la recherche. Les résultats indiquent que l’accroissement de la complémentarité des pratiques de GRH est lié à une augmentation de la productivité et de l’efficience, au positionnement concurrentiel de l’organisation et à l’acquisition de clients et d’une part du marché.

Summary

Organizational Performance and Complementarity in Human Resources Management Practices

For more than ten years, much published material has argued that human resource management (HRM) can play a major role in improving organizational performance. Several researchers claim that to exert a significant impact on organizational performance, HR practices need to be integrated or complementary with each other. However, the concept of complementarity suffers from a lack of operational clarity and has been essentially approached from a statistical standpoint that has limited our understanding of the architecture of the overall system of HR practices. On the other hand, several authors assert that the complementarity of HR practices cannot be studied outside its organizational context, especially in the industrial sector. They argue that differences in the nature of activity between service organizations and manufacturing companies are likely to have implications on which practices are adopted and how these practices impact the human and corporate performance of the organizations in question.

In its first phase, this study proposes an operational definition of the concept of complementarity that can be used to select which practices to include in an organization’s HRM system. This complementarity has been defined as “the set of practices originating from various areas of HRM activity whose combined application can be rationally justified and empirically demonstrated to have a synergistic effect on organizational performance in a given sector.” Thus, on the basis of this definition, the authors developed a number of “complex items,” incorporating HRM practices from four major operational areas : staffing, remuneration, training and performance assessment. Each of these combinations embodies a link of complementarity between practices, and the additional impact of each combination is our way of measuring its complementarity. This study has the dual purpose of first verifying the hypothesis that “the more practices from different areas of HRM are complementary, the more they will improve organizational performance” (H. 1) and, second, that “it is likely that the impact of complementary practices will vary depending on whether the organizations concerned belong to the manufacturing or service sector” (H. 2).

The items to measure organizational performance come from a previous study. These data were derived from questionnaires completed by 177 Canadian firms and the internal reliability varies from .77 to .90. To measure the degree of complementarity between HRM practices, 22 items were developed with an internal reliability of .84. The data were obtained from 238 manufacturing companies and 325 service organizations. The results corroborated Hypothesis 1, indicating that the complementarity of HR practices was responsible for a significant increase in productivity/efficiency, competitive positioning and client acquisition/growth. The results also corroborated Hypothesis 2, showing that, when the two different economic sectors are compared in terms of dependant variables, a higher degree of complementarity is particularly associated in service companies with increased productivity and efficiency, better competitive positioning and a greater number of clients and increased market share. In the case of manufacturing companies, the results indicate that the higher degree of complementarity has particular impact on the first two factors. The results are discussed in the light of current research and the limitations of the research are presented.

Resúmen

El resultado organizacional y la complementaridad de prácticas de gestión de recursos humanos

El articulo presenta en un primer momento una visión rápida del rol y la importancia de la complementaridad de practicas de gestión de recursos humanos (GRH) en la predicción del resultado organizacional. Después de haber explicado el concepto de racimos de prácticas, los autores resaltan los límites respecto a las diferentes concepciones para medir la complementaridad. Se discute la importancia de combinar las prácticas sobre una base racional y se propone una definición y un método en este sentido. Finalmente, se destaca la importancia de tomar en consideración el sector industrial en el analisis del nexo entre complementaridad y resultado organizacional para proponer a continuación los objetivos e hipotesis de la investigación. Los resultados indican que el incremento de la complementaridad de prácticas de GRH está vinculado a un aumento de la productividad y la eficiencia, a la ubicación competitiva de la organización y a la adquisición de clientes y partes de mercado.

Auteurs : Jacques Barrette et Jules Carrière
Titre : La performance organisationnelle et la complémentarité des pratiques de gestion des ressources humaines
Revue : Relations industrielles / Industrial Relations, Volume 58, numéro 3, été 2003, p. 427-453
URI : http://id.erudit.org/iderudit/007494ar
DOI : 10.7202/007494ar

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