Stiles et al. (1997) support this view and observe: That the rhetoric adopted by the companies frequently embraces the tenets of soft, commitment model while the reality experienced by employees is more concerned with strategic control, similar to the hard model. The measure of performance without humans? One key area of concern is the definitions and limitations of performance used in evaluation. Current measures of performance are largely determined by financial performance and productivity, usually within a highly managerialist perspective (Guest, 1997). However, this approach neglects the role and contribution of employees in achieving organizational performance and fails to consider how employees’ perceive HR practices (Guest, 1999). Rogers and Wright (1999) reviewed 29 empirical studies containing 80 observations and tested the links between HRM and organizational performance. The authors reported three measures related to HR issues, 34 measures related to organizations, 24 related to accounting and 19 to financial market outcomes (see Table I). Most US studies on HRM and performance use large qualitative datasets and statistical associations (e.g. Becker and Gerhart, 1996; Huselid, 1995; Huselid et al. , 1997; Ichionowski et al. , 1997; McDuffie, 1995; Capelli and Neumark, 2001; Richard and Johnson, 2001: Batt, 2002; Wright et al. , 2003; Wright et al. , 2005). In the UK studies have also included statistical measures (e.g. Guest, 1997; Patterson et al. , 1997; Wood and de Menezes, 1998; Hoque, 1999; Guest et al. , 2003: Way, 2002). What has differentiated testing whether HR practices improve organisational performance is if the evidence and links with causation between statistical studies are 1. Human resources Employee turnover 2. Organizational Productivity, quality, customer satisfaction 3. Financial accounting Return on assets 4. Financial markets Differential between market and book value of firm’s assets Source: Rogers and Wright (1999) Table I. Review of performance measures in 29 empirical studies on HRM and performance Human resource management performance 149
the measures or factors that can be correlated and tested for statistical associations between HR practices and organizational performance. These approaches to testing causality between HRM practices and performance will be evaluated using different methods of research design to determine evidence then the current evidence of if there are an exact forms or techniques of HRM practices that contribute to organizational performance. The evidence will then examining some HRM agendas that influence the research and will examine the politics of non-managerialist approaches before finally analysing the need to demonstrate such research to gain influence and credibility in the politics of management functions. The link between HRM and performance is examined using three main schools of thought titled “best practice”, “best fit” and “configurational” fit. The first is the “best practice” test which is the hypothetical links of a set of techniques/practices known as “universalistic prescriptive” and “best fit” (contingency) models (Storey, 2007, p. 14).