A longitudinal case-study examination of HRM practices in high-performing work organisations in the Indian HRO/BPO industry

  • Vijay Pereira

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This research is concerned with the Human Resource contribution to High Performance Work Systems in High Performing Human Resource Offshoring and Business Process Offshoring organisations in India. Indian Business Process Offshoring organisations offer knowledge intensive services dependent on human resources for delivery. Technology underpins the delivery of services and processes; however, the employees of Human Resource Offshoring Business Process Offshoring are central to organisational resources and represent a cornerstone for value creation. The management of Human Resources is therefore central to overall performance and success. There is a lack of research on High Performance Work Systems strategies adopted and adapted by successful Indian firms in this sector. This study bridges this gap through an empirical longitudinal study.

    Methodologically, longitudinal qualitative reflexive case study examinations have been rare in management and organisation research. Previous studies have concentrated on being ‘snap-shot’ whereas this study’s longitudinal nature enabled a more holistic and contextualised view of the Human Resources processes. Fieldwork was conducted in three phases, (ten visits) over five years. Data gathering methods included interviews and focus groups. A longitudinal reflexive research methodology using inductive and deductive approaches was utilised via an innovative and robust combination of ‘template’ ‘processual’ and ‘systematic’ analysis.

    Findings suggest a complex, global, networked and dynamic business context, wherein Human Resource Management is understood and enacted in different forms, characterised by 'shape-shifting', a dynamic 'entanglement' of problem solving and strategic adoptive and adaptive approaches to attrition and performance.

    Phase 1 of the research witnessed attrition anxiety drive both a focus on employer branding and perceived sophisticated Human Resources. In Phase 2, an 'attritioncentric' approach that integrated both employer branding and other Human Resources practices took hold and in Phase 3 a distinctive blend/bundles of attrition-centric Human Resources and employer branding emerged. Influences were seen to include the complexities of life cycle, leadership ambitions, economic and market fluctuations, cultural, social, socio-cultural, national, sub-national and institutional contexts. Theoretically, this phenomenon suggested a unique Human Resource Management-performance link in the Indian Business Process Offshoring industry and was grounded and premised on the ‘evolutionary resource-based view’, as an alternative to the traditional human capital versus resource-based view. This idiosyncratic theoretical form is supported by six identified dimensions including tacit knowledge, the knowledge based view, resource dependency, core competencies and core- related specificity, casual ambiguity, and social complexity, thus contributing to academic knowledge.
    Date of AwardNov 2013
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorPeter Scott (Supervisor), Valerie Anderson (Supervisor) & Charlotte Rayner (Supervisor)

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