Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Assessing the Role of Internal and External Agents in HRM: Scale Development and Validation

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Assessing the Role of Internal and External Agents in HRM: Scale Development and Validation

Article excerpt

Recent literature has recognized the role of both internal (top management and line management) and external agents (HR outsourcing agencies or external service providers) in HRM. However, most studies have focused on a single agent. As a result of this, no establislied measures are available to explore the role of both internal and external agents. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to develop an instrument for assessing the role of internal and external agents vis-a-vis HRM. The paper is based on primary data obtained from leading business organizations in India through a single crosssectional survey. The respondents of the study were senior HR executives, from whom 174 usable responses were generated. The scales were assessed for unidimensionality as well as reliability and validity. SEM capabilities of LISREL 8.50 were employed to evaluate the unidimensionality, reliability and validity of the scales. Both indicator and scale reliability as well as convergent, discriminant and nomological validity of the scales were established. The research instrument has been tested based on the data obtained from selected companies operating in India. Hence, there is a need to cross-validate it on other samples from other countries. The paper has implications for researchers as well as practitbners because it offers a reliable and valid instrument to assess the rob of internal and external agents vis-a-vis HRM. This paper is unique as it integrates the scattered viewpoints regarding the rob of internal and external agents in management of HR and offers a reliable and valid instrument to explore their rob vis-a-vis HRM.

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

Last two decades has ushered a new era in business world - one in which organizations are competing with each other across national boundaries (Ansoff, 1991). These changes in the business environment have substantially changed the roles of the HR professionals as well as the way people are managed in the organizations. In this context, Valverde et al. (2006) has recognized the contribution of both internal (top management and line management) and external agents (HR outsourcing agencies or external service providers) in HRM.

HRM is not the sole responsibility of HR departments but also of other agents (Valverde et al, 2006). Thus, all managers irrespective of the area they belong to can be conceived as managers of employee related issues since they are all responsible for managing people in their own capacities (Whittaker, 1990; Khatri and Budhwar, 2002; and Papalexandris and Panayotopoulou, 2005). These are both internal and external agents. In today's organization, line manager roles have changed and it continues to evolve with the changing needs of the organizations. The devolution of traditional HRM responsibilities to line management have been reported by different researchers (Renwick and McNeil, 2002; and Larsen and Brewster, 2003). Top managers are also increasingly getting involved in HRM as they evolve strategies to attract, motivate, and retain the best talent in the organisation (Chung et al, 1987; Jonas et al, 1990; and Harper, 1993). At the same time, HR outsourcing has also gained prominence of late, engendering a new genre of research on the role of external service providers in HR (e.g., Cook, 1999; Mahoney and Brewster, 2002; and Banham, 2003). Of late, both internal and external agents are seen to be participating in management of HR, albeit with differing degrees of involvement.

CONCEPTUAL BACKGROUND

The concept of sharing responsibility for HRM with other entities is being recognized within the literature and there is constant debate about the same. Devolution to the line implies that line managers should become more involved in HRM so that HR staff can take on a greater strategic role (Legge, 1995; Sisson and Storey, 2000; and Finegold and Frenkel, 2006). The devolution of HR responsibilities to the line has been viewed as a key characteristic of strategic HR. …

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