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CAHRS ResearchLink

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ResearchLink, a publication from the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (CAHRS), provides HR practitioners with concise, high-level overviews of research by Cornell ILR School's HR Studies faculty. ResearchLink covers not only studies published in academic journals, but also the most up-to-date, completed research yet to be submitted for publication. With support from its corporate partners, CAHRS provides research funding for HRS faculty to investigate today's most critical business, human resource, and organizational issues. ResearchLink is just one way CAHRS brings together partners and the Cornell ILR School's world-renowned HR Studies faculty to investigate, translate and apply the latest HR research into practice excellence.

For CAHRS research published prior to 2009, please see the CAHRS Working Paper Series.


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 52
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    The Goldilocks Effect of Strategic Human Resource Management? Optimizing the Benefits of a High-Performance Work System Through the Dual Alignment of Vertical and Horizontal Fit
    Han, Joo Hun; Kang, Saehee; Oh, In-Sue; Kehoe, Rebecca R.; Lepak, David P. (2019-09-01)
    [Excerpt] Fit is a foundational concept in strategic human resource management (SHRM). In this context, there are two types of ft: vertical ft, which refers to the degree of alignment between a frm’s HR strategy and its business strategy, and horizontal ft, or the extent to which a frm’s bundle of HR activities is aligned or mutually reinforcing. The dual alignment model of SHRM postulates that organizations perform best when both types of ft are in play. This study provides support for the dual alignment model and, thus, for a comprehensive and integrative approach to the design and implementation of HR strategies. Data for the study derive from Workplace Panel Surveys conducted biennially between 2005 and 2011 by the Korean Labor Institute. The overall sample included 1,416 frms representing 17 different industries. Data analysis involved 3,456 establishment-year observations – 806, 842, 897, and 911 across the four years covered by the study.
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    Understanding the New Reality of Layoffs and Helping Employees Find Solutions to Cope
    Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (2010-08-01)
    KEY FINDINGS · In general, job tenure in the United States has shortened significantly over recent decades, particularly for relatively older male workers. · Stock prices, which used to react negatively to job loss announcements, began to react less negatively in the recent past, and now tend to react slightly positively. · CEO pay is correlated with layoffs, but, when company size is controlled for, there is no relationship between CEO pay and layoffs. · Laid-off workers are less well off than in the past, in terms of subsequent wages, reemployment, and health. · While there are some alternatives to layoffs, firms tend not to use them.
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    Building Strong Social Connections Increases Innovation Capability
    Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, ILR School, Cornell University (2012-07-01)
    For many years, we have been trying to understand why some work groups are more innovative than others even though they sit in the same departmental and corporate infrastructures as one another. Under-standing why some are more innovative is the key to unlocking the larger problem of increasing overall company innovativeness. The research in this study points to the underlying role of HR practices and the social capital of the working group as keys to increasing innovation capability. Overall, a work unit’s chance of success in creating innovation at a departmental level depends on: the ability of employees within the work group to effectively share knowledge with one another, which is dependent on knowing who knows what within the group and developing a high level of trust between group members; the ability of the team to get access to key knowledge from outside the members of the work group, providing the team with new thinking and novel information and preventing the group from being too mired in its own way of thinking (preventing the not-invented-here syndrome); access to tangible resources increases the effectiveness of access to knowledge by providing the group the financial, equipment, and physical resources necessary to further develop new ideas; and a set of social-capital-enhancing HR practices seems to be one key way to increase the social capital and social context of the work teams that are more consistently innovative – these practices create both the skill and the will in employees in the work group to develop and foster social capital.
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    Employee Compensation: Know the true costs of employment and optimize them to benefit employers, employees
    Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (2010-06-01)
    KEY FINDINGS · While most employees—and possibly some employers—think of employee compensation primarily in terms of “wages” or “salary,” many employees’ total compensation packages add up to a significantly larger figure. · Many employees don’t understand the actual costs of their total compensation packages. · Many employers do not adequately communicate to employees the cost of benefits they provide. · Different employees place different values on specific benefits. · Offering choice over the mix of compensation has some costs, but can benefit both firms and employees.
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    All Turnover Is Not Created Equal: Gaining Insight Into How Employee Departures Affect Organizational Units
    Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (2012-12-01)
    [Excerpt] Key Findings: Traditional turnover ratios–the number of employees leaving versus the total number in a unit—may not accurately describe how employee departures affect business unit performance. Traditional measures of turnover focus primarily on the quantity of employee exits, but fail to measure important qualities of turnover events. Some turnover scenarios tend to be more damaging than others, such as if a unit loses proficient workers, loses workers all at once, gains relatively less proficient workers, or loses workers from core functions rather than peripheral ones. To effectively link turnover to performance, metrics should account for when employees leave and from which positions, and accurately reflect the capabilities of exiting, remaining, and entering employees. The authors propose a new measure of “capacity” that targets both the quantity and qualities of turnover, allowing practitioners to improve the information value of attrition-related metrics.
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    Believable or Biased? Overestimating the Impact of HR Practices on Firm Performance
    Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (2010-04-01)
    KEY FINDINGS · HR and line managers intrinsically believe that high-performing companies have more progressive HR practices and effective HR functions. Likewise, they assume less successful companies have less effective HR functions. · Experienced people (such as senior executives with long tenure) are more likely to hold personal beliefs about the impact of HR practices on performance (i.e., implicit performance theories) than are less experienced people (such as graduate students). · These beliefs are likely to result in research that overestimates the impact of HR on firm performance.
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    A Multi-Level Process Model for Understanding Diversity Practice Effectiveness
    Nishii, Lisa Hisae (2017-07-01)
    Key Findings: The issue of workforce diversity has been at the forefront of organizational concerns for many years. Not surprisingly, this topic has generated reams of research aimed at shedding light not only on the challenges involved, but also on ways these challenges have been and can be addressed. This paper reports on a comprehensive survey of the most recent studies in an effort to uncover what has been learned and what remains to be examined. While the paper is aimed primarily at researchers, it also offers a number of insights of relevance to managers and others who are responsible for designing and administering diversity-related initiatives in today’s organizations. Initially, the review focused on studies examining particular types of diversity- related policies and practices (affirmative action, targeted recruiting, training, work-life integration, mentoring, etc.) to ascertain what could be said about their general effectiveness. The results were disappointing. No activity was found to be consistently effective; some studies turned up positive relationships, but more often the results were mixed or inconclusive and occasionally even negative. If, as these findings suggest, organizations cannot rely on specific diversity- related activities to consistently produce favorable results, the logical question to ask is: “Why?” While the authors offer several reasons for this state of affairs, the overall theme that emerges relates to the absence of a holistic view of the situation. To wit: Organizations tend to focus too much on popular programs and too little on specific, desired outcome(s). When initiatives are undertaken with no clear goals in mind, it should not be surprising to find that quite often very little is accomplished. In too many cases diversity-related activities are studied (and implemented) in isolation and, thus, inadequate attention is given to how new procedures might interact with those already in place to affect outcomes. This is unfortunate, since HR strategy researchers have thoroughly documented the power of mutually-reinforcing “bundles” of activities in numerous studies across a wide variety of settings. Many factors come into play between the formal announcement of diversity- related initiatives, bundled or otherwise, and relevant organizational outcomes. To understand why initiatives do or do not work requires that these factors be carefully considered. Are espoused initiatives implemented as planned? Do implemented initiatives result in desired employee behaviors? Do the new employee behaviors produce positive organizational outcomes? And in each case, why or why not? Clearly studies that address all of these questions are difficult to do, but they must be done if we are to have any chance of acquiring the information and insights needed to make the most of current and future diversity-related initiatives. acquiring the information and insights and future diversity-related initiatives.
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    To Cut Pay or Lay Off: Exploring a Vexing HR Challenge
    Yoon, YeongJoon (2017-09-01)
    Key Findings: In today’s turbulent business environment the need to reduce payroll costs can arise at any time. Generally, this means resorting to one of two agonizing options: cutting pay or engaging in layoffs. The challenge, of course, is to select the option that meets the firm’s financial needs while minimizing the potential downsides involved. Several studies have examined the negative effects of cutbacks on employees. The results of these studies are of limited value to decision-makers, however, since overwhelmingly they focus either on pay cuts or on layoffs while making no attempt to compare the two. Here we report on a series of three studies that extends previous research in a couple of ways. Initially, by examining pay cuts versus layoffs to test their comparative effects. And then by explicitly considering the ways in which these effects vary depending on the context in which they are executed.
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    Identify Critical Factors to Turn Workforce Satisfaction into Bottom-Line Results
    Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies (2010-04-01)
    KEY FINDINGS · While practitioners and researchers assume that higher employee satisfaction equals higher sales and profits, analysis shows that there is no direct link between the two. · Between the beginning point of employee satisfaction and the endpoint of profitability lie three crucial intervening factors: employee retention, employee responsiveness to customers, and customer satisfaction. · By understanding the interplay among these factors, organizations can target their HR efforts to positively affect the bottom line.
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    Work-Family Conflict Not Just a Women's Issue: Helping All Employees Find Work-Life Balance
    Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies, ILR School, Cornell University (2010-04-01)
    KEY FINDINGS * If employees feel their family life interferes with their work, they tend to feel guilty. They're actually less likely to feel guilt when they feel work interferes with their family life, possibly because it's increasingly acceptable for work to spill over into our private lives. * People with traditional gender role views (i.e., believe men should be primarily responsible for work, and women for family) tend to experience more guilt when their family interferes with their work, regardless of gender. * People with more egalitarian gender role views (i.e., feel men and women can equally share work and family roles) tend to experience more guilt when their work interferes with their family time. * Men with the most traditional gender attitudes experience the most guilt when their family conflicts with their work, compared to women, and compared to more egalitarian men. * Contrary to the popular perception that only women are affected by work-family conflict, men also experience guilt from this conflict—sometimes even more so than do women.