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Award for IWP Researchers

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

IWP research reported in a paper in Personnel Psychology, entitled “The Impact of Human Resource and Operational Management Practices on Company Productivity: A Longitudinal Study”, has been selected as one of the 50 best articles published in 2008 in management and has therefore won an Emerald Management Reviews Citation of Excellence. The authors are Kamal Birdi, Malcolm Patterson, Chris Stride, Stephen Wood, Emeritus Professor Toby and two colleagues from Leeds University Business School, Chris Clegg and Andrew Robinson.

Emerald Management Reviews is an abstracting and indexing database that covers every article in the top 400 business and management journals world-wide including titles such as: Harvard Business Review; Journal of Finance; Journal of Marketing; Strategic Management Journal; MIT Sloan Management Review; Long Range Planning; Academy of Management Journal ; and MIS Quarterly.

Every article that appears in these titles is sent by Emerald to independent subject experts for evaluation. The top 50 from the 15,000 articles Emerald reviewed throughout 2008 are then selected for the award.

The paper is a major output from IWP’s longitudinal study of Manufacturing Practices and Performance. This research reported examined the productivity of 308 UK manufacturing companies over 22 years and showed that human resource management initiatives had a significant impact on it. In contrast, operational practices of total quality management, just-in-time, supply-chain partnering, advanced manufacturing technology each had no independent effect on productivity. More specifically:

  • Firms adopting empowerment strategies – the greater devolution of decision-making responsibility to front-line employees – showed a 7% increase in value added per employee in the years subsequent to adoption.
  • Firms introducing a broad range of employee training and development opportunities had a 6% increase in value added per employee in the years subsequent to adoption.
  • Together empowerment and intensive training resulted in a 9% increase in value added per employee.
  • The adoption of teamworking, though having little effect in itself, served to enhance the impact of all the other practices, and thus in a teamworkin environment, empowerment and training has even more effect and operational practices may have a positive effect on productivity.

Download the IWP research paper: Birdi, K., Clegg, C., Patterson, A., Robinson, A., Stride, C., Wall, T. and Wood, S. The impact of human resource and operational management practices on company productivity: A longitudinal study, Personnel Psychology, Vol. 61, 2008, 467-501.