HRM in dynamic environments: Exploitative, exploratory, and ambidextrous HRM architectures

Nina Hansen, Wolfgang Güttel, Juani Swart

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Abstract

The current economic crisis has brought to the fore the need for firms to deal with ambiguity and complexity. Hence, firms need a specific balance between exploration and exploitation in order to keep pace with varying and changing environmental conditions. Hitherto, there is limited research that has examined the nexus of HR architectures, ambidexterity, and environmental dynamics. In this conceptual paper we ask: How do HR architectures serve as a means of balancing exploitative and exploratory learning in different dynamic environments? We explain how exploratory, exploitative, and ambidextrous HR architectures with their embedded HRM systems and practices enable organizations to meet different environmental requirements. Thus, firms in which heterogeneous demands for flexibility and for innovation co-exist need to develop internally differentiated HR architectures. In particular we elucidate how critical the organization’s ability is to connect different HRM systems to create an ambidextrous HR architecture for finding an appropriate balance between exploration and exploitation.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1-32
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Early online date20 Jan 2017
DOIs
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jan 2017

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Embedded systems
Innovation
Economics
Dynamic environment
Exploration and exploitation
Environmental conditions
Ambidexterity
Economic crisis

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