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PARTLY DIGITAL - ONLY FOR INVITEES (PILOT 1,5m) : PhD Defence Luuk Collou | Strategic HRM: It's all in the game - Exploring configurational theory in HRM using a simulation model and serious game

Strategic HRM: It's all in the game - Exploring configurational theory in HRM using a simulation model and serious game

Due to the COVID-19 crisis measures the PhD defence of Luuk Collou will take place (partly) online in the presence of an invited audience.

The recording of this defence will be added to the video overview of recent defences

Luuk Collou is a PhD student in the research group Human Resource Management (HRM). His supervisor is prof.dr. T. Bondarouk from the faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS).

To shape employee behavior so that it contributes to overarching goals, organizations deploy a set of human resource management (HRM) practices. If the set of individual HRM-practices is designed correctly, they amplify each other in shaping the desired behavior. However, while there is wide agreement on the importance of combining HRM-practices in a configuration that reflects the organizational strategy, there is no consensus on which HRM-practices need to be combined in a multiyear HRM configuration given a specific strategic goal.

The configurational approach has the potential to aid HRM professionals and scholars. However, applying the configurational mode of theorizing to HRM is challenging; the level of detail needed is large, studying HRM configurations holistically is a challenge, and methodological issues arise. In this dissertation we pose that the time is ripe to build upon prior strategic HRM research by adding a layer of detail to configurational HRM and unlock its true value for theory and practice. Hence, in this research we have specified the abstract and complex configurational mode of theorizing to an unprecedented level of detail by creating and applying a simulation model and serious game.

Using the simulation model and serious game we can now open the scientific and empirical “black box” of configurational HRM. Furthermore, the simulation model and serious game provide HRM professionals with a tool to design firm specific HRM configurations. While prior studies did already acknowledge the importance of alignment when designing HRM, the simulation model (and serious game InLine) specifies the general concept of alignment to a level at which HRM professionals and researchers can start selecting, designing, implementing and researching HRM configurations. The tools provide HRM professionals with a method to grasp, maneuver through the complexity of, and explore the implementation of multi-year firm specific HRM.