The context of the data is on analysis of the competitive advantage that industries have in line with the attitudes, skills and knowledge of their employees. Data collected is intended to determine what is vital, in order to, achieve service quality within an organization. This was done by use of human recourse management (HRM) practices that are used in the implementation of the strategies. The dimensions of HRM have been used as a basis for competitive advantage analysis. Results indicate that high performance service in companies can be achieved by use of HRM practices in all area of the organization. This includes selection and recruitments, team working and communication, development and training. In addition, there is evidence indicating that implementation of the HRM practices in a strategic manner can achieve better results.
The analysis was conducted on the service sector, which has been recognized as a significant source of national wealth, job creation, and capability of competing effectively. This is indicated in both the international and domestic markets which are crucial for nations continued growth. The research was conducted by a multi disciplinary research organization called Marketing Performance Centre that is situated in Marketing Department at the University of Otago. Research program took about 5 years to complete. Managers’ strategies and approaches in accomplishing competitive advantage were researched for better understanding. The focus was on the identification of marketing concepts like market orientation, information technology, brand management, and innovation. These were the factors considered significant in achieving competitive advantage.
The research involved data collection, initial survey and analysis of the spontaneous data. This was done through an inclusive sequence of interviews done with chief executive officers and managers. The sample was done on large service companies. Results indicated that the respondents placed a high priority and a high level of significance to human resource management (HRM) practices as a method of accomplishing competitive advantage in the organizations. Findings in the analysis of the interview data were also done in the research. This was done by use of the seven dimensions of HRM best practices as stated by Browning et al 5. In addition, the approached used by the service firms in the implementation was also studied.
Multiple interviews were conducted in some instances, in larger organizations. This was to provide consistent chief executive officers view. In the medium sized and smaller organizations, single interviews were conducted, and this consists of a third of the interviews. The interviews in the smaller ventures involved the managing partner or owner of the enterprise. Interviews were conducted to between 1 and 2 h in length for 44 participants. They were conducted by a team of two interviewers by use of a semi-structured format. The interviews were also transcribed and taped. Additionally, one or two interviewers took notes for verification purposes of the transcriptions. Every interview involved asking of open ended questions, in the first instance, to describe the organizations. The aim was to provide unprompted view on what made the organization successful and source of competitive advantage. Moreover, respondents were asked to respond on the results of the survey. This is what rated the respondents from their competitors. Interviews involved the elaboration of examples of management and marketing practices that are linked to the standard sources of competitive advantage in the analysis.
In conclusion, the study focus was on the development of understanding of strategies and approaches that managers use to realize competitive advantage. This involved broad management practices involving varied functions like finance, marketing, among others. Results of the study indicate that HRM is an essential source of competitive advantage for firms. Large and high performing managers recognize that HRM practices are important in competitive advantage. This is in contrast to the small firms who refer less to the HRM practices as a source for competitive advantage. Additionally, training and development, recruitment ad selection are core HRM area for competitive advantage realization. Other functional areas if HRM received little mention in the research. This shows that firms use HRM practices with caution. The result raises questions on HRM practices and frameworks for research on small organizations. The organizations require uniqueness because of their small nature.
Browning, V., F. Edgar, B. Gray, B and T. Garrett. “Realizing competitive advantage through HRM in New Zealand service industries”. The Service Industries Journal 29.6 (2009): 741–760.