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HRM practices and knowledge processes outcomes: empirical evidence from a quasi-experiment on UK SMEs in the tourism hospitality and leisure sector

Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics and Political Science
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  • Hd Industries. Land Use. Labor
  • Design
  • Political Science


This paper presents empirical evidence of the relationship between human resources practices and the effectiveness of a firm to capitalise on investment in knowledge as measured by the returns to innovation and business development expenditure. The empirical design is based on exploiting a natural experiment provided by a policy intervention that offers human resources-related support to small and medium sized enterprises in the UK Tourism Hospitality and Leisure sector. Our findings suggest that businesses that receive support on the area of staff training and development, in HR planning and in staff recruitment and retention generate 100%, 86% and 134% more revenue per pound spend on innovation and business development compared to firms that do not receive such services. Thus, in contrast to existing empirical studies in the field, this evidence supports a strong causal link between human resources and knowledge processes and sheds some light on the “black box” that describes the strategic logic between human resource management and firm performance.

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