Evaluating Strategic Fit in Professional Service Firms

Morris, Tim and Pinnington, Ashly (1998) Evaluating Strategic Fit in Professional Service Firms. Human Resource Management Journal(UK), 8 (4). pp. 76-87.


Policy fit is a central plank of much of the prescriptive and strategic HR literature because of the assumed performance benefits deriving from it (Guest, 1997: 264-266). Fit refers to the alignment of organisational policies with the requirements of the environment and alignment of second order policies, such as human resources, with the goals and strategy of the organisation to facilitate their implementation (Jackson and Schuler, 1995). In addition, there is assumed to be a cumulative and exponential benefit from aligning individual HR policies and practices so that they interact appropriately and reinforce each other (Huselid, 1995: 667-668).

Empirical research in HRM has increasingly concentrated on issues of fit, by testing whether firms' policies are aligned or whether they gain the expected benefits, but few studies have looked at whether firms seek or achieve fit in the development of policies. In particular, research on the adoption of policies across an industry or sector where firms are facing the same sort of environment is rare, not least because such events are unlikely to occur often. The article aims to bridge this gap by studying the adoption of formal evaluation across a group of firms in one sector. It examines the links to other HR policies in these firms, as well as the strategy of the firm. We also examine adoption in relation to other systems of control through which performance is monitored at the individual and organisational levels, as evaluation has been seen as an important means by which managerial control over behaviour and attitudes may be established (Townley, 1993).

Item Type: Article
Keywords: business planning; corporate culture; professional organizations; human resource management
Subject(s): Corporate reputation
Professional services
Centre: Centre for Professional Firms
Oxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2011 14:41
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2018 15:03
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/1059

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