Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2012

Publication Source

Information Systems Research

Abstract

We examine the effects of human resource management (HRM) practices (e.g., career development, social support, compensation, and security) on IT professionals‟ job search behavior. Job search is a relatively novel dependent variable in studies of voluntary withdrawal behavior, in general, and for IT professionals, in particular. From a universalistic perspective, HRM practices individually and in combination exhibit independently additive effects on job search behavior. Our study contrasts this perspective with configurational theory, hypothesizing that proposed idealtype configurations of HRM practices have synergistic effects on job search behavior. We contribute to the IT and broader HRM literature by theoretically explicating and empirically demonstrating with IT professionals the power of configurational theory to explain the relationship between HRM practices and job search behavior.

Our empirical results show that two configurations of HRM practices – Human Capital Focused (HCF) and Task Focused (TF), which are high and low on all HRM practices, respectively – exhibit a synergistic relationship with the job search behavior of IT professionals. HCF has lower job search behavior than would be expected based on the independently additive effects of the HRM practices, whereas TF has correspondingly higher job search behavior. Our results also show that less than perfect horizontal fit detracts from the synergy of these extreme configurations.

Just as importantly, several other non-extreme configurations of HRM practices exhibit independently additive effects for the HRM practices but not synergy, suggesting that synergy is limited to extreme configurations. We also discuss a number of implications for research and practice.

Inclusive pages

1175-1194

ISBN/ISSN

1047-7047

Document Version

Postprint

Comments

The document available for download is the authors' accepted manuscript, which is provided in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. Researchers may access the published version using the DOI provided in this item's record.

Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher

INFORMS

Volume

23

Issue

4

Peer Reviewed

yes