Human Resource Management and Performance in the Service Sector: The Case of Bank Branches

Ann P. Bartel

NBER Working Paper No. 7467
Issued in January 2000
NBER Program(s):Labor Studies, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

This paper utilizes a unique dataset collected through site visits to extend the analysis of the relationship between the human resource management environment and establishment performance to the service sector, specifically the branch operations of a large bank. Case studies of several branches were used to understand how and why the human resource management environment is likely to affect branch level performance. The branch interviews were instrumental in properly specifying a branch-level performance equation. The econometric analysis showed that, controlling for the characteristics of the market in which the branch is located and the characteristics of the branch employees, as well as unobserved branch-specific and unobserved manager-specific characteristics, the human resource management environment at the branch, as measured by the performance evaluation and feedback system and the quality of communications between the manager and the staff, had a significant effect on the branch's performance. An important finding is that, even though all managers in this bank are given a formal set of human resource policies, they appear to have considerable discretion in their application.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7467

Published: Bartel, Ann P. "Human Resource Management And Organizational Performance: Evidence From Retail Banking," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 2004, v57(2,Jan), 181-203.

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