Exploring relations between selected human resource management (hrm)practices in employees’ creativity behaviours in small and medium-sized enterprises(smes)in the Atlantico region of Colombia

PhD Thesis


Gutierrez Gonzalez, Lisseth Vanesa. 2021. Exploring relations between selected human resource management (hrm)practices in employees’ creativity behaviours in small and medium-sized enterprises(smes)in the Atlantico region of Colombia. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5Z0K-VK51
Title

Exploring relations between selected human resource management (hrm)practices in employees’ creativity behaviours in small and medium-sized enterprises(smes)in the Atlantico region of Colombia

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorGutierrez Gonzalez, Lisseth Vanesa
SupervisorWiesner, Retha
Malhotra, Aastha
Johnson Morgan, Melissa
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages374
Year2021
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5Z0K-VK51
Abstract

This research seeks to contribute to the success of SMEs in Colombia by studying the relationship of HRM practices on employees' creativity. This study proposes that the impact of HRM practices on employees' creativity not only relies on the use of HRM practices but also that the employees' perceptions and interpretations of their work environment (HRM practices, managerial practices) have an impact. This study proposes that the explanations employees give about why HRM practices are implemented affects their workplace creativity. This research seeks to address gaps within the HRM and creativity research. First, the results that tested the relationship between HRM practices and employees' creativity tend to render mixed results. Thus, the conditions in which HRM practices affect employees' creativity needed further exploration. Second, there is limited research on the inter-relationship between HRM practices and creativity in SMEs, as compared with larger organisations, for which a broader body of research exists. Third, there is very limited research on the HRM –creativity nexus in the South American context, and these region-specific dynamics needed closer examination. Moreover, there is no research in Colombia testing the impact of HRM practices on employees' creativity on large enterprises or SMEs. Colombia is a South American country, as such, it has different socio-economic dynamics from where mainstream research emanates. This might have an impact on the outcomes of the research in this context. Different results on the relationship between HRM practices and creativity might be found in Colombia, a country with a different culture and economy, which is also often neglected from the mainstream HRM-creativity research. For this reason, this research studied the relationship between these variables in the Colombian context, specifically, in the Atlantico Region. The research was conducted in SMEs; with the units of analysis being the employees and managers of SMEs in the Atlantico Region of Colombia. The research objective of this research was to determine the relationship of HRM practices on the creativity of SMEs' employees in Colombia from the Atlantico Region. Two research questions were developed to inform the research objective. The first research question (RQ1) was: What is the nature and extent of HRM practices such as training, remuneration and performance appraisal in Colombian SMEs from the Atlantico Region?; the second research question (RQ2) was: What is the relationship between HRM practices such as training, remuneration and performance appraisal, and HR attributions with the creativity of employees in Colombian SMEs from the Atlantico Region? Four hypotheses were developed to inform RQ2.To answer the research questions, and related hypotheses, this study employed a mixed-method research design. Qualitative and quantitative methodologies had equal priority, with independent interaction between strands and the timing method used to collect data was concurrent. As this study had a mixed-method research design, the research philosophy adopted was that of a pragmatist approach.The survey design was conducted to test the research que stions (RQ1, RQ2) and to test the hypotheses that inform RQ2 (H2.1, H2.2, H2.3, and H2.4). Quantitative data were analysed with SPSS version 22 and with the PROCESS procedure for SPSS version 3.4. The qualitative interviews were conducted to answer Research Question One (RQ1) and Research Question Two (RQ2). The qualitative method to interpret qualitative data was thematic analysis. In relation to RQ1, descriptive statistics were used to answer an element of research question one, the extent of HRM practices in Colombian SMEs. A limited adoption of HRM practices was found in the quantitative data from the participating Colombian SMEs. The quantitative results revealed a predominance of traditional HRM practices over commitment HRM practices. Similar to quantitative results, the qualitative data informing RQ1 also found a predominance of traditional HRM practices over commitment HRM practices. The qualitative interviews of this study revealed a combination of traditional and commitment HRM practices, suggesting that there is not a consistent and reinforcing group of HRM practices contributing to achieving an overarching goal in Colombian SMEs. Another finding of the qualitative data concerning RQ1 was that Colombian SMEs seem to be increasing the formal adoption in some of their HRM practices. For the second research question, all four hypotheses that inform RQ2(H2.1, H2.2, H2.3, and H2.4) were unsupported. However, the qualitative data enabled the researcher to gain an understanding as to why the HRM practices and attributions that were tested in the quantitative study did not influence the creativity of employees in Colombian SMEs. The main factors that contributed to understanding the lack of relationship between the variables were: cultural factors, organisational commitment, simultaneous implementation of traditional and commitment HRM practices, and an external HR attribution. In this study, socio-cultural factors helped to understand the way Colombian employees interpreted and valued an HRM practice. Participants mentioned management and HRM practices that denote the quality of interpersonal relationships at the enterprise (e.g. social activities as non-financial remuneration, openness to creative ideas, quality of communication among members of the SME, organisational support) as the ones that impact most upon their creativity. This points to the influence of an important aspect of Colombian culture, collectivism. This means that the cultural dimension of collectivism helps to explain why the HRM practices of this study did not have an impact on employees' creativity. Organisational commitment affected the extent to which employees were willing to be creative at the SME. Participants more committed to the SMEs were always seeking to provide creative ideas for the SME. Participants who were less committed to the SME were less likely to always seek to provide creative ideas for the SME. The qualitative results found that SMEs' employees in Colombia experience a mixture of traditional and commitment HRM practices at the SME. This suggests that Colombian SMEs do not have a consistent HRM system that reinforces or deters employees' creativity. The last factor that gave an insight into the lack of relationships between the variables of the quantitative study was an external HR attribution present in the discourse of some employees. This HR attribution has not been reported in the HR attribution literature. The HR attribution in question was that employees consider they receive a low rate of remuneration because they work in an SME that is facing financial difficulties. Although low remuneration is a traditional HRM practice, this did not deter their creativity. This was because employees explained that employers face financial constraints that impede them to improve the remuneration of their employees. This HR attribution played a positive role in employees' creative behaviours and positive attitudes towards employers. Finally, the results of this study support the interactional approach of employees' creativity. This is because the qualitative research revealed an interaction between organisational environment factors (management practices) and individual factors (employees' HR attributions) that impacted employees' creativity. The implications of these results for research and practice are the following. The creativity of SMEs' employees can be encouraged with the exclusive implementation of commitment HRM practices. Manager's behaviors play a key role to facilitate or obstruct their employees' creativity. The explanations employees' make about managers motivations to implement HRM practices may shape the extent employees are willing to contribute with their creative ideas.

KeywordsHuman Resource Management Practices, Managerial practices, Employees' Creativity, HR attributions, Small and medium­ sized enterprises
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350716. Small business organisation and management
350710. Organisational behaviour
350503. Human resources management
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Business
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q660v/exploring-relations-between-selected-human-resource-management-hrm-practices-in-employees-creativity-behaviours-in-small-and-medium-sized-enterprises-smes-in-the-atlantico-region-of-colombia

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