MANAGING HUMAN RESOURCES ON SIX DAIRY FARMS IN MICHIGAN: A RESOURCE-BASED PERSPECTIVE

How do dairy farms manage their human resources and how can the farms achieve competitive advantage through the human resource management (HRM) function? This inductive study of six dairy farms in Michigan explores those two questions using the resource-based theory (RBT) framework. Onsite interviews were conducted with 7 managers, 6 herdsmen and 7 non-supervisory employees. An interpretive research paradigm was used for both within case and between case analyses. Drawing insights from the RBT which postulates that valuable, rare, inimitable, and non-substitutable resources confer competitive advantage, results from this study indicate that dairy farms have the potential to achieve competitive advantage through their HRM function. While there are similar HRM practices across cases like recruiting and selection, the integration of specific HRM practices with the organizational culture (values of farm managers, relationships based on kinship and friendship ties) and resource endowment leads to different organizational outcomes (costly mistakes by employees, voluntary turnover and termination) Finally, based on propositions developed from this study and RBT literature, a conceptual framework is proposed to guide future research on how to empirically test the relationship between the HRM function and performance of farm enterprises to ascertain whether human resources are a potential source of sustained competitive advantage.


Issue Date:
2004
Publication Type:
Thesis/ Dissertation
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/11237
Total Pages:
192
Series Statement:
Graduate Research Master's Degree Plan B Papers




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-11-16

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