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Resources that drive performance: an empirical investigation

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Purpose ? To investigate in an empirical situation the resources that drive organizational performance, considering as resources HR practices, human competencies and other tangible resources and evaluating performance according to the balanced scorecard (BSC) model. Design/methodology/approach ? After literature review, a case study in a Brazilian water company was chosen. Methodology consisted of in-depth interviews with managers; collection of information from company's database and questionnaires; factor analysis to identify underlying factors that explain the majority of variance for each BSC perspective; regression analysis to find association between factors and resources. Findings ? In general, resources seemed to be correlated to performance, but further details appeared: employee competency presented no correlation with performance; environmental factors related to demand seemed to be the strongest performance determinant; employee satisfaction showed association with all BSC perspective. Research limitations/implications ? The research circumstances are quite particular and should not be generalized to other organizations. Future research should focus on more knowledge intensive firms and use a longitudinal research design. Practical implications ? The results for practitioners, especially those in the investigated company, included the need to review part of their indicators, choosing formulae that are better connected to business results. Originality/value ? This paper helps to understand how resources and competencies convert into performance and proposes a methodology to be used under particular conditions of organizations with multiple and comparable business units.

Keywords: Balanced scorecard; Brazil; Organizational performance; Performance measures

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/17410400510604511

Publication date: July 1, 2005

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