Expanding the methodological toolbox of HRM researchers: The added value of latent bathtub models and optimal matching analysis

P.A. van der Laken, Zsuzsa Bakk, Vasileios Giagkoulas, Linda van Leeuwen, Esther Bongenaar

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Abstract

Researchers frequently rely on general linear models (GLMs) to investigate the impact of human resource management (HRM) decisions. However, the structure of organizations and recent technological advancements in the measurement of HRM processes cause contemporary HR data to be hierarchical and/or longitudinal. At the same time, the growing interest in effects at different levels of analysis and over prolonged periods of time further drives the need for HRM researchers to differentiate from traditional methodology. While multilevel techniques have become more common, this article proposes two additional methods that may complement the current methodological toolbox of HRM researchers. Latent bathtub models can accurately describe the multilevel mechanisms occurring in organizations, even if the outcome resides at the higher level of analysis. Optimal matching analysis can be useful to unveil longitudinal patterns in HR data, particularly in contexts where HRM processes are measured on a continuous basis. Illustrating the methods’ applicability to research on employee engagement, this paper demonstrates that the HRM community—both research and practice—can benefit from a more diversified methodological toolbox, drawing on techniques from within and outside the direct field to improve the decision-making process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-760
JournalHuman Resource Management
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Fingerprint

Human resource management
Added value
Optimal matching
Linear Models
Decision making
Personnel

Keywords

  • bathtub models
  • employee engagement
  • evidence-based HRM
  • HR analytics
  • latent variable models
  • longitudinal
  • multilevel
  • optimal matching analysis
  • HUMAN-RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
  • WORK ENGAGEMENT
  • EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
  • SEQUENCE-ANALYSIS
  • FIRM PERFORMANCE
  • INDIVIDUAL-LEVEL
  • OUTCOMES
  • SATISFACTION
  • METAANALYSIS
  • BEHAVIORS

Cite this

van der Laken, P.A. ; Bakk, Zsuzsa ; Giagkoulas, Vasileios ; van Leeuwen, Linda ; Bongenaar, Esther. / Expanding the methodological toolbox of HRM researchers : The added value of latent bathtub models and optimal matching analysis. In: Human Resource Management. 2018 ; Vol. 57, No. 3. pp. 751-760.
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Expanding the methodological toolbox of HRM researchers : The added value of latent bathtub models and optimal matching analysis. / van der Laken, P.A.; Bakk, Zsuzsa; Giagkoulas, Vasileios; van Leeuwen, Linda; Bongenaar, Esther.

In: Human Resource Management, Vol. 57, No. 3, 2018, p. 751-760.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - van der Laken, P.A.

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AU - van Leeuwen, Linda

AU - Bongenaar, Esther

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