Multi-Level Mediation in Strategic Human Resource Management: A Conceptual Framework  

Nisha Palagolla and Vathsala Wickramasinghe


This paper aims to contribute to the understanding of Human Resource Management (HRM) practices and firm performance relationship, by conceptualizing an integrated framework to explain the mediating linkage through sequential analysis of individual, job, and unit level outcomes whilst exploring contextual factors influencing this relationship. This aim is achieved by critically reviewing different strands of literature. There is an on-going debate that empirical explanations of how HRM practices influence firm performance are inconclusive, abstract, and lacking theoretical justification. In response, literature highlights a dire need of developing comprehensive integrated frameworks to explain this relationship. Thus, a theoretically and empirically driven framework is proposed by employing employee work effort, job performance, and unit performance in sequence as the intervening/mediating linkage of the proposed HRM-firm performance relationship. Future researchers may find the proposed integrated framework as a template to articulate a holistic view of this relationship.

Keywords:   Contextual Factors, Strategic HRM, HRM Practices-Firm Performance Relationship, Integrated Framework