SHRM Theory in the Post-Huselid Era: Why It Is Fundamentally Misspecified



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       The author’s affiliation is Department of Economics and W.T. Beebe Institute of Personnel and Employment Relations, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA 30303; Centre for Work, Organization and Wellbeing, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. E-mail:


This article is corrected by:

  1. Errata: Erratum Volume 49, Issue 3, 497, Article first published online: 1 June 2010


This article critiques the theoretical model that dominates mainstream research in strategic human resource management. Contributions include: the critique is developed from an explicit model of the employment relationship; new concepts of “weak contingency” and “strong contingency” are introduced; the standard hypothesis of a positive sign on the human resource management variable in firm performance studies is shown to be incorrect for a competitive economy (it should be zero); and the analysis is based on “first principles” of institutional economics and industrial relations.