The Role of Strategic Groups in Understanding Strategic Human Resource Management

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The role of strategic groups in understanding strategic human resource management
Judie M. Gannon
Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Faculty of Business, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

The role of strategic groups


Liz Doherty
Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, and

Angela Roper
School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK
Purpose – This article aims to explore how understanding the challenges faced by companies’ attempts to create competitive advantage through their human resources and HRM practices can be enhanced by insights
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Despite the advances made in both areas there has been minimal consideration of the ways that strategic groups, not only industries and firms, influence HRM strategies and practices in the pursuit of competitive advantage (Boxall, 2003). Strategic group research identifies how groups of firms engage in similar strategies in order to compete effectively within industries and shape industry structure and competition. Panagiotou (2006 p. 440) defines strategic groups as:
[. . .] those groups of firms within an industry, which are characterised by similarities in their structure and competitive beliefs as well as their tendency to follow similar strategies along key strategic dimensions in a specific operating environment.

The performance differences between strategic groups are the focus for much of this research, but mobility between groups and the structural dimensions of industries have also received attention (Ferguson et al., 2000; Leask and Parker, 2006; Porter, 1980; Reger and Huff, 1993). As such strategic group research has developed as a central research theme in strategic management. One of the most notable aspects of strategic groups research is that it highlights and reinforces the importance of particular industry contexts. This is an important

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