Staffing effectiveness across countries: An institutional perspective

Lena Knappert*, Hilla Peretz*, Zeynep Aycan, Pawan Budhwar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study draws on institutional theory to investigate why and how staffing effectiveness varies across countries. Utilising data from multiple sources (Cranfield Network on Comparative Human Resource Management [CRANET], Global Leadership and Organisational Behaviour Effectiveness [GLOBE], World Economic Forum [WEF], Transparency International, Tightness-Looseness Index), it covers 2,918 organisations in 11 countries. Extending earlier research on comparative staffing that focuses on cultural or regulatory differences separately, our findings show that companies in different countries implement staffing practices in line with their normative (i.e., cultural), regulatory, and cognitive institutions. A second key finding shows that institutionally embedded staffing practices are associated with organisational turnover, thus challenging dominant universalist perspectives on staffing effectiveness. Finally, we shed light on a central yet understudied boundary condition of contextual perspectives on staffing by identifying the strength of institutional pressures (i.e., societal tightness-looseness) as a moderator of the relationships between national institutions, staffing, and turnover.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Early online date15 Oct 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors. Human Resource Management Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


  • institutional theory
  • multilevel analysis
  • organisational turnover
  • staffing
  • staffing effectiveness
  • tightness-looseness


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