An exploratory study of governance in the intra-firm human resources supply chain

Elaine Farndale, Jaap Paauwe, Paul Boselie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


The human resource management (HRM) literature has paid insufficient attention to supply chain management (SCM) when exploring the architecture of human resources (HR). Drawing on an SCM perspective, this study develops our understanding of (1) the intra-firm HR supply chain, and (2) how this HR supply chain influences corporate governance processes within large organizations. We argue that the HR function, represented as an internal professional service supply chain, needs appropriate governance principles as it operates through multiple delivery channels and with a wide variety of HRM practices. Exploratory findings from a qualitative empirical study of seven large organizations investigating governance and risk management in the HR supply chain are presented. These in-depth interviews uncover how formal governance is relatively easy for these organizations to achieve, supported by outcome-focused monitoring tools, but informal governance mechanisms can fail due to insufficient attention. Although standardized approaches to HR delivery can maximize the opportunity for HR governance, little evidence was found that the organizations were considering the related governance implications explicitly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-868
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'An exploratory study of governance in the intra-firm human resources supply chain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this