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For SHRM to advance, it must eventually be based on a theory that specifies not only concepts and relationships, but appropriate and high-quality measures to express and test them. For metrics to advance beyond simply a large inventory of potentially-useful indices with no integrating logic or theory, they must be driven by a strategic perspective that can identify key measures, their necessary characteristics, and the linkages necessary to test and enhance their quality. To date, metrics theory and SHRM theory have not connected, to the detriment of both. This chapter suggests a general framework for strategic HR metrics, as a starting point for integrating SHRM and measurement research, demonstrating the key role that the metrics issue plays in fundamental SHRM theoretical dilemmas, and showing how principles and evidence from measurement theory (e.g., linkages, constraints and constituent responses) may inform the theoretical and operational issues facing future SHRM research.


Suggested Citation
Boudreau, J. W. & Ramstad, P. M. (1998). Human resource metrics: Can measures be strategic? (CAHRS Working Paper #98-10). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.