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High-technology firms are a growing segment of Thailand’s economy, and are critical to the innovation economy, but show few signs of adopting strategic human resources management (SHRM) practices that could improve their competitiveness. This research investigated the use of SHRM in Thai high technology firms. It used a mixed methods approach to examine the effect of strategic HRM practices including recruitment and selection, training and development, performance appraisal, compensation systems, and flexible work practices on firm outcomes of product quality, corporate reputation and innovation. It was a quantitative-led approach, incorporating HR interviews and a survey. The quantitative findings were used to evaluate the hypotheses, while the quantitative findings were used to evaluate barriers to SHRM implementation in medium and small firms. Analysis of the quantitative survey of high-tech firms
(n = 312) showed that SHRM practices had significant effects on product quality (except for flexible work), reputation (except for recruitment and hiring) and innovation (except for recruitment and hiring and training and development). The strongest effect was on company reputation. ANOVA showed that large and medium firms were significantly more likely to use SHRM than small firms. Qualitative interviews with small firms (n = 10) identified several barriers to SHRM implementation, including lack of time, cost, and expertise as well as preference for traditional hiring practices. The implication of this study is that SHRM does have a benefit to technology firms in Thailand, but that small firms may not be recognizing this benefit. The major policy implication is that the Thai government needs to address knowledge and resource barriers for SMEs in the high-tech industry to enable them to use SHRM effectively.
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