A theoretical model is presented that identifies environmental and organizational characteristics that affect human resource (HR) performance in an organization. Specifically, we address the issue of when and under what circumstances does HR outsourcing contribute value to the firm by attempting to identify environmental and organizational characteristics that affect HR department performance and how HR outsourcing mediates that relationship. We propose that supplier competition in the HR provider market has a direct effect on the amount of HR outsourcing which in turn has a direct effect on HR performance. Environmental uncertainty (primary, competitive, and supplier) is proposed to moderate the relationship between amount of HR outsourcing and HR performance while asset specificity is proposed to moderate the relationship between supplier competition and amount of HR outsourcing. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Southwest Academy of Management meeting in Houston, Texas, March, 2003, and received the 2003 Irwin/McGraw-Hill Distinguished Paper Award
J. D. Lilly, D. A. Gray, and Meghna Virick. "Outsourcing the Human Resource Function: Environmental and Organizational Characteristics that Affect HR Performance" Journal of Business Strategies (2005): 55-73.