AMO Research in HRM: Integrating AMO at the Individual and Organisational Level

Anna Christina Bos - Nehles*, Jordi Trullen, Keith Townsend, Kenneth Cafferkey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


Despite the increasing popularity of the Ability, Motivation, Opportunity (AMO) framework in the HRM field, AMO research is at a crossroads in terms of theoretical and empirical development. This is due to the lack of clarity about how ability, motivation and opportunity need to be combined to elicit employee and organizational performance. In this study we aim to understand the way in which AMO variables at the individual and organisational level interrelate within themselves and with each other, and affect performance. Based on the analysis of 74 quantitative HRM articles published between 1997 and 2021, as well as two seminal studies in the field (Blumberg and Pringle 1982; Jiang et al. 2012), this study helps to draw clearer distinctions among AMO variables and levels of analysis. The review of the empirical literature supports the assertion that opportunity operates at a different level of analysis than ability and motivation, and that it also affects performance differently. While ability and motivation mediate the relationship between AMO-enhancing HRM practices and employee performance, opportunity moderates the relationship between ability and motivation with performance. Furthermore, HRM practices can be conceptualized as opportunities when analyzing individual or team level performance. The findings are summarised in a multi-level AMO framework that opens several relevant avenues for future AMO research within the field of HRM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAM 2022 Conference
Place of PublicationWinterthur, Switzerland
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventEURAM 2022 Conference: Leading Digital Transformation - ZHAW School of Management and Law, Winterthur, Switzerland
Duration: 15 Jun 202217 Jun 2022


ConferenceEURAM 2022 Conference
Internet address


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