Implications of self-managing teams for the HRM function

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose – Organisations increasingly implement self-managing teams (SMTs) to empower their employees.
By drawing from the HRM process model and multilevel thinking, this paper explores how the HRM function
changes in terms of actors and activities when introducing SMTs.
Design/methodology/approach – An in-depth, multilevel case study was conducted at a large healthcare
organisation in The Netherlands, making use of 70 interviews, document analysis and observations.
Findings – The findings show that SMTs transform the HRM function by changing the responsibilities of
teams,HRMprofessionals and line managers in the implementation ofHRMactivities. The analysis shows that
many HRM responsibilities are devolved to SMTs, which are supported by the HRM department.
Research limitations/implications – These changes in the HRM function influence the HRM
implementation process and provide all actors with new roles and activities. Based on these findings, this
paper presents an inductive model of HRM implementation.
Practical implications – The findings help HRM practitioners to transform the HRM function when
deciding to introduce SMTs.
Originality/value – This article is one of the first that empirically explores how theHRM function changes as
a consequence of introducing SMTs. This is important because more and more organisations are adopting
SMTs, while knowledge about the role of HRM is lacking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-550
Number of pages18
JournalBaltic journal of management
Issue number4
Early online date20 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2020


  • HRM function
  • Implementation of HRM
  • Multilevel
  • Self-managing teams
  • case study

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