Innovating HRM implementation: the influence of organizational contingencies on the HRM role of line managers

Anna Christina Bos-Nehles, Maarten van Riemsdijk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Purpose The social innovation of devolving HRM responsibilities to line managers results in many debates about how well they implement HRM practices. The implementation constraints line managers perceive in their HRM role are researched by taking organisational contingencies into consideration. Design/Methodology/Approach We present four case studies in which our findings are based on quantitative and qualitative data from the cases. The qualitative data allow us to explain some of our quantitative results in terms of organisational differences. Findings The HRM implementation effectiveness as perceived by line managers depends on the line managers’ span of control, his/her education level and experience and his/her hierarchical position in the organisation. Each HRM implementation constraint knows additional organisational contingencies. Research Limitations/Implications We did not consider possible influences of one organisational characteristic on another, and the effect of this combined effect on the HRM implementation factors. In order to overcome this limitation, we would suggest using a structural equation model (SEM) in future research. Practical Implications This chapter offers HR professionals solutions on how to structure the organisation and design the HRM role of line managers in order to implement HRM practices effectively. Social Implications We see many differences on how HRM implementation is managed in organisations. This chapter offers solutions to policy makers on how to equalise the HRM role of line managers. Originality/Value The focus of this chapter is on the line manager (instead of HR managers) as implementer of HRM and the impact of organisational contingencies on HRM implementation
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman resource management, social innovation and technology
EditorsTanya Bondarouk, Miguel R. Olivas-Lujan
ISBN (Print)978-1-78441-130-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Publication series

NameAdvanced series in management
PublisherEmerald Group


  • METIS-303542
  • IR-91564


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