Line management attributions for effective HRM implementation: Towards a valid measurement instrument

Anna Bos-Nehles*, Beatrice van der Heijden, Maarten van Riemsdijk, Jan Kees Looise

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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    Purpose – Many HRM practices are never thoroughly implemented or are implemented ineffectively. To better understand what line managers need to implement HRM practices effectively, we have developed and validated a psychometrically sound measurement instrument dealing with line managers’ attributions for effective HRM implementation. Based on the theory of causal attributions, we distinguish between internal and external attributions that determine how line managers implement HRM practices on the work floor.
    Design/methodology/approach - A multi-dimensional approach has been used and, after collecting data from 471 line managers, thorough scale development guidelines and validation procedures have been applied for instrument development.
    Findings - The instrument’s psychometric qualities have been assessed by calculating the reliability and validity of line managers’ internal attributions – including its composing dimensions of desire and competences - and their external attributions – including the dimensions of support, capacity and policy & procedures. In particular, both convergent and discriminant validity as well as intra-class correlations have been established. The newly developed measures are found to be of good quality. The scales appear to discriminate well between the distinguished groups and show a good variation within groups.
    Practical implications – The newly developed measurement instrument helps HRM professionals to better understand line managers’ attributions to effectively implement HRM practices and to provide them with support and training for effective HRM implementation.
    Originality/value – Previous research has already identified weaknesses in HRM implementation, but lacked to address the causes of this. We present antecedents for HRM implementation effectiveness, based on the causal attribution theory, and present a psychometrically validated instrument to measure these antecedents.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)735-760
    Number of pages26
    JournalEmployee relations
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2020


    • UT-Hybrid-D
    • Line management
    • HRM practices
    • Causal attribution theory
    • Measurement instrument
    • HRM Effectiveness
    • HRM Implementation


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