The Institutional Antecedents of the Assignment of HRM Responsibilities to Line Managers

Chris Brewster*, Michael Brookes, Paul J. Gollan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article uses large-scale international data to examine how much autonomy organizations have to assign human resource management responsibilities to line managers, as indicated in the prescriptions of the literature. We use data from 11 countries to explore the impact of a variety of internal characteristics of organizations and the kind of economy in which they operate. We find that around half of the organizations assign HRM responsibilities to the line and that organizations appear to have considerable latitude in making choices in this area. Organizations in the Nordic economies are most likely to assign responsibilities for HRM to the line and those in the liberal market economies are the least likely to do so. In any economy, larger organizations, unionized organizations, and those with strategically positioned HRM departments are the least likely to allocate responsibilities for HRM to the line. We discuss the implications of our findings for future research and for practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-597
Number of pages21
JournalHuman Resource Management
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • HRM function
  • HRM identity
  • Line managers' role in HRM
  • Organizational choice
  • Varieties of capitalism

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