Conceptualizing HRM system strength through a cross-cultural lens

Elaine Farndale, Karin Sanders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


To date, literature on HRM system strength has been largely universalistic, that is, it has not considered the implications of context. This is problematic as it overlooks a more detailed exploration of the outcomes of HRM system strength in different situational settings. Adopting a contingency approach, we develop a multilevel conceptual framework and propositions for future research that incorporate context at a societal level, focusing on national culture values. By adopting a cross-cultural lens, we are able to explore the effects of cultural values on the relationship between employee perceived HRM system strength and employee attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. Furthermore, we apply the notion of cultural tightness/looseness, questioning the degree of national cultural value effects in all settings. Our work contributes to the HRM process field in general and HRM system strength in particular by questioning the assumption of universality, and highlights implications for practice and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-148
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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