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Journal of Change Management Vol. This study addresses the issue by examining the role of behavioural integrity in the chain linking human resources HR practices to employee attitudes.
An important novelty of the study is that it explicitly distinguishes between intended li experienced HR practices in conducting the analysis. The study also tests whether experienced HR practices mediate the relationship between intended HR practices and positive employee outcomes, such as affective commitment and job satisfaction.
The analysis ,oi reveals an intervening role for experienced HR practices, which mediate the joint impact of intended practices and behavioural integrity on the two employee outcomes.
HRM, perceived 66-03 integrity, job satisfaction, affective commitment Correspondence Address: This version has been corrected. Please see Erratum http: Accordingly, over the last 20 years, a sizeable body of research has examined the impact of human resource management HRM practices on various aspects of organisational performance Huselid, ; Ichnioswski et al.
This is because the mechanisms intervening in the different links have not yet received systematic research attention Guest, ; Wright and Gardner, The aim of the article is to contribute to this stream of research by focusing on the relationship between HR practices and major employee outcomes.
The novelty of the approach used in the study is twofold. First, addressing an issue that deserves great consideration, the study analysed the role of both intended and experienced HR practices in promoting employee positive outcomes towards the organization, such as affective commitment and job satisfaction. Second, focusing on intermediate variables, the study sheds light on the psycho- logical mechanisms that explain how HR practices exert their influence.
Regarding the different outcomes, a great deal of research has allowed the analysis of the impact of HR practices on various aspects of organizational per- formance, such as financial and market outcomes Huselid, ; Delery and Doty, ; Ichnioswski et al.
More recently, increasing attention has been focused on individual outcomes, such as employee attitudes and behaviours at work Appelbaum et al. This, in turn, makes the employees more willing to work hard and to make an extra effort on behalf of the organization Peccei, The influence of HR practices on employee attitudes, however, has aroused some controversy Peccei, This claim views HR practices as basically harmful to employees by leading to an increase in workload and, gener- ally speaking, to systematic pressures on workers and higher supervision control Delbridge and Turnbull, ; Legge, ; Godard, ; Green, Sub- sequent research has offered a more positive view.
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The empirical support for the opposing perspectives is somewhat mixed Peccei, so this is still an open issue that deserves consideration.
However, evidence to date tends to provide stronger support for the optimistic perspective Ramsay et al. The research on HRM has also been dominated by another debate, regarding the most appropriate stage on which to focus the analyses between intended and experienced HR practice.
Intended HR practices are those designed by senior management and the HR department to be applied to most or all employees. The relevance of focusing on intended HR practices comes from the acknowl- edgement of human resources as sources of competitive advantage. In fact, as argued by Wright and his colleaguesp.
The potential of the HR capital is realized only to the extent that the possessors of the human capital i. They refer to how employees experience and then judge the HR practices that are applied to them, given the fact that what they perceive may or may not differ from what the organization intended Purcell et al.
Recent research has tended to focus exclusively on either intended or experi- enced HR practices for methodological and theoretical reasons Ostroff and Bowen, Both solutions have validity and effectiveness, although both cover only one side of the coin. To achieve a better understanding of the influence of HR systems on individual and organizational outcomes, it is necessary to expand the analyses; this can be achieved by considering both aspects of HR practices together, while including the intervening mechanisms that may influence HR practices Purcell et al.
Heeding this call, this analysis focused on the relationship between intended HR practices and experienced HR practices — the very first link in the HRM — performance causal model. When observing the link between intended and experienced practices, research- ers have suggested consideration of the role of managers and supervisors. Research has demonstrated that for many employees the mere presence of HR practices may not contribute to posi- tive attitudes and behaviour; instead, it is the day-to-day interactions with their managers that are important Hutchinson and Purcell, ; Purcell et al.
This strengthens the view that it is not simply the adoption of HR practices that is required; the intervening actions of managers and supervisors are what really matter. Although numerous studies have highlighted the increasing involvement of managers and supervisors in HR activities Hutchinson and Wood, ; Char- tered Institute of Personnel Development [CIPD],their role in eliciting positive attitudes from employees has largely been underestimated Boselie et al.
What managers say and promise represents the formal HR practices, but how they act brings HR prac- tices alive. Searching for the existence of a link between HR systems and better employee outcomes, researchers have begun to pay attention to intermediate factors that could provide support. Considering the possible intervening factors, several authors have started to examine the differences across occupational groups Peccei and Innocenti, ; Purcell et al.
Furthermore, factors related to the relationship between man- agers and employees, such as psychological contract or trust, are considered of rel- evance Guest, ; Appelbaum et al. The current study intended to continue in this direction, focusing precisely on employee per- ceptions of the credibility of their management. Accord- ing to Simonsp. When conducting their meta-analysis, Davis and Rothstein could locate only 12 usable studies, and according to the authors, there is a clear need for additional research.
Although their meta-analysis demon- strated a strong positive relationship between the behavioural integrity of managers and the attitudes of their employees, the small number of studies retrieved constituted one of the main limitations of the study, making it difficult to draw robust conclusions.
According to Davis and Rothsteinp. To extend the analysis of employee attitudes further, this study also examined the mediating role of experienced HR practices, assuming that good perceptions of the HR practices implemented can lead to better attitudes towards the organization. The current analysis focused on two employee outcomes: They have been adopted in several studies and are considered fun- damental to both individuals and organizations Huselid, ; Brief, ; Guest, ; Appelbaum et al.
These work-related attitudes are widely recognized as antecedents of positive organizational behaviour, such as turnover intention and various forms of citizenship behaviour, including the exercise of dis- cretionary effort Meyer and Allen, ; Brief, ; Podsakoff et al.
They are also commonly thought to be important to the overall performance of an organization Guest, ; Appelbaum et al.
Following Ng and Feldmanp. Taken together, these variables encapsulate the overall emotional relationship between employees and employer, covering both the organization and the job domains.
Several links are hypothesized in the current model. One set of links exists between HR practices, both intended and experienced, and employee outcomes. These links have been the subject of extensive theorizing and research, particu- larly by HRM scholars Appelbaum et al. The link involving perceived behavioural integrity and employee attitudes has received very little research attention. The few completed studies Viswesvaran and Deshpande, ; Viswesvaran et al.
Organizations researchers have paid an increasing amount of attention to issues of justice in the workplace. Results have confimed that perceptions of justice sup- ported organizational commitment and job satisfaction Saal and Moore, Nowadays, organizations are characterized by ambiguous stimuli that employees must interpret Morrison, In this context i.
Drawing from the decision-making literature, 660-03 and van den Bos hypothesize a fairness heuristic that individuals use to form percep- tions of fairness when faced with ambiguous stimuli.
This process postulates Figure 1. Effects of Behavioural Integrity on HR Practices and Employee Outcomes that perceptions of fairness in one area will influence perceptions of fairness in another, especially if the latter area involves ambiguous stimuli. Therefore, even though it is widely acknowledged that justice and integrity are different constructs, it could be considered appropri- ate the adoption of the justice theory framework.
Consistently, it was expected here that perceived behavioural integrity would be positively related to employee outcomes such as job satisfaction and affective commitment. The proposed 66-0033 model relies on the following hypotheses: Perceived koi integrity moderates the impact of intended HR practices on experienced HR practices. The construct of experienced HR practices serves as a mediator and represents the mechanism that transmits the joint impact of intended HR practices and perceived behavioural integrity on affective commitment and job satisfaction.
Method Sample and Procedure The proposed model was tested using survey data made available by Great Place to Workw and collected from 6, employees of 37 Italian companies. The data were gathered using two sources of information: Although provided by the Great Place to Workw Institute Italy,1 the items adopted presented a strong similarity to those included in established scales Meyer and Allen, ; Department for Business Innovation and Skills [BIS], or adopted in pre- vious academic research Appelbaum et al.
The managers of the HR function were interviewed in each company to gather information on the intended HR practices at the organizational level. This approach to gathering perceptual and objective information assures data reliability and minimizes the risk of common method bias Podsakoff et al.
Antecedent Variables The proposed model hypothesizes two antecedent variables: The practices covered the areas of socialization, training and development, rewards, information sharing and employee involvement. When considering the employee outcomes of HR practices, researchers have commonly focused on the overall HR system rather than on individual practices.
This is because employees are typically exposed to a range of HR practices sim- ultaneously, each of which may have complex effects Delery, ; Wright and Boswell, ; Arthur and Boyles, According to Purcell et al. To this end, a 5-point Likert scale was used to compute a global index measuring the richness of the HR system and its coverage within each organization. Perceived behavioural integrity was measured on a three-item scale, corre- sponding to the following statements: As explained above, the items have proved to be very close in meaning with those adopted by Prottas A principal component analysis and a reliability analysis were performed to check these items for dimensionality and internal consistency.
The results showed a single factor underlying the data loadings ranging from. Mediator The construct of experienced HR practices was measured on a seven-item scale. The results showed that all these items loaded on a single factor loadings ranging from. Outcome Variables The dependent variables included employee affective commitment and job satisfaction.
Effects of Behavioural Integrity on HR Practices and Employee Outcomes Affective commitment was measured on a four-item scale corresponding to the following statements: These items were shown to be unidimensional loadings ranging from. Also, in this case, the items were aggregated fol- lowing an averaging procedure once they 666-003 been checked for unidimensionality loadings ranging from.