Imprinting antecedents of the human resource management process: towards a multi-level model

Kitt, A.M., 2022. Imprinting antecedents of the human resource management process: towards a multi-level model. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Since the publications of Bowen and Ostroff's (2004) HRM system strength and Nishii and colleagues' (2008) HR attributions, HRM process researchers have advanced a plethora of research that demonstrates the importance of well-communicated HRM systems for positive employee and organizational outcomes. However, researchers have contended that the antecedents of the HRM process (i.e., HRM system strength and HR attributions) are less understood.

To remedy this gap, a small but emerging body of research suggests that employees' personal histories affect their assumptions and expectations about work and management, which ultimately influences how they currently understand and interpret HRM in their organization. Past experiences and associated presuppositions of HRM - referred to as 'imprinting factors' - can manifest in early childhood and/or adolescence. Following an imprinting perspective, it is argued that individuals form career expectations during sensitive developmental periods (e.g., parent-child relationships, educational processes, and early social experiences) which shape their understanding and attributions of HRM in later life. Yet, this body of work is still in its nascency. Very little is known to what degree employees are influenced by their personal histories and upbringing. Even less is known about the organizational and cultural contextual factors that act as boundary conditions in these relationships. Given that imprinting factors can cause employees' to understand and interpret HRM differently from what is intended by management, it is important to understand to what degree past experiences affect the HRM process, and how these effects can be actively managed.

This thesis investigates the extent to which imprinting factors influence employees' perceived HR strength and HR attributions. To this end, a series of three studies are presented: 1) a systematic review of the existing body of work, 2) an empirical examination of parental behaviours on perceived HR strength, and 3) an empirical examination of family motivation on HR attributions. In addition, multi-level contextual factors (i.e., HRM content and national values) are included as important boundary conditions in these models.

The findings within this thesis contribute to the HRM process literature by the integration of an imprinting perspective with HRM process theories to offer a better understanding of the intrapersonal, non-work antecedents of perceived HR strength and HR attributions. Several avenues of research are presented which act as a platform for future scholarship. This thesis also has implications for HR professionals and managers who intend to design HRM systems for maximum effectiveness on positive employee outcomes.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Kitt, A.M.
Date: 2022
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the owner of the Intellectual Property Rights.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 19 Oct 2022 14:00
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 14:00

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