Mary was a young, bright PhD researcher in human resource management. For her fieldwork, she was to carry out one or two case studies to explore variability in the people management role of line managers in contexts where they would not be vocationally drawn into managerial roles: doctors would definitely make great informants! It was only a matter of gaining good access to one or two (large) hospitals. Luckily, her supervisor had good connections with the board of the hospital next door to the university. It was going to be so easy: she would literally just have to cross the street, do her interviews, go back to her office and start transcribing! Sure enough, a meeting was set up with the board for Mary to present the project. Within a week, full permission was obtained to interview the entire group of 50 medical and nursing managers.
Anna Bos-Nehles, Jordi Trullen and Mireia Valverde
The concept of HRM system strength remains central to the HRM process perspective. Stronger systems are those that send unambiguous messages and clear signals as to the values and priorities of the organization. While a key aspect of any process approach is delivery or enactment of HRM, the HRM system strength literature has remained relatively vague about how to implement HRM policies and practices in ways conducive to stronger HRM systems. By building on a multi-actor process view of HRM implementation, this chapter addresses how different organizational actors (top management, HR professionals, and line managers) may do so. At the end of the chapter, we also reflect on some of the ways in which a less linear and more dynamic view of HRM implementation may contribute to current debates on HRM system strength and its adaptability to different contexts.