Mind the intended-implemented gap: understanding employees' perceptions of HRM

Erk Peter Piening, Alina McCandless Baluch, Hans-Gerd Ridder

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)


    This study aims to shed light on the implementation of HR practices as a key piece of the human resource management (HRM)–performance puzzle. Although the literature suggests that discrepancies between the organization's intended and implemented HR practices are essential to understanding employees’ perceptions of and reactions to HRM, little attention has been devoted to this issue. Drawing upon a multiple‐case study of German health and social services organizations, we therefore explore the linkages (and potential gaps) between intended, implemented, and perceived HR practices. Our study provides new insights into the underlying mechanisms of this relationship, highlighting an organization's ability to leverage its resources as playing a crucial moderating role in implementing intended HR practices, while employees’ expectations of HRM moderate the link between implemented and perceived HR practices. We advance a set of propositions that contributes to a more nuanced, multilevel understanding of the complex phenomenon of HRM implementation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)545-567
    JournalHuman Resource Management
    Issue number4
    Early online date24 Jun 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2014


    • Strategic human resource management
    • Intended and implemented HRM
    • Employees' perception of HR practices
    • Case study


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