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Understanding the congruence of HRM frames in a healthcare organization

Tanya Bondarouk (Human Resource Management, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherland)
Anna Bos-Nehles (Human resources Management. University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands)
Xanthe Hesselink (Capgemini Consulting, Utrecht, Netherlands)

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 4 January 2016




The purpose of this paper is to identify the differences and similarities in the HRM frames of middle-level managers and HR professionals, and to uncover the roots and contents of (dis)agreements in the HRM frames among HR professionals and middle-level managers.


An explorative case study performed in a Dutch homecare organization explored the reasons for the different roots and dynamics of the cognitive frames of HR professionals and middle-level managers.


The research shows that these differences originate in the lack of clarity concerning the experienced philosophy and goals of HRM, leading to different client foci, in the inertia- and intuition-based execution of HRM practices and in the seemingly large distance between central and local HRM administrative functions. The alignment of HRM frames developed from being congruent in the HRM vision towards incongruence in daily HRM execution.


This research confirms that HR professionals and middle-level managers have different HRM frames that encompass knowledge, assumptions and expectations. Congruent thinking by both social groups can lead to a better HRM system and to changes in HRM processes, enabling easier progress.



The authors would like to express gratitude to the HR Director of Medicare, H. van Leeuwen and to the HR specialist of Medicare M. Bomans for their leadership, commitment and help during the empirical phase of this research.


Bondarouk, T., Bos-Nehles, A. and Hesselink, X. (2016), "Understanding the congruence of HRM frames in a healthcare organization", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 2-20.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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