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HRM systems and employee affective commitment: the role of employee gender

DuckJung Shin (College of Business and Economics, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)
Alaine Garmendia (Mondragon Unibertsitatea, Mondragon, Spain)
Muhammad Ali (QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Alison M. Konrad (Ivey Business School, Western University, London, Canada)
Damian Madinabeitia-Olabarria (Mondragon Unibertsitatea, Mondragon, Spain)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 9 March 2020

Issue publication date: 6 April 2020




Despite decades of studies on high-involvement human resource management (HRM) systems, questions remain of whether high-involvement HRM systems can increase the commitment of women. This study aims to contribute to the growing body of research on the cross-level effect of HRM systems and practices on employee affective commitment by considering the moderating role of gender.


Integrating social exchange theory with gender role theory, this paper proposes that gender responses to HRM practices can be different. The hypotheses were tested using data from 104 small- and medium-sized retail enterprises and 6,320 employees from Spain.


The findings generally support the study’s hypotheses, with women’s affective commitment responding more strongly and positively to employees’ aggregated perceptions of a shop-level high-involvement HRM system. The findings imply that a high-involvement HRM system can promote the affective commitment of women.


This study investigates the impact of both an overall HRM system and function-specific HRM sub-systems (e.g. training, information, participation and autonomy). By showing that women can be more positively affected by high-involvement HRM systems, this paper suggests that high-involvement HRM systems can be used to encourage the involvement and participation of women.



This research was supported by the Chung-Ang University Research Grants in 2019. We also acknowledge the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council for the Bateratzen initiative.


Shin, D., Garmendia, A., Ali, M., Konrad, A.M. and Madinabeitia-Olabarria, D. (2020), "HRM systems and employee affective commitment: the role of employee gender", Gender in Management, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 189-210.



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