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Unveiling the relationship between e-HRM, impersonal trust and employee productivity

Naveed Iqbal (COMSATS University, Abbottabad, Pakistan)
Mansoor Ahmad (COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Matthew M.C. Allen (Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 10 May 2019

Issue publication date: 12 July 2019




This study draws upon social exchange theory to explore the role of impersonal trust as an intermediate value-creating factor between electronic human resource management (e-HRM) and productivity. The purpose of this paper is to seek the antecedents and consequences of impersonal trust within organisations to provide a holistic view of e-HRM and employee productivity. This is the first study to examine how impersonal trust mediates the relationship between e-HRM and employee productivity.


The data were collected through a large-scale survey of 700 line managers in Pakistani banks. The data were analysed using structure equation modelling.


The empirical results validate all of the study’s hypotheses, including the role of impersonal trust, which partially mediates the relationship between e-HRM and employee productivity. The results provide empirical evidence that technology-enabled HRM supports organisations by enhancing organisational trust and productivity outcomes.


Such findings contribute to the HRM literature: e-HRM and organisational trust are key predictors for improving employee productivity. The existing literature suggests that e-HRM has a positive impact on employees’ trust in the HRM department. The results provide valuable insights for HR practitioners allowing them to enhance employee productivity by using e-HRM to improve employees’ trust in the organisation.



Iqbal, N., Ahmad, M. and Allen, M.M.C. (2019), "Unveiling the relationship between e-HRM, impersonal trust and employee productivity", Management Research Review, Vol. 42 No. 7, pp. 879-899.



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