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The impact of SHRM on the psychological contract of employees: A typology and research agenda

Maximilian Tim Roehl (Institute of Human Resource Management, Leibniz University Hannover, Hannover, Germany)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 15 August 2019

Issue publication date: 23 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic and systematic conceptualization of the impact of strategic human resource management (SHRM) on the psychological contract. Specifically, this paper aims to explore how the alignment of HR-systems and organizational communication influences the congruence and breach of the psychological contract.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies the signaling theory as a lens to develop a typology of four “ideal types” of SHRM configurations, each characterized by differences in the alignment of the HR-system and communication quality. Based on this typology, the influence of these different SHRM configurations on the congruence and breach of the psychological contract is being proposed.

Findings

The typology shows that the alignment of HR-systems and communication quality impact differently on the formation and breach of the psychological contract. It highlights that employees require both, highly aligned HR-systems and a high-quality communication to form congruent contract perceptions.

Originality/value

The configurational arguments embedded in the typology allow the conceptualization of the interrelationships between the alignment of HR-systems, organizational communication and the congruence and breach of the psychological contract. The propositions derived from the typology can guide research on SHRM as an antecedent of the psychological contract and shed light on the role of the psychological contract as a linking mechanism between SHRM and the employees’ reactions.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

An earlier version of this paper was accepted for presentation at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management.

Citation

Roehl, M.T. (2019), "The impact of SHRM on the psychological contract of employees: A typology and research agenda", Personnel Review, Vol. 48 No. 6, pp. 1580-1595. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-02-2018-0063

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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