International Journal of Human Resource Management vol:24 issue:8 pages:1708-1735
We compare and explain effectiveness assessments of two HR stakeholders: line managers and trade union representatives. We examine whether they have the same preferences regarding the roles the HR department has to fulfil (Ulrich 1997). Next, we test which strong HRM system characteristics (Bowen and Ostroff 2004) are decisive in determining the perceived effectiveness of the HR department in the preferential roles. With these analyses we examine whether the HR roles and strong HRM system characteristics are equally important to different stakeholders. Results show that the perceived effectiveness of the HR department in its operational roles is decisive in trade union representatives' general HR effectiveness assessment. For line managers, process-oriented roles are crucial. Next, if the HR department scores high on strong HRM system characteristics, it is perceived as more effective in its HR roles. Yet, the importance of specific HRM system characteristics depends on the role and stakeholder.