University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)577-597
JournalHuman Resource Management
Journal publication date15 Jul 2015
Early online date20 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2015


This article uses large-scale international data to examine how much autonomy
organizations have to assign human resource management responsibilities to
line managers, as indicated in the prescriptions of the literature. We use data
from 11 countries to explore the impact of a variety of internal characteristics
of organizations and the kind of economy in which they operate. We fi nd that
around half of the organizations assign HRM responsibilities to the line and that
organizations appear to have considerable latitude in making choices in this area.
Organizations in the Nordic economies are most likely to assign responsibilities
for HRM to the line and those in the liberal market economies are the least
likely to do so. In any economy, larger organizations, unionized organizations,
and those with strategically positioned HRM departments are the least likely to
allocate responsibilities for HRM to the line. We discuss the implications of our
fi ndings for future research and for practice.


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