HRM Practices, Impersonal Trust and Organizational Innovativeness
Vanhala, Mika; Ritala, Paavo (2016)
Post-print / Final draft
Journal of Managerial Psychology
School of Business and Management
Design/methodology/approach – The hypotheses were tested with two large-scale quantitative studies from the forestry and information and communication technology industries in Finland.
Structural equation modelling (with LISREL) was used to test hypothesis.
Findings – This study shows that effective HRM practices indeed facilitate organizational innovativeness, and that this effect is partially mediated by impersonal trust in the organization. This result contributes to the existing literature and practice of HRM and the management of organizational innovativeness.
Research limitations/implications – Future studies could include also interpersonal trust in order to study trust-innovativeness linkage. The study also examined this phenomenon only in Finnish context and this sets some limitations to the generalizability of the results. In addition, single respondents were used to assess all the variables used in the study. Further studies could improve on this by utilizing more objective measures of organizational innovativeness.
Practical implications – The results suggest that organizations should pay attention to designing
HRM practices so that they facilitate the building of impersonal organizational trust. In order to improve innovativeness through organizational trust, it is crucial to develop an organization-wide
HRM system, since practices that are inconsistently used can lead to unwanted or inefficient results.
Strategic and managerial actions related to HRM could increase employees’ trust in the organization and subsequent conditions for providing continuously innovative solutions.
Originality/value – The authors add to the literature by identifying the connection of HRM practices to contributing to behavioural, process and strategic innovativeness through the mediation of impersonal trust. To the best of the researchers’ knowledge, this is one of few studies and the first systematic large sample study that examines impersonal trust and its relationship between HRM practices and different types of organizational innovativeness.
Vanhala, M., Ritala, P. (2016). HRM practices, impersonal trust and organizational innovativeness. Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol 31, Issue 1. p. 95-109. DOI: 10.1108/JMP-03-2013-0084
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