University of Twente Student Theses


Perception is reality : what influences employee perception and how can it foster a strong HR system

Fahrenholz, K. (2011) Perception is reality : what influences employee perception and how can it foster a strong HR system.

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Abstract:In recent years the implementation of HR practices was in the focus of many studies. Thereby it was revealed that the HR practices that are designed by the HR department are not always received as intended by the employees. Recently the implementation process of HR practices has also been complicated by the circumstance that line managers take over the operational tasks of HR departments and thereby also the implementation of HR practices. Due to this reason the HR practices need to pass through an additional stage during their implementation. Nevertheless the employee perception of HR practices is of central importance, because the perception colors all further behavior of employees and their performance. Therefore it is desirable to design HR practices that enforce attitudes and behaviors that increase employees’ skills, knowledge and abilities to maximize the performance of every individual. In addition these practices need to be understood correctly by the employees; otherwise they cannot deploy their complete effect. However, the linkage between intended practices that are implemented by line managers and perceived practices that are received by employees was not researched extensively so far. Therefore this thesis investigates how this linkage can be improved in order to enhance the chance that the designed HR practices are received as desired among employees. It is the goal of this thesis to reveal possible factors that might improve the perception of employees regarding HR practices. Thereby the focus is put on personal relationships pending between employees, their supervisors and their employer. By reviewing the relevant literature it turns out that the supervisor-subordinate relationship as well as the employer-employee relationship could be able to influence the linkage between actual and perceived HR practices. It shows that it is likely that a supervisor-subordinate relationship that is characterized by loyalty, mutual trust and sympathy enhances the chance that HR practices are perceived as intended among all employees. Also a psychological contract, which defines the relationship between employer and employees, should foster a stronger HR system when the relationship is based on a long-term perspective that exceeds the absolutely necessary expectations and obligations.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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