Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

HRM and front line managers: the influence of role stress

Evans, Samantha (2016) HRM and front line managers: the influence of role stress. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 28 (22). pp. 3128-3148. ISSN 0958-5192. E-ISSN 1466-4399. (doi:10.1080/09585192.2016.1146786) (KAR id:53111)

PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English
Download this file
[thumbnail of IJHRM_FLM_role stress_4th_revision_pre_publication_final_version.pdf]
Request a format suitable for use with assistive technology e.g. a screenreader
XML Word Processing Document (DOCX) Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
[thumbnail of IJHRM_FLM_role stress_4th_revision_pre_publication_final_version.docx]
Official URL:


With front line managers (FLMs) being critical in the delivery of human resource management (HRM) we would benefit from a better understanding of how and why these managers execute their human resources (HR) responsibilities in the way that they do. Without such knowledge we cannot fully identify the factors that contribute to the known gap between intended and implemented HRM and mediate the relationship between HRM and organizational performance. Yet FLMs have been largely overlooked in many studies of line management-HRM with very few employing a role-theoretic framework. To address this, interviews were conducted with FLMs in the retail industry to examine the relationship between their work role stressors and their implementation of HRM. FLMs were found to experience role overload, role conflict and role ambiguity, and in accordance with process role theory, engaged in role-making as a response. This resulted in FLMs deviating from intended HRM whereby role overload and conflict often brought about a renegotiation of the more intangible or costly HR policies, whereas role ambiguity undermined their ability to consistently and confidently implement HRM. The paper concludes by arguing that FLMs and their experiences of role stress are critical to our understanding of the gap between intended and implemented HRM.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/09585192.2016.1146786
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Depositing User: Samantha Evans
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2015 18:45 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.