A theoretical model about the double strategic fit of the HRM strategy: Employees’ perceptions as connector between formulated and implemented HR practices

Natalia García Carbonell, Fernando Martín Alcázar, Gonzalo Sánchez Gardey


Purpose: Considering inconsistent results in the literature about the HRM-performance relationship, this study discusses the association between both variables from a process perspective. To do so, the paper proposes a theoretical model that differentiates between the intended double fit (vertical and horizontal fit) and the real fit achieved in the HR practices implementation, considering employees’ perceptions about the HRM system as a determinant factor to explain the success of HR practices.

Design/methodology/approach: The research presents a theoretical review combining diverse fields of strategic human resource management research (fit perspective and system strength construct).

Findings: The paper concludes with an alternative theoretical model that explains the relationship between the link between human resources and organizational performance, introducing employees’ perceptions on the HRM system as a mediating variable.

Practical implications: Conclusions show the importance of the organizational communication in HRM processes, the role played by HR managers and the usefulness of the system strength as a tool to assess the fit of the implemented HRM strategy. Originality/value: Considering these assumptions, this proposal contributes to explain the effects of HRM strategies on organizational performance in three aspects: (1) the inclusion of employees’ perceptions about the HRM system as a mediating variable between HRM strategies and organizational performance, (2) the integration in the same study the HRM strategy formulation and implementation and (3) the introduction of the system strength construct as a tool to assess vertical and horizontal alignment in the HRM implementation phase.


Strategic human resource management (SHRM), Vertical and horizontal fit, System strength, Organizational performance, Theoretical model

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/ic.431

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Intangible Capital, 2004-2019

Online ISSN: 1697-9818; Print ISSN: 2014-3214; DL: B-33375-2004

Publisher: OmniaScience