The study used stratified random sampling method to survey 2900 managers from various organizations operating in India, at a single point in time (cross-sectional study). However, out of the initial 2900 survey questionnaires, only 836 were chosen for final analysis.
As far as the nature of business is concerned, the research sample consisted of managers from manufacturing organizations (61.36%), service organizations (10.41%) and IT-related organizations (28.23%). From a geographical orientation standpoint, 44.5% of the managers were from foreign multinational companies, 41.15% were from Indian multinational companies and 14.35% were from local Indian companies. From the perspective of organizational size, 34.93% of the managers belonged to large organizations with more than 10,000 employees. The rest belonged to smaller organizations. Lastly, HR-related managers formed 23.21% of the total sample, while the remaining were non-HR professionals.
Importance and Effectiveness of HR Service Delivery Areas
Although there was an insignificant difference between the importance ratings of HR managers and line managers, nevertheless it is important to note the slightly higher ratings given to HR service delivery areas by HR managers as compared to line managers. In consistency with the importance ratings, HR managers rated effectiveness of HR service delivery areas higher than line managers. However unlike importance ratings, there was a notable difference in their effectiveness ratings.
Importance and Effectiveness of HR Roles
In general, HR managers gave all HR roles higher importance ratings than line managers. However, HR managers gave almost the same importance rating to all roles. On the other hand, there was significant variation in the ratings given line managers to different roles. Line managers considered all HR roles to be less effective than HR managers. Although both groups rated HR roles to be effective in absolute terms, the difference in perception was significant in relative terms.
In harmony with their importance and effectiveness ratings, HR managers perceived HR contributions to be higher than line managers. It is important to note that there was convergence of the perceptions of HR managers and line managers regarding HR’s contribution and their ratings of top and least contributions.
Other Significant Findings
Apart from the major findings regarding the perceptions of HR service delivery areas and HR roles, the study revealed some other interesting insights as well. It was revealed that IT-related organizations gave the highest ratings to HR’s importance, effectiveness and contributions, followed by the manufacturing sector and then the services sector. Moreover, it was found that managers from larger organizations, with employees ranging between 5000 and 10000 gave relatively higher ratings to HR’s importance, effectiveness and contributions.
Furthermore, it was discovered that managers of Indian multinational organizations gave higher ratings to HR’s importance, effectiveness and contributions in comparison to managers of foreign multinationals and local Indian firms.
Additionally, it was found that managers, who belonged to organizations where the Chief Executive Officer had active involvement with the HR service delivery areas, had a higher perception of HR’s importance, effectiveness and contribution. On the other hand, managers from organizations where line managers were actively involved in HR programs had lower perceptions of HR’s importance, effectiveness and contribution.
The study attempted to uncover the perceptions of HR managers and line managers towards HR’s importance, effectiveness and contribution. The results regarding HR importance were in consistency with the findings of the USA study but in contrast with the Chinese study. The results regarding HR effectiveness were similar to that of the Chinese study.
The results demonstrated that HR managers gave consistently higher ratings to HR’s importance, effectiveness and contribution in comparison to line managers. It is noteworthy to mention that effectiveness of HR was higher in service delivery areas and roles considered most important and vice versa. The findings showed that managers realized the most important HR service delivery areas required the most efforts.
However, these findings are based on self-reports of HR managers and line managers. Therefore, there is an inherent social-desirability bias. Moreover, the sample selected does not give equal representative to each subset in the population. Therefore, there is a need for further studies with a triangulation approach to confirm or negate the results of this research.
This study has offered interesting insights regarding the line managers’ involvement in HR programs. I found it particularly important because it defies common knowledge that HR should encourage company-wide participation and involvement. I think that future studies should test this particular finding and enhance the scope of HR-related research.
Srimannarayana, M. (2015, November 25). Line and HR Managers’ Perceptions of HR Importance, Effectiveness and Contribution. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(12), 249-257. doi:10.5539/ijbm.v10n12p249