The effect of HRM attributions on emotional exhaustion and the mediating roles of job involvement and work overload

Amanda Shantz*, Lilith Arevshatian, Kerstin Alfes, Catherine Bailey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)


Although some research suggests that perceptions of HRM practices are associated with lower levels of employee well-being, other research shows just the opposite. In the present study, we attempt to reconcile these discrepant findings by incorporating the role of HRM attributions. Our model posits that when employees perceive that their organisation's HRM practices are intended to improve their job performance, they experience higher levels of job involvement, which leads to lower levels of emotional exhaustion. Conversely, when employees believe that their organisation's HRM practices are intended to reduce organisational costs, they experience work overload, which translates into higher levels of emotional exhaustion. Parallel mediation analyses of survey data collected from employees of a construction and consultancy organisation at two time periods (n=180) supported this theoretical model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-191
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number2
Early online date6 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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