Understanding how HR systems work: The role of HR philosophy and HR processes

Kathy Monks*, Gráinne Kelly, Edel Conway, Patrick Flood, Katie Truss, Enda Hannon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the proliferation of studies of HR systems, there are still substantial gaps in our understanding of how such systems actually work. This article, by focusing on the neglected areas of HR philosophy and HR processes in the composition of HR systems, and by using a qualitative, employee-centred approach in the collection and analysis of data, provides new insights into the working of HR systems. Using data from interviews with 56 knowledge workers employed in the information and communications technology sector in Ireland and the UK, we explore employee-level reactions to two different types of HR systems. We highlight the various ways in which HR processes interact with HR practices and the different outcomes that may result, and we identify the key role of HR philosophy in HR system operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-395
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number4
Early online date26 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes

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