Human resource management system (HRMS) is an organizational instrument that sends organizational messages to employees. If we consider that HRMS can be an indicator of organization’s involvement towards employees’ it is relevant to understand its impact in employees’ organizational commitment and study indicators that can help unravel the black box between HRMS and positive results, associating an emerging approach, sustainable HRMS that relates HRMS with sustainability, having as common features the association with positive results for employees. Recent literature has tested organizational trust (OT) as a relevant indicator in the understanding of this process. There have been studies that have debated and tested OT in managers as a mediator or moderator of HRMS on affective commitment (AOC) and support for both have been found. In this study, we attempt to contribute to the development of the field, by considering the terminological, conceptual and statistical distinction between moderator and mediator, testing two alternative models that may elucidate the relationship between these variables. 1328 valid responses with employees and managers from 21 Portuguese organizations were collected. A factor analysis, a cluster analysis, moderation tests using hierarchical linear regression, pos hoc tests and mediation tests with sequential regressions were performed. HRMS dimensions are mediated (partially or totally) by OT in manager towards AOC. HRMS dimensions (HR relationship with employees, comprehensibility, utility, visibility and distributive justice) influences OT in manager, which, in turn, influences AOC. Regarding moderation, the interaction between distributive justice and OT, pos-hoc tests showed that when distributive justice increases and levels of OT in manager is high, OAC increases rapidly. It seems that the importance of the distributive justice of HRMS only becomes relevant on OAC, if OT in manager is present. This empirical test of the HRMS model also suggests its reframing in two meta-dimensions: A. the agents of HR system, the HR relationship with employees based on their competence, consistent behavior, ability to solve problems and listening to people; and B. the effects of the system itself, possibly Visibility is the most relevant attribute. We suggest that these interactions between HR agents and employees are relevant and may lead to generalizations about the HRMS.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited