The role of line managers in the HRM process

David E. Guest*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This Chapter analyses and reviews the role of front-line managers arguing that they have a central role in implementing human resource management (HRM). It sets out the challenges front-line managers face in implementing effective HRM processes in contemporary organizations. The case is presented for a stakeholder approach to determine effective HRM process implementation and for setting process effectiveness evaluation in the context of the overall effectiveness of the HRM - performance relationship. Evidence about front-line managers’ HRM implementation effectiveness and the qualities required are analysed within the AMO framework addressing their ability, motivation and opportunity to contribute. Front-line managers’ roles involve implementation of top-down HR practices but increasingly also a flexible response to local circumstances. For this they need the autonomy and proactivity to engage in what becomes, in effect, bottom-up HR management. This presents challenges for organizations if they seek to present an over-rigid ‘strong’ top-down HRM system.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook on HR Process Research
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781839100079
ISBN (Print)9781839100062
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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