Publication Date



The construct of Human Resource (HR) Attributions is introduced. We argue that the attributions that employees make about the reasons why management adopts the HR practices that it does have consequences for their attitudes and behaviors, and ultimately, unit performance. Drawing on the strategic HR literature, we propose a typology of five HR-Attribution dimensions. Utilizing data collected from a service firm, we show that employees make varying attributions for the same HR practices, and that these attributions are differentially associated with commitment and satisfaction. In turn, we show that these attitudes become shared within units and that they are related to unit-level organizational citizenship behaviors and customer satisfaction. Findings and implications are discussed.


Suggested Citation
Nishii, L. H., Lepak, D. P. & Schneider, B. (2008). Employee attributions of the “why” of HR practices: Their effects on employee attitudes and behaviors, and customer satisfaction (CAHRS Working Paper #08-03). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.