Using theory on authentic leadership to build a strong human resource management system

Carol Gill, William Gardner, Johannes Claeys, Kathleen Vangronsvelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Prior work has questioned whether human resource management (HRM) lives up to the organizational benefits it espouses. The intentions underlying human resource (HR) practices often differ from how they are implemented by line managers or how they are ultimately perceived by followers, thus undermining the strength of the HR system in influencing organizational outcomes and with them the overall reputation of HRM. We argue that line managers, specifically those who display authentic leadership behaviors, can strengthen an HR system (i.e., aligning intended, actual, and perceived HR policies and practices) by implementing HR practices in a way that they are perceived as distinct, consistent, and reflecting consensus. Authentic leadership theory departs from more traditional, top-down fit perspectives in strategic HRM to consider the dynamic way in which individuals within an organizational context co-create felt and perceived authenticity in interaction with others. In other words, by providing a more dynamic approach to creating alignment in HRM, authentic leadership helps HRM attain more authenticity and credibility in the organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-318
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Authentic leadership
  • Authenticity
  • Human resource management
  • System strength, alignment, and fit


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