Dimensions of HRM Culture

Dimensions of HRM Culture
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Assessing the role and effectiveness of Human Resource department and its culture is an interesting area of research. Doubtless, HR department is the backbone of any organization. It is believed that a strong and supportive HR department plays a pivotal role to the success of an organization. This has made the evaluation of the effectiveness of HR department and HRM culture a popular area of study among academicians and scholars. Of course, HRM culture differs among organizations and what is conducive in one organization might not be so in another.

Generally, the effectiveness of HRM culture is measured in terms of HR practices, process and systems. Management experts and practitioners have proposed various dimensions or components of HRM culture that contributes to an organization’s success. The following selections from my Ph.D. thesis present the various dimensions of HRM culture as identified by HR experts and authors.

Dimensions of HRM Culture

Rao and Abraham (1989) developed a HRD climate questionnaire covering three categories namely General climate, OCTAPAC culture and HRD mechanisms. The ‘OCTAPAC’ is an acronym for Openness, Confrontation, Trust, Autonomy, Proactivity, Authenticity and Collaboration. The HRD mechanisms include Performance Appraisal, Potential Appraisal, Career Planning, Performance Rewards, Feedback and Counselling, Training, Employee Welfare for quality of work life, Job Rotation etc.

Srinivas Kandula (1998) identified Participation, Succession Planning, Human Resource Information, Organization Development, Training, Performance Appraisal, Counselling, Career Planning, Reward and Welfare and Job Enrichment as important dimensions of HRM culture.

The Xavier Labour Relations Institute* (1999) developed a 38-item HRD climate survey questionnaire which measures dimensions such as Openness, Trust, Collaboration, Top management commitment, Risk taking, and Objectivity in rewards.

Mohanty (2001) identified dimensions of HRM culture that included HR Planning, Recruitment, Training and Development, Wage and Salary Administration, Industrial Relations, Welfare, Establishment Matters, Liaising with Government and other agencies and Implementation of Law and others as the main functions / dimensions of HR department.

Wright et al (2001) measured HR services taking dimensions such as Compensation, Performance-based Incentives, Labour Relations, Training, Performance Management, Communication, Staffing, Benefits Costs, HR Initiatives, Measurement, Responsiveness, Commitment, User-friendly Benefits, Legal Regulations and Diverse Workforce.

Hofstede’s Model of cultural dimensions included Power Distance, Individualism-Collectivism, Masculinity-Femininity, Uncertainty Avoidance and later on to be added was Long-term-Short term orientation (Mayhew, 2019).

Certainly, the dimensions of HRM culture are dynamic and keeps changing with time, people, geographical location, and the type of organization. Moreover, HRM culture of an organization depends on the leadership style, values and professionalism displayed by the organization. Nevertheless, one cannot dispute that the right kind of HRM culture is essential for building and sustaining an organization.


Mayhew, R. (2019). List of the Six Dimensions of Culture & How Each Affect Employee Behavior. Chron.com. Available from: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/concept-collectivism-individualism-industrial-relations-78980.html

Mohanty, P . K (2001). PM, HRM and HRD – What the HR Executives Tell About? Personnel Today. (NIPM). XXI (4).11-17

Rao, T.V & Abraham, E. (1989). HRD Practices in Indian Industries: A Trend Report. Management and Labour Studies. II. 73-85

Srinivas Kandula. (1998). HRD in Drugs and Pharmaceutical Industry: An Empirical Assessment. Personnel Today. XIX (2). 35-43

Wright P.M., Mcmahan G.C., Snell S.A., & Gerhart B. (2001). Comparing Line and HR Executives’ Perceptions of HR Effectiveness: Services, Roles and Contributions. Human Resource Management. 40(2). 111-123

Xavier Labour Relations Institute (Presently Xavier School of Management*). (1999). Management and Labour Studies. 24(2).