Using simple game-theoretical models, this paper studies the role of pre-determined rules for HRM policies. We consider a model in which HRM decisions affect employees' self-images and thereby their motivation. We show that in the absence of written rules, managers are too reluctant (1) to differentiate between employees on the basis of their abilities, and (2) to terminate employment of employees on probation. Generally, organizations benefit from committing to strict rules for various HRM practices.

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Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute
Tinbergen Institute

Dominguez Martinez, S, & Swank, O.H. (2011). On the Role of Pre-Determined Rules for HRM Policies (No. TI 2011-034/1). Discussion paper / Tinbergen Institute. Tinbergen Institute. Retrieved from