Implementing sustainable human resources practices: Leadership style matters

Jaewan Yang, Joon Yeol Lew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Findings of a positive relationship between high-performance work systems (HPWSs) and organizational performance indicate that an investment in a set of well-configured HR practices can promote strategic organizational goals. However, recent strategic human resource management (SHRM) research indicates that the positive link between HPWSs and performance might not hold universally across organizations because of poor implementation of the adopted HR systems. Drawing on leadership literature, we address this implementation problem by focusing on the moderating effect of frontline managers’ three leadership styles on the association between HPWSs and employees’ perceived support for innovation. Data collected in mainland China (429 employees on 66 work teams in 14 firms) showed that some leadership styles had significant moderating effects on that association and, subsequently, on team effectiveness. The findings contribute to the SHRM literature by demonstrating the importance of frontline managers’ leadership styles in the effective implementation of HPWSs to promote organizational innovation and team effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1794
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2020


  • Frontline managers
  • HR practice implementation
  • High-performance work systems
  • Innovation
  • Leadership styles
  • Sustainable HR practices


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