- January 2015
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- Purpose - HR practices are only effective if they are well accepted by employees. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of two forms of support on the acceptance of newly introduced HR practices (NHRPs): that of top managers and of supervisors. In addition, the authors analyze how these two forms of support work in conjunction with one another. The authors argue that a lack of consistency between the two impairs NHRP acceptance. The authors also explore variations in acceptance under different organizational climates. Design/methodology/approach - The analysis is based on an original sample of 307 employees from nine multinational companies operating in Spain. Multilevel regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses. Findings - The authors found that top management support, supervisor support, and innovation climate are all predictors of NHRP acceptance. The authors also found that low supervisor support reduces the effect of top management support. Finally, the authors found that innovation climate is not a substitute for management and supervisor support. Practical implications - The findings suggest that top management and supervisor behavior is critical to gaining employee acceptance of NHRPs, no matter how well designed such practices are or how well they address the needs of the organization and its employees. The findings also indicate that top managers and supervisors should coordinate the introduction of NHRPs, since employees perceive support signals from these two agents not only individually but also in conjunction. Originality/value - Recognizing that employee acceptance is an important determinant of the effectiveness of HR practices, the authors make a unique contribution to the literature by investigating some critical contextual enablers of acceptance.