# 11-034/1 (2011-02-11)

Author(s)
Silvia Dominguez Martinez, University of Amsterdam; Otto H. Swank, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Keywords:
rules, human resource management policies, self-image, motivation
JEL codes:
M5, D82, D83

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.