For a message to have its desired effect, both reception and yielding are necessary. (Collins, David 1998) Yet making sense of the environment often entails numerous cycles of attending to information, interpreting information, acting on it, and receiving feedback to clarify one's sense of the situation, particularly when events are highly ambiguous or subject to change.
Attribution theory has been useful in helping explain message-based persuasion and in helping identify key features that will allow for messages to be received and interpreted uniformly among employees. In the Human Recourse Management context, employees are required to infer cause-effect attributions from these communications to determine what behaviors are important, expected, and rewarded. Causal inference can be understood not solely as the inner workings of the mind but also as a process by which people gather and elicit causal explanations from others and communicate their explanations to others.
In order to function effectively in a social context and make accurate attributions about a situation, an employee must have adequate and unambiguous information. Although attribution frameworks have been used to explain whether an individual attributes the cause of another person's behavior to internal or external factors, Redman, T and Wilkinson, A. (2001) attribution theory details the process for making attributions not only to other people but to situational factors as well. An individual can make confident attributions about cause-effect relationships in situations depending on the degree of distinctiveness (the event-effect is highly observable), consistency (the event-effect presents itself the same across modalities and time), and consensus (there is agreement among individuals' views of the event-effect relationship). (Redman, T and Wilkinson, A. 2001)
We propose that when the Human Recourse Management is perceived as high in distinctiveness, consistency, and consensus, it will create a strong situation. Using literature on message-based persuasion and social influence, we elucidate nine meta-features of Human Recourse Management that build distinctiveness, consistency, and consensus, thereby creating a strong influence situation in which employees share constructions of the situation. As such, the features help foster the emergence of a strong organizational climate, as opposed to idiosyncratic psychological climate perceptions. The strength of the Human Recourse Management can be conceptualized in terms of its effectiveness in conveying the types of information needed to create a strong situation.
Distinctiveness of the situation generally refers to features that allow it to stand out in the environment, thereby capturing attention and arousing interest. We elucidate four characteristics of Human Recourse Management that can foster distinctiveness: visibility, understandability, legitimacy of authority, and relevance. (Blyton, P. and P. Turnbull 1994)
Visibility of the Human Recourse Management practices refers to the degree to which these practices are salient and readily observable. This