In order to be effective, managers at all levels of the firm must engage in resource management activities, and these efforts are synchronized and orchestrated by top management. Using a specific type of strategic resource, commitment-based human resource systems, we examine the effect of CEO resource orchestration in a multi-industry sample of 190 Korean firms. Our results demonstrate that CEO emphasis on strategic HRM is a significant antecedent to commitment-based HR systems. Furthermore, our results also suggest that CEO emphasis on strategic HRM has its primary effects on firm performance through commitment-based HR systems. This finding underscores the importance of middle managers in operationalizing top management's strategic emphasis, lending empirical support to a fundamental tenet of resource orchestration arguments. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.