The role of the human resource management (HRM) function and its consequent contribution to organizational culture and strategic management have been much debated. This relationship has not been empirically tested in the Australian local government sector. This paper explores the types of organizational culture and the role effectiveness of the HRM function as perceived by 217 senior managers in 71 New South Wales and Queensland local government entities. We found four clusters of local government entities, each with different profiles of organizational culture and perceived effectiveness of the HRM role. While most organizations are undergoing a transition in their cultural values, over one-third of the organizations exhibit a market-oriented culture. These market-oriented organizations have a higher level of human resource role effectiveness. The present study contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the status and influence of HRM as a value-adding corporate function.