Human Resource Management Journal

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  • The perceived fairness of work–life balance policies: A UK case study of solo‐living managers and professionals without children

    The ability to reconcile work and private life is a matter relevant to all employees, though not all may seek “balance.” Research indicates that organisational work–life balance policies and flexible working arrangements often focus on the needs of working parents, with one potential outcome being “family‐friendly backlash,” or counterproductive work behaviour from those without caring responsibilities. This paper analyses data from 36 interviews with childless solo‐living managers and professionals, exploring perceptions of fairness in relation to these policies. In contrast to previous studies, despite recognising a strong family‐care orientation in employer provisions, perceptions of unfair treatment or injustice were not pronounced in most cases, and thus there was little evidence of backlash/counterproductive work behaviour. The paper uses and develops organisational justice theory to explain the findings, emphasising the importance of situating individual justice orientations within perceived organisational policy and wider regulatory contexts. It also emphasises the importance of evaluating fairness of work–life balance policies and flexible working arrangements in relation to other aspects of the employment relationship, notably opportunities for career development and progression.

  • Sovereign wealth funds, productivity and people: The impact of Norwegian Government Pension Fund‐Global investments in the United Kingdom

    Sovereign wealth funds have an increasing presence in the global financial ecosystem, principally through their investments in equities, which, in turn, may influence HRM. This study examines the influence of the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, the Norwegian Government Pension Fund‐Global (NGPF‐G), on employment in its U.K. investee firms. We find that firms with NGPF‐G investment are significantly less likely to reduce their demand for labour, more specifically in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. When a drop in the demand for labour does occur, it is less extreme when compared to similar organisations without a NGPF‐G shareholding, and this is evident even in the case of relatively small NGPF‐G investments. These findings are in line with the fund's objective of promoting corporate sustainability and Norwegian values. We draw out the key implications of our findings for HR practice.

  • Professor David P. Lepak
  • Supporting team citizenship: The influence of team social resources on team‐level affiliation‐oriented and challenge‐oriented behaviour

    Using a conservation of resources theoretical framework, we connect within‐team social resources with team‐level citizenship behaviours. In a sample of 385 employees situated in 70 teams from China, we confirm that team social support and team psychological safety interact to influence both affiliation‐oriented (AOCB) and challenge‐oriented (COCB) citizenship. Specifically, the two social resources substitute for one another, such that “either” team social support “or” psychological safety may be sufficient to increase AOCB. We find a consistent yet more complex pattern for COCB. Furthermore, drawing on the team prosocial motivation literature, we uncover team effort as a mediator to the effects of both social resources on AOCB. Our findings suggest that managers may enhance team citizenship by promoting team‐level social resources (social support and psychological safety), and they may only need to focus their energies on one of these resources, as exerting effort towards both may be redundant and inefficient.

  • Line managers and HRM: A managerial discretion perspective

    Line managers play a central role in HRM practices, but research and theory on how their role is enacted remains underdeveloped. This paper presents a case study of a large U.K.‐based fashion retailer and uses managerial discretion theory to develop a novel understanding of line managers' contribution to the implementation of HRM practices. We describe three distinct ways in which line managers engage with HRM policies and procedures, and propose that line managers make an important contribution to the effective implementation of HRM systems through exerting their cognitive and political abilities to bring about decisions that are well suited to their local situations. Moreover, we find that HR specialists design and manage HRM policies and procedures to afford different levels of managerial discretion in different areas of HRM.

  • The role of pay secrecy policies and employee secrecy preferences in shaping job attitudes

    Although pay secrecy continues to garner attention in human resource management, little research examines how these policies impact employees. Research inconsistently links secretive pay policies to unfavourable outcomes but has yet to consider that employees may have varying attitudes toward these policies. We examine how employee preferences modify the effect that organisational pay secrecy policies have on employee attitudes in a sample of 431 employed adults. To accomplish this goal, we create measures of pay secrecy policies and pay secrecy preferences that each differentiate two facets of pay secrecy: distributive pay non‐disclosure and communication restriction. Polynomial and moderated regression analyses indicated that disparities between employee preferences and organisational pay secrecy policies can reduce job satisfaction and perceptions of informational, interpersonal, and procedural justice under certain circumstances. These results simultaneously highlight the importance of employee attitudes toward pay secrecy policies and the challenges human resource practitioners face in managing employees with diverse preferences.

  • Balancing tensions: Buffering the impact of organisational restructuring and downsizing on employee well‐being

    This study examines the impact of employee experiences of restructuring and downsizing on well‐being. The job demands‐resources model was used to develop hypotheses related to job demands in the form of work intensity and job resources in the form of consultation. The job demands‐resources model allows for direct incorporation of employee perceptions and does not assume a singular, predetermined consequence of HRM practices. Hypotheses were tested via structural equation modelling on a nationally representative sample of over 5,110 employees from the Republic of Ireland in 2009. The findings indicate that work intensity serves as a conduit through which experiences of restructuring and downsizing negatively impact employee well‐being. Notably, consultation served as a buffer, diminishing the extent of this negative experience. The findings illuminate the complex pathways that shape how restructuring and downsizing are perceived by employees and the consequences for well‐being. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of these findings.

  • Depletion or expansion? Understanding the effects of support policy use on employee work and family outcomes

    Past research on the effects of employees' use of work–family support policies tends to draw on a depletion perspective suggesting that using these policies may reduce work–family conflict. The emphasis on depletion fails to consider the expansion perspective that assumes that using work resources may enrich family functioning. Using a sample of 113 matched employee–supervisor pairs and a 1‐month separation between predictor and criterion measurement, we found support for the expansion rather than the depletion perspective. Specifically, the relationships between support policy use and employee job satisfaction and family efficacy (but not organisational citizenship behaviour) were mediated by work‐to‐family enrichment; these effects were realised only for employees with high levels of family identity. In contrast, no support was found for family‐to‐work conflict as a mediator of the model.

  • Issue Information

    No abstract is available for this article.

  • Workaholism versus work engagement and job crafting: What is the role of self‐management strategies?

    Job crafting refers to the proactive actions employees take to redesign their jobs in order to get a better fit with their competencies, expectations, and wishes. So far, little is known about job crafting's underlying mechanisms. In this study, we examine how two different states of affective well‐being (workaholism and work engagement) relate to job crafting 3 months later and how these well‐being states steer different self‐management behaviours, which ultimately lead to job crafting. Structural equation modelling on a heterogeneous sample (N = 287) revealed that work engagement and workaholism both relate to expansive job crafting through different self‐management strategies. Work engagement relates to challenge and resource seeking via self‐goal setting and self‐observation strategies, whereas workaholism associates with challenge and resource seeking only through self‐goal setting. In addition, the results show a strong relationship between workaholism and self‐punishment. Altogether, the findings suggest that self‐management strategies can function as an explanatory mechanism for different job crafting behaviours.

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