A selection of interesting research and articles we found recently on HRM and Sustainable Performance.

Is sustainable human resource management next?
Yes, according to Robin Kramar. She notes that strategic human resource management (SHRM) emerged as a dominant approach to human resource management (HRM) policy during the past 30 years. However, during the last decade, a new approach to HRM has evolved. This approach has been labelled sustainable human resource management (sustainable HRM). It is an approach that seeks to link HRM and sustainability. The term sustainability is fraught with semantic difficulties, as is conceptualising its relationship to HRM. Consequently, sustainable HRM is viewed in a variety of ways. This paper examines the major features of SHRM, some of the meanings given to sustainability and the relationship between sustainability and HRM. It then outlines the major characteristics of sustainable HRM. Although there are a diversity of views about sustainable HRM, this approach has a number of features which differentiate it from SHRM.

It acknowledges organisational outcomes, which are broader than financial outcomes. All the writings emphasise the importance of human and social outcomes. In addition, it explicitly identifies the negative as well as the positive effects of HRM on a variety of stakeholders; it pays further attention to the processes associated with the implementation of HRM policies and acknowledges the tensions in reconciling competing organisational requirements. Such an approach takes an explicit moral position about the desired outcomes of organisational practices in the short term and the long term. Sustainable HRM can be understood in terms of a number of complimentary frameworks.

Read the full article for more details: Robin Kramar. 2014. Beyond strategic human resource management: is sustainable human resource management the next approach?
The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(8), 1069-1089.
DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2013.816863


High and low performers’ intention to leave: examining the relationship with motivation and commitment
Emily Voigt and Giles Hirst conducted a nation-wide study of retail banking employees in one of the largest Australian financial institutions (N = 784), and found that for high-performing employees with either a promotion focus or affective commitment, there was significantly reduced intention to leave. The relationship between affective commitment and intention to leave was not significantly strengthened by increases in promotion focus. Implications for development of theories focused on intrinsic sources of motivation and commitment as well as the practical implications for talent retention are discussed.

For further insights, see: Emily Voigt & Giles Hirst. 2015. High and low performers’ intention to leave: examining the relationship with motivation and commitment.
The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(5), 574-588.
DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2014.922599


Team autonomy, organizational commitment and retial company performance
Monika von Bonsdorff, Minna Janhonen, Zhiqing Zhou and Sinikka Vanhala studied the relationship between perceived team autonomy and company performance through highlighting organizational commitment as a mediating factor in this relationship. Data collected in 2007 came from 25 small-sized companies in the retail trade, covering both the employer and employee levels (n = 369). This study aims to shed light on the following questions: first, is team autonomy associated with organizational commitment and company performance? Second, does commitment mediate the relationship between team autonomy and company performance?

Results indicated that team autonomy was both directly and indirectly positively associated with company performance. Furthermore, organizational commitment partially mediated the relationship between team autonomy and company performance. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Read more in Monika E. von Bonsdorff, Minna Janhonen, Zhiqing E. Zhou & Sinikka Vanhala. 2015. Team autonomy, organizational commitment and company performance – a study in the retail trade.
The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(8), 1098-1109.
DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2014.934881


Italian HR and sustainability managers gaining consensus
By sustainability-driven change, Marco Guerci and Matteo Pedrini mean the transformation of a company into an active agent of broad sustainable development. Their paper focuses on two key features of this transformation: (i) the key role played by the company’s human resource (HR) management system within that process; and (ii) the fact that the transformation involves a variety of agents and that, among others, HR and sustainability managers are pivotal to the success of the process. Gaining consensus between them on those aspects of the HR system that support sustainability-driven change is a key success factor, as it results in a ‘strong’ HR management system that sends coherent messages to the organization. In addition, consensus between the two managers can be critical in preparing a compelling business case for sustainability for the senior management of the organization.

This paper explores the level of consensus between the HR and sustainability managers using a survey of 89 managers in Italian companies committed to sustainability. The results indicate which elements of an HR management system are seen as important for sustainability-driven change by both the HR and the sustainability managers and what differences in perception exist between them. Based upon the findings, implications for HR practice and research are then advanced and discussed.

Further details are in: Marco Guerci & Matteo Pedrini. 2014. The consensus between Italian HR and sustainability managers on HR management for sustainability-driven change – towards a ‘strong’ HR management system.
The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(13), 1787-1814.
DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2013.860388