Although innovative HRM practices have been found to improve performance, the management literature has overlooked their effect on individual level outcomes, such as employee health and well‐being. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether the implementation of these innovative practices has an impact on the three dimensions of well‐being (physical, psychological and social) and whether well‐being should be considered as a mediator of the innovative HRM‐performance relationship.
The paper uses qualitative data collected from an in‐depth case study via document analysis and semi‐structured interviews with HR practitioners and employees. The data were coded using N‐Vivo software.
The paper shows that innovative HRM practices can lead to both positive and negative well‐being outcomes. Furthermore, they create trade‐offs between the three dimensions of well‐being. While they increase employee well‐being on one dimension, they are detrimental to another.
Due to the scope of the research, the paper bounded itself to analyzing three innovative HRM practices. Different trade‐offs may exist for other practices.
Many organizations are introducing innovative HRM practices assuming that they will improve performance. However, the existence of well‐being trade‐offs needs to be acknowledged and managed.
This paper shows that for a comprehensive understanding of the effects of innovative HRM practices further studies need to contemplate the different dimensions of well‐being separately, as trade‐offs may occur between them. It further suggests that well‐being may be an unexplored mediator of the innovative HRM‐performance relationship.
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