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Organizational career management practices: The role of the relationship between HRM and trade unions

Tomislav Hernaus (Department of Organization and Management, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)
Dejana Pavlovic (Institute of Economic Sciences, Belgrade, Serbia)
Maja Klindzic (Department of Organization and Management, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 25 October 2018

Issue publication date: 7 January 2019

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2170

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations profoundly create development paths of individual’s careers. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to gain understanding about how organizational context (shaped by the complex relationship between trade union strength and HRM strength) influences the application of organizational career management (OCM) practices seen through the lens of the theory of cooperation and competition (Deutsch, 1949; Tjosvold, 1984).

Design/methodology/approach

Inferential statistical analyses (Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests) were applied to test the CRANET survey data collected from 92 large-sized private-sector organizations within an EU country characterized by a medium to high-trade union density.

Findings

Results offered consistent empirical evidence that a comprehensive set of OCM practices are applied differently across four distinctive modalities of the union-HRM relationship. Specifically, the “union-HRM synergy” relationship (high-HRM/high-unionization) has been recognized as the most promising for adopting such developmental practices, providing an evidence of complementarities between trade unions and HRM professionalism.

Practical implications

The research suggests that synergistic collaboration between trade unions and HRM might provide employees with even more career development opportunities than when organizations pursue the asynchronous single-sided “Total HRM strategy.”

Originality/value

This study rejuvenate a traditional career management research agenda by introducing a new theoretical lens for studying the interplay between trade unions and HRM and have put an emphasis on how their strength is related to the incidence of OCM practices.

Keywords

Citation

Hernaus, T., Pavlovic, D. and Klindzic, M. (2019), "Organizational career management practices: The role of the relationship between HRM and trade unions", Employee Relations, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 84-100. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-02-2018-0035

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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