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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Nicole L. Gullekson, Rodger Griffeth, Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Christine T. Kovner and Debra Cohen

Human resource management (HRM) practices are implemented to improve outcomes, such as reducing turnover, absenteeism, and improving performance. Using social exchange…

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Abstract

Purpose

Human resource management (HRM) practices are implemented to improve outcomes, such as reducing turnover, absenteeism, and improving performance. Using social exchange theory (SET), the purpose of this paper is to examine one HRM practice that has received less attention by researchers: employer-sponsored childcare assistance programs.

Design/methodology/approach

Study 1 – a field study compared three groups of hospital employees’ (n=148) attitudes and behaviors using MANCOVA/ANOVA over two time periods. Study 2 – using a field study, on-site and voucher childcare assistance programs were evaluated in terms of the cost to the organization and the relationship to attitudinal variables.

Findings

Study 1 – results indicated that employee performance was higher and absenteeism lower for employees using the on-site childcare center than employees using an off-site center or with no children. Although the attitudinal results did not align with hypotheses, they were not inconsistent with SET. Study 2 – results indicate that childcare assistance programs may be a beneficial HRM practice for organizations to implement.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of Study 1 is the small sample size. Future research should continue to examine how employee benefits like childcare programs affect employees, as well as examine how such benefits differentially employees who value and do not value the benefits. In Study 2, although the authors randomly selected the sample of on-site and voucher programs, the health care facilities self-selected themselves to participate in the program and selected the type of childcare program, a potential source of bias. Future research should examine childcare assistance programs and their impact on work-family balance and strain-based conflict in a wider variety of samples.

Practical implications

Implications for research and practice: Both studies offer researchers a “next step” in the evaluation of childcare assistance research. Additionally, these studies are of practical value to administrators/researchers in organizations who may be considering vouchers or on-site programs as they relate such programs to organizational outcomes.

Originality/value

The first study is one of the few studies on this topic to use a field design with two time points and with multiple behaviors and attitudes. The second study provides a descriptive comparison of two types of childcare assistance programs, a comparison made by few studies to date.

Details

Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-3946

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Sarah Wise, Christine Duffield, Margaret Fry and Michael Roche

The desirability of having a more flexible workforce is emphasised across many health systems yet this goal is as ambiguous as it is ubiquitous. In the absence of…

Abstract

Purpose

The desirability of having a more flexible workforce is emphasised across many health systems yet this goal is as ambiguous as it is ubiquitous. In the absence of empirical studies in healthcare that have defined flexibility as an outcome, the purpose of this paper is to draw on classic management and sociological theory to reduce this ambiguity.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses the Weberian tool of “ideal types”. Key workforce reforms are held against Atkinson’s model of functional flexibility which aims to increase responsiveness and adaptability through multiskilling, autonomy and teams; and Taylorism which seeks stability and reduced costs through specialisation, fragmentation and management control.

Findings

Appeals to an amorphous goal of increasing workforce flexibility make an assumption that any reform will increase flexibility. However, this paper finds that the work of healthcare professionals already displays most of the essential features of functional flexibility but many widespread reforms are shifting healthcare work in a Taylorist direction. This contradiction is symptomatic of a failure to confront inevitable trade-offs in reform: between the benefits of specialisation and the costs of fragmentation; and between management control and professional autonomy.

Originality/value

The paper questions the conventional conception of “the problem” of workforce reform as primarily one of professional control over tasks. Holding reforms against the ideal types of Taylorism and functional flexibility is a simple, effective way the costs and benefits of workforce reform can be revealed.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2013

Christine M. Harland

The purpose of this paper, using an evidence‐based management theoretical lens, is to examine research impact to provide guidance to supply chain management academics in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper, using an evidence‐based management theoretical lens, is to examine research impact to provide guidance to supply chain management academics in evidencing and exploiting the outputs, outcomes and impact of their research.

Design/methodology/approach

Evidence‐based management theory is examined and applied to types of academic research impact. The distinction between academic and non‐academic impact is developed into a supply chain framework of research outputs, transfer, outcomes, impact and national/international benefits. Impact of supply chain management research is explored through a case study in the English National Health Service. Future opportunities and challenges for supply chain management researchers arising from increasing demand for and supply of evidence are discussed.

Findings

Author academic impact and citations are found to be increasingly important building blocks of evidence‐based evaluations of individual academics, journals, research quality assessments of groups and universities, and global rankings of universities. Supply chain management researchers can compare their impact with other areas of academia. Non‐academic impact of research has been assessed by funders of research projects and has spread to research quality assessments of universities.

Social implications

Bibliometrics provide evidence of author and journal impact that can be used in human resource decisions, research quality assessments and global rankings of universities; this availability enables a debate on appropriate use of academic impact evidence. Supply chain management academics evidencing non‐academic research impact on business, society and economy will enable governments and funders of research to evaluate value for money return on their investment.

Originality/ value

This perspective of evidence‐based evaluation of research impact and its implications might encourage debate on academic and non‐academic impact and encourage supply chain researchers to consider evidencing impact in their research design and methodology.

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2019

Yasmine Sabri, Mohammad Hossein Zarei and Christine Harland

The purpose of this paper is to develop an existing collaborative research methodology process (Sabri, 2018), contextualise it for application in humanitarian supply…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop an existing collaborative research methodology process (Sabri, 2018), contextualise it for application in humanitarian supply chains and test it empirically.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on collaborative research methodology and humanitarian supply chain literature, the Sabri’s (2018) collaborative research methodology process is further developed to comprise eight phases of collaborative research contextualised for the humanitarian supply chain domain. The process is applied in a collaborative research case of academia–practitioner knowledge co-creation in a humanitarian supply chain setting, focussing on environmental sustainability improvement. The collaborative case analysis suggests a number of refinements to the elements of the process. This study undertook two cycles of academia–practitioner collaborative research.

Findings

In testing the process, a noticeable improvement in the collaboration among different humanitarian stakeholders was observed, leading to improved stakeholder management. The implementation improved the sustainability awareness and social inclusion of the affected population. Rurality, remoteness, security issues and resistance of field staff against change were among the main challenges for supply chain researchers to engage in collaborative research in the humanitarian domain.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the rigour‒relevance‒reflectiveness debate in the humanitarian supply chain domain. A collaborative research methodology process derived from action research is further developed using humanitarian literature, and then it is applied in a humanitarian logistics case focussed on environmental sustainability. The present collaborative research process facilitates engaged scholarship among the humanitarian stakeholders, as the researchers’ roles move from observatory to participatory knowledge broker.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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