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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2023

Esme Franken, Geoff Plimmer and Sanna Malinen

Support from managers that enables employee growth promotes adaptation to changing and complex job challenges. Guided by social exchange theory, this study aims to establish…

Abstract

Purpose

Support from managers that enables employee growth promotes adaptation to changing and complex job challenges. Guided by social exchange theory, this study aims to establish growth-oriented management (GOM) as a key management capability to support employee growth. It also identifies employee resilience as a mechanism for growth in employees and examines its role in mediating the relationships between GOM and key employee outcomes: well-being and work engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on survey data (n = 751) from white-collar employees in Australia. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to estimate the fit of the hypothesized model to the data. Confirmatory factor analysis was also performed to examine convergent and discriminant validity of the study variables.

Findings

Findings show GOM influenced well-being and work engagement, both directly and indirectly through employee resilience. This reveals more broadly that the unique combination of behaviors that comprise GOM plays a pivotal role in supporting growth-oriented outcomes in employees.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study on the impact of GOM on well-being and engagement, as well as on the mediating mechanism of employee resilience in these relationships. GOM is an innovative contribution to scholarship on employee and organizational development, reflecting the changing nature of management, and responding to the increasingly diverse development needs of employees.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Esme Franken and Geoff Plimmer

Leadership matters in public contexts. It influences employee development and, in turn, the effective delivery of public services. Harmful leadership limits the fulfilment of both…

1132

Abstract

Purpose

Leadership matters in public contexts. It influences employee development and, in turn, the effective delivery of public services. Harmful leadership limits the fulfilment of both these requirements. Although there are many studies of public leadership, few explore aspects of poor leadership focusing on leading people, in the unique public sector context. The purpose of this paper is to explore the public sector environment as one that can enable harmful leadership, and identifies what those aspects of harmful behaviours are. In particular, it focuses on common, day-to-day forms of harmful mediocre leadership rather than more dramatic, but rarer, forms of destructive or toxic leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted over three phases. In study one (N=10) interviews using the critical incident technique identified harmful behaviours. Study two (N=10) identified perceived causal processes and outcomes of these processes. Study three was a validation check using two focus groups (n=7) and two further interviews (n=6).

Findings

Four dimensions of harmful behaviour were found: micromanagement, managing up but not down, low social and career support and reactive leadership. Several pathways to harm were found, including lessened employee confidence, motivation, collaboration, learning and development.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited by a small sample and data collected in one public sector system. But its implications are still meaningful. The research identified some ways that harmful leadership can occur, that is missed in existing studies of harmful leadership, which tend to focus on more toxic forms of harm. The role of NPM and other reforms as important shapers of current leadership behaviours are also discussed.

Practical implications

To address these behaviours further investment in leadership development, selection and performance management is recommended.

Social implications

Social implications include the hindering of effective service delivery and limited ability to deal with increasingly dynamic and complicated problem.

Originality/value

Public sector leadership studies are often rose tinted, or describe what should be. Instead, this paper describes what sometimes is, in terms of day-to-day mediocre but harmful leadership.

Details

International Journal of Public Leadership, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-4929

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 July 2023

Uma Jogulu, Nicola Green, Esme Franken, Alexis Vassiley, Tim Bentley and Leigh-ann Onnis

This study explored one form of remote working – work from home – to understand the impact of work disruptions on workers and human resource management (HRM) practice and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study explored one form of remote working – work from home – to understand the impact of work disruptions on workers and human resource management (HRM) practice and therefore how to adapt to future crises. Specifically, the purpose is to understand the impact of events on employees when they are forced to move back and forth (yo-yoing) between work from home and a central office, using the case of Perth, Western Australia (WA).

Design/methodology/approach

Thirty-nine interviews with leaders, managers and co-workers working in private and public organisations suggest that forced changes to work arrangements affect job content and demands, well-being and potentially career trajectories.

Findings

The authors critically applied and developed the tenets of event system theory (EST) (novelty, disruption and criticality) by analysing an ongoing or “long” event rather than a discrete or time-limited one. The study found that the work-from-home experience influenced the individual perception of whether remote working would suit employees in the future, potentially influencing career paths. In addition, the selection of locations to live, preferred properties (e.g. home office space) and access to services (e.g. broadband infrastructure) has also become dominant features of work decisions.

Research limitations/implications

While the study generated rich data, it is not without limitations. The participants were from one Australian state which may not reflect the COVID-19 experiences of other jurisdictions. In addition, the participants were mostly female so this may offer a different perspective than a more gender-balanced sample. The study was limited to the perspectives of employees and middle managers.

Practical implications

The authors note three areas of implications for practitioners. First, the findings suggest that strong organisational and HRM support assists employees to cope well with change. Second, the importance of technological and social preparedness in improving employee experiences highlights the role of HRM in job design. Third, it is key that salient events are recognised as potential determinants of career pathways.

Originality/value

The evidence from this research broadens the application of EST showing that forced flexibility has an influence on work arrangements by influencing a series of changes in features of work and experiences of employees. As such, this impacts employee's well-being and potentially future career decisions.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 53 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

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