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Book part
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Tom Bellairs, Jonathon R. B. Halbesleben and Matthew R. Leon

Sudden crises, known as environmental jolts, can cripple unprepared organizations. In recent years, financial jolts have led many organizations, particularly government…

Abstract

Sudden crises, known as environmental jolts, can cripple unprepared organizations. In recent years, financial jolts have led many organizations, particularly government organizations, to respond by furloughing employees. Furloughs can engender various responses in employees that can lead to negative work outcomes for both the employees and the organization. Previous research shows that the implementation of strategic human resource management (SHRM) practices, such as commitment-based systems, can mitigate the negative effects of environmental jolts. Utilizing the knowledge-based view and affective events theory, we propose a multilevel model where SHRM practices moderate employee affective responses to furloughs, which, in turn, drive subsequent employee behavioral outcomes.

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Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-824-2

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2019

Ashley Mandeville, Marilyn Whitman and Jonathon Halbesleben

The purpose of this paper is to extend the meaning maintenance model (MMM) by elucidating the meaning employees provide to both work and family during a furlough.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend the meaning maintenance model (MMM) by elucidating the meaning employees provide to both work and family during a furlough.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample consisted of 180 state government employees, who completed four surveys, starting at a time before a furlough was initiated through returning to work following a furlough. The authors used random coefficient modeling of a mixed-effects model for discontinuous change.

Findings

Findings suggest that a furlough is associated with increases in perceived psychological contract breach, an indication that the meaning of work is being threatened. Following the furlough, employees’ family identity salience significantly increased. Further, rumination about the furlough increased the shift in family identity salience.

Research limitations/implications

This research tests the MMM in the context of furloughs and work-family implications. The results suggest that employees experience fluid compensation, a key facet of the MMM, during a furlough. Further, rumination of the experienced furlough can strengthen the fluid compensation process.

Practical implications

The implications for organizations implementing furloughs and various methods for implementing furloughs are discussed.

Originality/value

This research extends the MMM by empirically examining it in the context of furloughs and work-family implications. Further, it extends the MMM by examining the impact of rumination on the fluid compensation process.

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Personnel Review, vol. 48 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Chun-Chu (Bamboo) Chen and Ming-Hsiang Chen

This study aims to examine the psychological distress experienced by unemployed and furloughed hospitality workers during the COVID-19 crisis and further investigate how…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the psychological distress experienced by unemployed and furloughed hospitality workers during the COVID-19 crisis and further investigate how this distress affects their career change intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

Derived from a sample of 607 unemployed and furloughed hospitality workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the data for this research are analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

This study reveals that unemployed and furloughed hospitality workers are financially strained, depressed, socially isolated and panic-stricken due to the pandemic’s effects. These effects lead to impaired well-being and an increased intention to leave the hospitality industry. Female and younger employees are impacted to a greater extent, while furloughed workers received fewer impacts compared to their laid-off compatriots.

Research limitations/implications

This study suggests that lockdown restrictions need to be implemented more deliberately, and the psychological well-being of the hospitality workforce deserves more immediate and continuing attention. It advises that hospitality businesses consider furloughs over layoffs when workforce reduction measures are necessary to combat the financial crisis.

Originality/value

This study adds to the current literature by examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic from the employee perspective. New insights are offered on the psychological toll of workforce reduction strategies during the financial fallout and how these distressing experiences affect career change intention.

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International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2021

Allan Webster, Sangeeta Khorana and Francesco Pastore

The choice of Southern Europe is partly based on the observation that the sample includes a number of countries whose economies faced more severe difficulties than…

Abstract

Purpose

The choice of Southern Europe is partly based on the observation that the sample includes a number of countries whose economies faced more severe difficulties than elsewhere in Europe. Economically they were less able to absorb the economic shock posed by COVID-19. It is also partly based on the characteristics of the pandemic. A number of countries in the sample were amongst the earliest in Europe to be hit by the pandemic and a several were harder hit in terms of both morbidity and mortality.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses evidence from World Bank enterprise surveys of a sample of firms from six countries in Southern Europe. It examines the early evidence of the effects of COVID-19 on labour markets. The economic consequences potentially cover a wide range of issues. The focus of this study is on firm level evidence of the effect on labour. The evidence and the analysis are provided at a time when the pandemic is still in progress. The authors use both traditional regression analysis and IPWRA to assess the joint effect of loans versus government support on, firstly, the change in sales revenues and, secondly, the number of weeks that the firm would expect to survive with no sales revenues.

Findings

The study suggests that, despite efforts to support firms and hoard labour, there is a prospect of a significant number of firm closures with a consequent loss of employment. Temporary firm closures also represent a substantial loss of labour weeks. These are partly related to a significant number of workers subject to furloughs. The empirical findings suggest that COVID-19 cases and deaths have directly affected firm sales but government containment measures, particularly closures, have more strongly affected firms. Losses of sales were unsurprisingly related to losses of employment. Remote working has contributed to sustaining employment but online business has not affected most sectors.

Research limitations/implications

The future progress of COVID-19 and government containment measures is uncertain, and the full economic consequences will probably continue to emerge after the end of the pandemic. The full extent of the impact on labour will probably not be the first of these. There are obvious advantages in seeking to learn lessons from the early stages of the pandemic but there are also obvious constraints. The full economic consequences will take longer to emerge than the pandemic itself and the full consequences for employment will take longer to be evident than many other economic effects.

Practical implications

Both temporary closures and furloughs impose costs that will be borne by firms, workers and government. The effects of COVID-19 on firms differ across sectors. Adverse effects tend to be higher in hospitality, non-essential retail and travel. That many firms lack the capacity to survive further temporary closures of a similar duration to those in the earlier stages emphasises that the support provided in the near future is of critical importance to control employment losses through permanent firm closures. A long-term perspective suggests neither permanent closure nor laying off workers may be the best response to a temporary crisis in demand. A stakeholder model of the firm would often suggest that it is not an optimal for the point of view of workers or the wider economy either. Both imply a preference for labour hoarding.

Social implications

The most affected are sectors with a high proportion of female workers and, in consequence, most of the countries in the sample exhibit an early decline of the already lower than average share of women in employment.

Originality/value

The data used have been recently released and this is the first analysis using the data to look at the consequence on firms employment decisions during the Pandemic. The case of Southern Europe is much understudied, though one of the most dramatic as to the consequences of the pandemic. From a methodological point of view, the authors use not only traditional regression analysis, but also the matching approach to identify the effect of different policy options on labour demand by firms.

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International Journal of Manpower, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Book part
Publication date: 2 October 2012

Anthony R. Wheeler and Ramchand Rampersad

In the present chapter, we explore how employee well-being changes over time, both linear and psychological during periods of economic instability. Moreover, we examine…

Abstract

In the present chapter, we explore how employee well-being changes over time, both linear and psychological during periods of economic instability. Moreover, we examine how employee job embeddedness (JE) buffers the effects of economic shocks on employee well-being, and how these buffering effects change employee perceptions of time. We theorize that employees with higher levels of JE psychologically experience economic shocks as occurring infrequently with the economically unstable period feeling quick, but employees with lower levels of JE psychologically experience economic shocks as occurring frequently with the economically unstable period feeling slow. Finally, we extend these relationships to account for the spread of employee well-being through social connections, both inside and outside of the work context. Because JE requires strong social connections, we theorize that the links component of embeddedness is responsible for economic shocks and employee well-being crossing over the work/nonwork boundary. We discuss the implications for our theoretical model.

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The Role of the Economic Crisis on Occupational Stress and Well Being
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-005-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2013

Amy L. Fraher

The article draws on a mixed method study of US airline pilots in order to examine the impact of corporate downsizing on pilots' trust, morale, and organizational…

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Abstract

Purpose

The article draws on a mixed method study of US airline pilots in order to examine the impact of corporate downsizing on pilots' trust, morale, and organizational commitment. The aim of the paper is to review current literature on downsizing and high‐risk teams and to identify gaps in the understanding of how external influences like downsizing can impact high‐risk team's operational performance through an increase in mistakes, distraction, and stress.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from 127 in depth pilot survey responses from captains and first officers from major US airlines and 43 semi‐structured interviews of one to two hours in length.

Findings

Commercial pilots working in downsized airlines reported increased stress, distraction, and suspicion with a corresponding reduction in trust, morale, and organizational commitment.

Research limitations/implications

The article contributes to the literature in corporate downsizing and high‐risk team performance. Insights from these areas provide a lens by which to evaluate post‐9/11 managerial decision‐making in one high‐risk field, aviation, with implications for leadership in other fields of risky work.

Originality/value

Although research examining leadership and teamwork in high‐risk fields has been growing, few studies consider managerial decisions and the resultant organizational climate within which these teams must operate, particularly in the post‐9/11 period. Findings suggest that this is a unique, emerging area that warrants further research.

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Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Marc Kosciejew

The purpose of this paper is as follows: the first objective is to help illuminate part of the international archival sector’s initial responses to the crisis at its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is as follows: the first objective is to help illuminate part of the international archival sector’s initial responses to the crisis at its commencement, particularly by thematically analyzing the announcements made by national archives, which are arguably the leading archival institutions in their respective countries and the second objective is to help establish a joint contemporary understanding and historical snapshot of the positions of national archives during the first few months of the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparative thematic analysis of national archives’ first formal public-facing COVID-19 announcements, released between March and May 2020, is conducted, specifically from the official websites of Australia’s National Archives of Australia, Canada’s Library and Archives Canada, New Zealand’s Archives New Zealand, the United Kingdom’s (UK) The National Archives and the United States of America’s (USA) National Archives.

Findings

Notwithstanding their diverse contexts, all the announcements thematically converge in discussing the closure of physical locations and spaces, as well as maintaining (reduced) services and offering remote access. Another theme appearing across most announcements is the concern for the protection of the health, welfare and safety of their communities. Additional themes featured in some of the announcements include considerations about the handling of paper records and physical materials, the removal and/or return of materials and the provision of further COVID-19 information. Unique themes appearing only once include steps for enacting precautions, furloughing staff and reopening and post-pandemic planning.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations to the article’s purview include its small sample size, focus on mainly English-speaking contexts and analysis of only official websites. Nevertheless, this sample arguably includes some of the major and leading archival institutions, not only in their respective countries but also internationally, namely, two national archives from North America (Canada and the USA), one from the wider European region (the UK) and two from Oceania (Australia and New Zealand). Further studies could expand the cohort size, diversify the focus for instance by analyzing social media postings and metrics and extend the timeframe.

Practical implications

This study could be of interest to archival academics and professionals, as well as library and information science scholars and practitioners, public health researchers and policymakers, cultural studies scholars and historians, exploring international and intersectional initiatives that have informed or are currently informing, approaches to and understandings of this pandemic and other similar health crises. It is further hoped that this study will humbly show support and supply solidarity with the wider archival community as it continues responding to and dealing with COVID-19.

Social implications

Capturing and analyzing aspects of national archives’ communication strategies related to the coronavirus pandemic is a topic of interest, not only for contemporary attempts for dealing with and understanding the crisis but also as a historical snapshot of their responses at this particular point in time.

Originality/value

By contributing to ongoing conversations about the coronavirus pandemic, this study provides the beginning of an analysis of the international archival sector’s initial interventions within it. As the first article in the archival literature on this topic, a baseline and point of reference are established for other studies that will hopefully follow on this topic. In these ways, it can also contribute to debates on how archives and other cultural memory institutions including libraries, museums and galleries, have reacted to the coronavirus pandemic and their resulting communication strategies and impacts upon their institutions, missions, collections, services and communities.

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Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Case study
Publication date: 27 December 2021

Minnette A. Bumpus

The primary topics, in this case, align well with social processes relative to communication and decision-making, and with individual processes relative to fairness in the…

Abstract

Theoretical basis

The primary topics, in this case, align well with social processes relative to communication and decision-making, and with individual processes relative to fairness in the workplace.

Research methodology

The case was developed from secondary sources. The secondary sources included news reports, and university sources (i.e. e-mails, announcements, reports, town hall meetings). This descriptive case has been classroom tested in an undergraduate organizational behavior course.

Case overview/synopsis

On September 10, 2020, the president of Bowie State University, Dr Aminta H. Breaux, announced that the university needed to “take a number of steps, including a temporary salary reduction plan, to close the FY21 funding gap and position the university for continued budget challenges” (Exhibit 1) triggered by the economic impact of COVID-19 on the state of Maryland. Some of the faculty members’ reactions to this announcement included shock and disappointment. Reflecting on what led to the state appropriation reductions, why would faculty members be shocked by President Breaux’s announcement of temporary salary reductions? Did President Breaux make the right decision, and was it communicated appropriately?

Complexity academic level

This descriptive case is most appropriate for undergraduate level organizational behavior courses.

Details

The CASE Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Case Study
ISSN:

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak that started in China in late 2019 and spread globally in 2020 has had profound impacts on almost all areas of our working and personal lives. In…

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Abstract

Purpose

The Coronavirus outbreak that started in China in late 2019 and spread globally in 2020 has had profound impacts on almost all areas of our working and personal lives. In the workplace, one of the functions that was perhaps most under the spotlight was human relations (HR) as first they had to deal with how people could work from home, and then if people should be put on furlough or worse, if they should lose their jobs. While countries such as Denmark and the UK agreed to fund people’s wages up to a certain percentage or cap of their salary, other countries such as the US saw millions simply become unemployed overnight. HR departments worldwide suddenly had to make some of the toughest decisions they will have ever been asked to do and implement them in a matter of days.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds his/her own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

The Coronavirus outbreak that started in China in late 2019 and spread globally in 2020 has had profound impacts on almost all areas of our working and personal lives. In the workplace, one of the functions that was perhaps most under the spotlight was human relations (HR) as first they had to deal with how people could work from home, and then if people should be put on furlough or worse, if they should lose their jobs. While countries such as Denmark and the UK agreed to fund people’s wages up to a certain percentage or cap of their salary, other countries such as the US saw millions simply become unemployed overnight. HR departments worldwide suddenly had to make some of the toughest decisions they will have ever been asked to do and implement them in a matter of days.

Practical implications

This paper provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world’s leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Jonathan P. West and Stephen E. Condrey

Fiscal stress has spurred city governments to search for ways to reduce costs. Human resource professionals and municipal budget officers have been searching for ways to…

Abstract

Fiscal stress has spurred city governments to search for ways to reduce costs. Human resource professionals and municipal budget officers have been searching for ways to reduce personnel-related costs because this is where the greatest savings can be realized. This paper identifies and examines different personnel cost-containment strategies pursued by a national sample of 90 large U.S. cities. It focuses on hiring, wages and hours, employee benefits and other HR-related actions. Results indicate that jurisdictions whose municipal fiscal conditions are considered to be fair or poor are more likely than cities whose fiscal conditions are perceived to be good to excellent to use many of the cost reduction strategies. Other demographic and organizational variables had some limited relationship with the use of strategies, but were not as significantly associated with costcontainment actions as city economic climate.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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