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Article
Publication date: 25 March 2020

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of HR function in supporting supervisors to implement FWA policy.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the role of HR function in supporting supervisors to implement FWA policy.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was carried out in an Australian private sector insurance company where FWA policies had been in place for five years. Data was gathered from semi –structured and in-depth interviews with forty seven HR staff, managers and supervisors from four divisions within the organization covering a range of differing work roles. In addition seven corporate documents relating to flexible working were analyzed.

Findings

Five factors are identified as having an influence on the ability of managers to support FWAs through the meta-features of distinctiveness, consistency and consensus: policy alignment (strategic and operational), HR structure which provides support at senior and supervisory levels, influencing skills of HR staff, manager training and education on FWAs and supportive technology.

Practical implications

To improve practice organizations should consider both vertical and horizontal alignment of HR practices, give attention to operational alignment of HR practice, give training and support to supervisors and build direct access to expert advice into the HR structure.

Originality/value

This paper has an original approach in explaining how the HR function supports and constrain managers in implementing FWAs.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest , vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Joost Bücker, Erik Poutsma, Roel Schouteten and Carolien Nies

The purpose of this paper is to explain how and why HR practitioners perceive the need to develop international HRM practices to support short-term assignments…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how and why HR practitioners perceive the need to develop international HRM practices to support short-term assignments, international business travel and virtual assignments for internationally operating organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors interviewed 29 HR practitioners from multinationals located in the Netherlands.

Findings

Alternative international assignments seem not to belong to the traditional expatriate jobs, nor to regular domestic jobs and show a liminal character. However, over the last few years we have gradually seen a more mature classification of the Short-term Assignment, International Business Traveler and Virtual Assignment categories and more active use of these categories in policymaking by organizations; this reflects a transition of these three categories from a liminal position to a more institutionalized position.

Research limitations/implications

For this research, only international HRM practitioners were interviewed. Future studies should include a broader group of stakeholders.

Practical implications

International HRM departments should take a more proactive role regarding alternative forms of international assignees. Furthermore, HR professionals may develop training and coaching and consider rewards and benefits that could provide allowances for specific working conditions that are part of international work.

Originality/value

This study is among the first to relate the framework of institutional logic and liminality to explain the why of HR support for alternative international assignees.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Liza Howe-Walsh and Nicole Torka

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of and interaction between (potential) repatriation supporters to develop understanding of how this affects the repatriate…

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1412

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of and interaction between (potential) repatriation supporters to develop understanding of how this affects the repatriate experience.

Design/methodology/approach

A (single) case study strategy was employed, using a multiple stakeholder approach, involving 21 in-depth interviews in a large UK-based institution with repatriates, home and host HR managers, international human resource (IHR) practitioners and line managers from both home and host locations.

Findings

Although line managers, senior managers, family members and third party providers (e.g. relocation agencies, tax advisors) are important for repatriation support, the case study evidence highlights that HR professionals are mainly responsible for the quality of the support delivered by other repatriation supporters. Inadequate support from the headquarters IHR department caused by a lack and unclear information about repatriation procedures and related responsibilities results in insufficient support for home and host HR managers. This negatively impacts repatriates line managers (perceptions of) HR support. Weaknesses in the support chain (headquarter IHR, home and host HR and line managers) are responsible for repatriates (perceived) limited or non-support.

Research limitations/implications

The small size of our sample, the single case study design and the method precludes generalisation of the findings. However, the authors’ “look inside” increased the understanding of repatriation support and in particular the support quality. By linking this information to the knowledge of previous studies on organisational support and the devolution of human resource management, the authors are able to identify several topics future studies in the field of repatriation management.

Practical implications

IHRM policies have to reflect the role of multiple stakeholders including home and host line managers and HR professionals as well as third party providers and assign clear lines of responsibility to provide a transparent and consistent experience. Repatriates family has to be acknowledged as a stakeholder that has a major influence on repatriation success and failure. Excluding partners and children issues from international career policies has to be considered as a serious HR shortcoming. Second, ensuring timely information regarding return positions. Providing debriefing interviews upon repatriation can help to identify future roles within the organisation. Equally important is exit interviews to explore whether the person has completed an assignment within the previous 24 months and whether this experience has contributed to their decision to leave the organisation. Opportunities to ensure repatriates are being considered for positions as part of the talent pool is crucial. Finally, the authors emphasise the need to acknowledge that third party vendors are part of the repatriation process and must be considered in terms of (perceived) organisational support.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies that highlights the role and interaction of (potential) repatriation supporters. Specifically, this study contributes to addressing three knowledge gaps: it identifies a lack of communication among HR professionals and between them and line managers as a potential source of insufficient organisational support; the findings highlight HR professionals responsibility for supporting line managers and other repatriation supporters in operational repatriation management; and finally, the results support the assumption that HR professionals and line managers own (non-)experience with working abroad might affect the quality of support policies and practices for repatriates.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2019

Penelope Williams

Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) are routinely offered in organizational policy, yet employee access to FWAs is highly dependent upon support from their immediate…

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1871

Abstract

Purpose

Flexible work arrangements (FWAs) are routinely offered in organizational policy, yet employee access to FWAs is highly dependent upon support from their immediate supervisor. There is little empirical research that specifically investigates the role of the human resource function (HR) in supporting managers to implement FWA policy. Through the lens of HR systems theory, the purpose of this paper is to examine how HR supports managers to implement FWAs.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study in the Australian Insurance industry, this paper analyzes corporate documents and interviews with 47 managers, supervisors and HR staff across four diverse business units.

Findings

This study identifies supervisors’ perceived ability to implement FWAs as a potential barrier to utilization. Five mechanisms of HR support to overcome perceived barriers are identified in the data. An HR system that enables managers to support FWAs requires alignment of HR policies; the provision of supportive technology; an HR structure that facilitates proactive advice and support; HR business partners with influence; and managerial training on FWAs.

Practical implications

This paper provides HR practitioners with insights into the mechanisms that can support managers to implement FWAs or other devolved HR policies.

Originality/value

Applying HR systems theory, this case study utilizes the perspectives of senior managers, supervisors and HR staff to explain how the HR function supports or constrains managers in the effective implementation of FWAs.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Book part
Publication date: 9 August 2017

Richard D. Johnson and Kristina Diman

The purpose of this study was to develop and empirically examine a model of cloud-based human resource information systems (HRIS) adoption by small businesses based on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to develop and empirically examine a model of cloud-based human resource information systems (HRIS) adoption by small businesses based on the technology–organization–environment model (Tornatzky & Fleischer, 1990).

Methodology/approach

This study utilized a survey of 41 small- to medium-sized enterprises in the northeastern United States to examine what HR functions were being supported by cloud-based HRIS and the relationship between three technology factors, three organizational factors, and three environmental factors, and their relationship with the adoption of cloud-based HRIS.

Findings

Findings indicated that small businesses are most likely to implement cloud-based HRIS to support day-to-day HR operations. In addition, the findings indicated that top management support (positive), vendor support (positive), and anticipated growth (negative) were each related to organizational adoption of cloud-based HRIS.

Implications

The study illustrates how the adoption of a cloud-based HRIS is motivated by different factors than those underlying the adoption of other types of information systems. Executives and small business owners will need to adapt their strategy when considering cloud-based HRIS compared to other types of systems.

Social implications

Given that small- to medium-sized organizations are the backbone of most global economies, findings from this study can help support society by helping these businesses better understand how to best consider the factors that will support the implementation of cloud-based HRIS.

Originality/value of the chapter

This chapter represents one of the first to empirically validate a model of the factors affecting adoption of cloud-based HRIS by small businesses.

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Book part
Publication date: 14 August 2014

Anna Bos-Nehles and Maarten Van Riemsdijk

The social innovation of devolving HRM responsibilities to line managers results in many debates about how well they implement HRM practices. The implementation…

Abstract

Purpose

The social innovation of devolving HRM responsibilities to line managers results in many debates about how well they implement HRM practices. The implementation constraints line managers perceive in their HRM role are researched by taking organisational contingencies into consideration.

Design/Methodology/Approach

We present four case studies in which our findings are based on quantitative and qualitative data from the cases. The qualitative data allow us to explain some of our quantitative results in terms of organisational differences.

Findings

The HRM implementation effectiveness as perceived by line managers depends on the line managers’ span of control, his/her education level and experience and his/her hierarchical position in the organisation. Each HRM implementation constraint knows additional organisational contingencies.

Research Limitations/Implications

We did not consider possible influences of one organisational characteristic on another, and the effect of this combined effect on the HRM implementation factors. In order to overcome this limitation, we would suggest using a structural equation model (SEM) in future research.

Practical Implications

This chapter offers HR professionals solutions on how to structure the organisation and design the HRM role of line managers in order to implement HRM practices effectively.

Social Implications

We see many differences on how HRM implementation is managed in organisations. This chapter offers solutions to policy makers on how to equalise the HRM role of line managers.

Originality/Value

The focus of this chapter is on the line manager (instead of HR managers) as implementer of HRM and the impact of organisational contingencies on HRM implementation.

Details

Human Resource Management, Social Innovation and Technology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-130-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Luigi Stirpe, Jaime Bonache and Jordi Trullen

HR practices are only effective if they are well accepted by employees. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of two forms of support on the acceptance of…

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1234

Abstract

Purpose

HR practices are only effective if they are well accepted by employees. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effect of two forms of support on the acceptance of newly introduced HR practices (NHRPs): that of top managers and of supervisors. In addition, the authors analyze how these two forms of support work in conjunction with one another. The authors argue that a lack of consistency between the two impairs NHRP acceptance. The authors also explore variations in acceptance under different organizational climates.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis is based on an original sample of 307 employees from nine multinational companies operating in Spain. Multilevel regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The authors found that top management support, supervisor support, and innovation climate are all predictors of NHRP acceptance. The authors also found that low supervisor support reduces the effect of top management support. Finally, the authors found that innovation climate is not a substitute for management and supervisor support.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that top management and supervisor behavior is critical to gaining employee acceptance of NHRPs, no matter how well designed such practices are or how well they address the needs of the organization and its employees. The findings also indicate that top managers and supervisors should coordinate the introduction of NHRPs, since employees perceive support signals from these two agents not only individually but also in conjunction.

Originality/value

Recognizing that employee acceptance is an important determinant of the effectiveness of HR practices, the authors make a unique contribution to the literature by investigating some critical contextual enablers of acceptance.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article
Publication date: 24 July 2019

Gary Walter Florkowski

Drawing on the job demands-resources and IS literatures, the purpose of this paper is to identify organizational factors that mitigate technostress in the HR department;…

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1131

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the job demands-resources and IS literatures, the purpose of this paper is to identify organizational factors that mitigate technostress in the HR department; and to evaluate how technostress and techno-insecurity affect technology’s impact on job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This research draws on a web-based survey of 169 US and Canadian firms targeting HR executives as key informants. An HR-context-specific, technostress model was tested with structural equation modeling. Exploratory factor analysis evaluated the structural properties of all multi-item scales and supported their usage. Moderated regression analysis further assessed whether the age and scope of technology portfolios affected certain relationships.

Findings

As predicted, department work stress was less likely to increase when there was HR technology (HRT) governance involvement and top management support for this class of technologies. Heightened techno-insecurity had the opposite effect, another anticipated outcome. HR’s IT-knowledge actually increased technostress, a counterintuitive result. In turn, HRTs were less likely to improve job satisfaction when technostress and techno-insecurity were high. Top management HRT support and an HR innovation climate better enabled portfolios to enhance satisfaction. Moderating influences were detected as well. As hypothesized, techno-insecurity had a stronger negative effect on job-satisfaction impact for younger portfolios, while innovation climate had a weaker relationship with techno-insecurity where portfolios were limited in scope.

Research limitations/implications

External validity would be strengthened by not only increasing sample sizes for the USA and Canada, but also targeting more nations for data collection. In addition, incorporating more user-oriented constructs in the present model (e.g. group potency, collective efficacy) may enhance its explanatory power.

Practical implications

These findings underscore the need to consider HR-staff attitudes in technology rollouts. To the extent HR technologies generate technostress, they at a minimum are impediments to department satisfaction, which may have important ramifications for usage and service. The results further establish that initiatives can be taken to offset this problem, both in terms of the ways portfolios are internally supported and how they are managed.

Originality/value

This is the first study to formally assess how collective work-attitudes in the HR department are affected by HR technologies. Prior research has focused on user-reactions to HRT features or their wider influence on stakeholder perceptions. It is also the first investigation to empirically test potential technostress inhibitors in HR settings.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2021

Kay Lisa Maddox-Daines

This paper examines how human resources (HR) professionals in the UK have supported employee wellbeing during the coronavirus disease (COVID) pandemic. It considers the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines how human resources (HR) professionals in the UK have supported employee wellbeing during the coronavirus disease (COVID) pandemic. It considers the extent to which HR professionals were prepared for the crisis and their readiness in supporting the wellbeing of their people.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 senior HR professionals working across the public and private sectors in the UK. Using an in-depth interview structure, the research explored how respondents both reacted to and managed the crisis in their respective organisations. Template analysis was used to analyse the data allowing a certain degree of fluidity in the establishment of ordered relationships between the themes.

Findings

This study finds that business continuity plans turned out to be useless during the pandemic because they focussed on data, not people. It highlights the tension between home-working and burn-out as online presenteeism increased due to staff changing their behaviour in response to self-surveillance. The paper emphasises the importance of soft skills and authentic leadership and the tensions in respect of equity.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted with HR professionals in the UK, not internationally. Although the sample did include HR professionals from across the public, private and third sectors, the experience may not be representative of all those working in HR.

Originality/value

This research found that those organisations that had engaged in business continuity planning prior to the pandemic focussed on the retrieval and accessibility of data rather than people. This prioritises staff as a resource rather than emphasising people as an organisation's most valuable asset. Furthermore, the study found that staff worked harder and for longer periods of time as a consequence of self-imposed surveillance. Organisational responses were contradictory as despite implementing well-being strategies to promote physical and mental health, there was little evidence of an effective response to this online presenteeism.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Caroline Gilbert, Sophie De Winne and Luc Sels

Based on role theory, this paper seeks to investigate the impact of HR devolution characteristics (number of devolved HR tasks), characteristics of the HR devolution…

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5157

Abstract

Purpose

Based on role theory, this paper seeks to investigate the impact of HR devolution characteristics (number of devolved HR tasks), characteristics of the HR devolution context (level of support from the HR department, and presence of institutionalised incentives to perform the allotted HR tasks well), and personal characteristics of the front‐line managers (HR competency) on front‐line managers' perceptions of two HR role stressors, i.e. HR role ambiguity and HR role overload.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a sample of 169 front‐line managers from 47 organisations. The results are based on two moderation regression analyses, taking into account the nested nature of the observations.

Findings

The results suggest that the execution of a high number of HR tasks does not lead to the occurrence of HR role stressors among front‐line managers. However, for the HR department it is important to create an appropriate environment in terms of giving HR support and advice to line managers, and training line managers regarding their HR competencies.

Research limitations/implications

This research opens up interesting lines of inquiry regarding the conditions under which the partnership between the HR department and line management can be successful.

Practical implications

The paper provides HR practitioners with insights into the conditions needed to avoid perceptions of HR role stressors among front‐line managers.

Originality/value

The paper applies role theory in a new context, i.e. the HR role of front‐line managers.

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