Search results

1 – 2 of 2
Article
Publication date: 19 July 2013

Biju Varkkey and Randhir Kumar

The Indian diamond cutting and polishing (CPD) industry enjoys a global leadership position, but at the same time is vulnerable to economic shifts in the global market…

Abstract

Purpose

The Indian diamond cutting and polishing (CPD) industry enjoys a global leadership position, but at the same time is vulnerable to economic shifts in the global market. Historically, such shocks have resulted in shake down of the industry, including closures, bankruptcies, job losses and labour unrest. Most recently, the vulnerability was experienced during the economic recession of 2008, which impacted both entrepreneurs and diamond workers alike. The shock elicited different adaptation strategies from individual firms. The paper aims to understand the adaptation strategies of large and formally organized diamond enterprises in Surat, India, with particular reference to “labour hoarding” as a strategy for workforce management.

Design/methodology/approach

Using case studies of four large CPD firms, the paper investigates patterns in managerial decision making pertaining to workforce management and adaptation strategies taken during recession. The authors also traced the subject companies' performance post‐recession. The tool used for data collection was semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews with entrepreneurs and human resource managers. For additional inputs and triangulation of findings, content analysis of news reports, along with interactions with several knowledgeable persons from both industry and government, were conducted.

Findings

The authors' study of the sample firms neither supports the popular notion of “workforce retention by large diamond enterprises, in spite of recession” nor the generalized statements about “massive lay‐offs by all”, as reported in popular media. The authors found that, due to recessionary pressure, there was a deep managerial dilemma in the companies about how to strike the right trade‐off between workforce retention (labour hoarding) and downsizing. The paper argues that, post‐recession, the companies whose decisions were pro‐labour retention (hoarding) oriented were able to come back in business stronger and perform better.

Originality/value

The diamond industry of India is ethno‐bound in its functioning, where community and regional/linguistic affiliations of both workers and entrepreneurs traditionally played a vital role. Therefore, the employee management practices adopted do not strictly fall within the general realm of western management practices or popular HRM frameworks. The study shows that context‐dependent employee management strategies, suiting the need for maintaining the traditional ethno‐bound values even during recessionary pressure, created long‐term positive effects for the firm.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 November 2018

Jatinder Kumar Jha, Jatin Pandey and Biju Varkkey

This paper aims to examine the relationship between perceived investments in employees’ development (PIED) on work engagement and the moderating effects of psychological…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationship between perceived investments in employees’ development (PIED) on work engagement and the moderating effects of psychological capital on this relationship for liquid knowledge workers, employed in the Indian cutting and polishing of diamond industry (CPD).

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire composed of established scales was administered to 134 liquid knowledge workers. Having established convergent and discriminant validity using structural equation modelling, the model was further analysed using the Process macro to check for direct and moderating effects.

Findings

The research findings suggest that the perceived investment in employee development and psychological contract enhancement (relational and transactional) made by CPD units for liquid knowledge workers positively influenced their work engagement level. The study also finds that relational contract (not transactional contract) positively moderates the relationship between perceived investment in employee development and work engagement.

Research limitations/implications

This is a cross-sectional single source study; future studies could look at longitudinal and multisource perspective.

Practical implications

The study presents a “star matrix of engagement” that guides the application of the two strategies of perceived employee development and psychological contract enhancement for liquid knowledge workers. This has implications for design and implementation of human resource management practices and policies for employee management.

Originality/value

The study makes significant contributions to existing literature on antecedents of work engagement of liquid knowledge workers by examining the direct and moderating influences.

1 – 2 of 2