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Human Resources & Workplace Innovations: Practices, Perspectives and Paradigms

Special issue call for papers from Personnel Review

This Special Issue of Personnel Review is dedicated to the late Tom Redman, former Editor of Personnel Review.
There is a tribute to him in Personnel Review, Vol. 45, Iss.3, 2016

With intensifying global competition and technological advancement, employing organizations are increasingly relying on their human resources (HR) and workplace innovations to compete and succeed in competitive markets (Datta et al., 2005; Boxall & Purcell., 2016). For example, high performance work systems (HPWS) and the impact on the performance of individual employees and organizations have received substantial interest among academics and management practitioners (Takeuchi et al., 2009). Research findings have influenced management practice in diverse organizational settings, including different countries, sectors and occupations. There has also been a growing body of research that has examined the mediating variables that act as a conduit between employee and organizational performance, and for instance, empowerment, trust, social identification, leadership and devolving HR management to the line, to name a few HR innovations (Bainbridge, 2015; Ramsay et al., 2000).

Despite the substantial research interest in various HR and workplace innovations, there are still significant gaps in academic and practitioner knowledge on the use, configuration and impact of such innovations on key stakeholders, as well as on individual and organisational performance. Most of the relevant literature is underpinned by a unitarist frame of reference that assumes that employees and their managers benefit from such innovations. This assumption has been questioned by some (Boxall and Macky, 2007). For example, it is arguable that HPWS implemented without adequate job control is associated with negative employee outcomes such as anxiety, stress, role overload and turnover intentions. Despite such reservations empirical research published in mainstream journals that critique the impact of such innovations on employees and managers is rare.  Hence, there is still much that researchers and practitioners do not know about such innovations, in particular, the implementation and impact upon employees and their line managers (see Bamber et al., 2014). Scholars claim that there is much that researchers and practitioners do not know about the ‘black box’ of HRM – the precise linkages between such innovations, employee attitudes and behaviours and the impact upon individual and organizational performance (Boxall & Purcell 2016). They have called for further research to unpack the mechanisms through which such innovations impact on individual and organization outcomes (Takeuchi et al., 2009). Moreover, complicating this issue is that there is not a generally agreed definition of such innovations as HPWS. Many assume that HPWS is the most significant HRM innovation, despite the fact that there are many other debates about workplace innovations taking place either under the banner of productivity improvement or business process improvement such as lean management (Stanton et al., 2014). New business models born in the digital age, the sports arena, the voluntary sector and the creative industries might also include different approaches to the management of people. Nevertheless, HRM is often missing from these debates.

Given the impact of HR and workplace innovations on management practice and work and workers, this Special Issue is timely and important. Such innovations have significant implications for employing organizations, public policies, and the wider society, including the changing forms of work, links with other process improvements and innovations, as well as the role of unions and HR/industrial relations (IR) practitioners.

We seek papers that unpack the impact of relevant innovations (exemplified above) on managers and employees from various theoretical and empirical perspectives. Specifically, we seek papers that consider to what extent are such innovations associated with positive outcomes for employees and their line managers such as thriving at work, job quality, employee wellbeing, or are they associated with greater job stress and burnout, work intensification and reduced job quality and turnover intentions? What impact do these variables have on employee performance? Moreover, under what conditions and circumstances do such innovations lead to positive or negative outcomes for employees and their managers? What mediating variables (including ‘black-box’-type links) impact on the relationship between innovations, and positive or negative outcomes?  How are these mediating variables influenced by such factors as: sector, occupation, employment mode and organizational form? We seek papers from various disciplinary approaches using quantitative, qualitative and/or mixed methods.

The Special Issue will advance research agendas by discussing research questions and results on various practices, perspectives and paradigms for evaluating innovations. The papers included will advance theoretical and empirical understanding of how such innovations are implemented in diverse contexts and organizational forms. Papers are welcome from various analytical, normative and critical approaches as are those that consider the consequences for various organizational stakeholders.

Indicative list of topics
• The ‘black box’ links between HR innovations and the performance of employing organizations
• The impact of sectoral, national and regional contexts of such innovations
• The roles of HR/IR practitioners in designing and implementing innovations
• The role of innovations in employing organizations, including creative industries, sports and performance-based organizations, digital industries, the voluntary and not-for profit sectors
• The impact of innovations on management and employees, in particular, work intensification, workplace employment relations, occupational health and safety
• Innovations and their relationship to collective and individual bargaining, unions and various forms of employment
• Critical approaches to innovations and the consequences of such innovations for workers

Submission process
Papers should be formatted in accordance with the Personnel Review style, which can be found here www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=pr. Papers to be considered for this special issue should be submitted no later than 1 October 2016 via the Personnel Review  Scholar One website:  https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/prev. Please be sure to select the correct special issue from the dropdown menu when submitting your manuscript.
 Each paper will be reviewed by the guest editors and, if found suitable, will be sent to at least two independent referees for double-blind peer review.

The Guest Editors would be glad to discuss ideas for papers informally via email:
Greg J. Bamber (Monash University, Australia/Newcastle University, UK): gregbamber@gmail.com 
Timothy Bartram (La Trobe University, Australia): t.bartram@latrobe.edu.au 
Pauline Stanton (RMIT, Australia): pauline.stanton@rmit.edu.au

Bainbridge, H (2015) Devolving people management to the line: How different rationales for devolution influence people management effectiveness, Personnel Review, 44 (6):847-865.
Bamber, GJ, Stanton, P, Bartram, T & Ballardie, R (2014) Human resource management, Lean processes and outcomes for employees: Towards a research agenda, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(21):2881- 2892.
Boxall, P & Purcell, J (2016) Strategy and Human Resource management, 4th ed., Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Boxall, P & Macky K (2007) High-performance work systems and organisational performance: Bridging theory and practice. Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources 45(3): 261-270. 
Boxall, P, Ang S & Bartram T (2011) Analysing the ‘black box’ of HRM: uncovering HR goals, mediators and outcomes in a standardized service environment. Journal of Management Studies, 48(7): 1504-1532.
Datta, DK, Guthrie, JP & Wright, PM (2005) Human resource management and labor productivity: does industry matter? Academy of Management Journal, 48(1), 135-145.
Ramsay, H, Scholarios, D, and Harley, B (2000) Employees and High‐Performance Work Systems: Testing inside the Black Box. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 38(4): 501-531.
Stanton, P, Gough R, Ballardie R, Bartram T, Bamber G J & Sohal A (2014) Implementing Lean Management/Six Sigma in Hospitals: Beyond Empowerment or Work Intensification? International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(21): 2926-2940.
Takeuchi, R, Chen G & Lepak DP (2009) Through the looking class of a social system: cross-level effects of high-performance work systems on employees’ attitudes. Personnel Psychology, 62(1):1-30.

A Few Selected Examples of Tom Redman’s Publications
Snape, E., & T. Redman, T (2010) HRM practices, organizational citizenship behaviour and performance: A multi-level analysis, Journal of Management Studies, 47(7):1219-1247.
Redman, T., Snape, E, Wass, J & Hamilton, P (2007) Evaluating the human resource shared services model: Evidence from the NHS, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(8):1486-1506.
Redman. T., & Snape, E (2006) The consequences of perceived age discrimination amongst police officers: Is social support a buffer?, British Journal of Management, 17(2):167-175.
Snape, E., & Redman, T (2003) Too old or too young? The impact of perceived age discrimination on employee commitment and intent to retire, Human Resource Management Journal, 13(1):78-89.