Employee Relations

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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  • A hostile work climate and workplace bullying: reciprocal effects and gender differences

    Purpose: In this paper the authors argue that organizational climate and workplace bullying are connected, intertwined and affect each other. More precisely, the focus of the present study is how a hostile climate at work is related to workplace bullying. A hostile work climate is defined as an affective organizational climate permeated by distrust, suspicion and antagonism. The authors tested four hypotheses about the reciprocal effects and possible gender differences. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a longitudinal probability sample of the Swedish workforce (n = 1,095). Controlling for age, the authors used structural equation modelling and cross-lagged structural regression models to assess the reciprocal effects of a hostile work climate on workplace bullying. Gender was added as a moderator to test two of the hypotheses. Findings: The results showed a strong reciprocal effect, meaning there were significant associations between a hostile work climate and subsequent bullying, β = 0.12, p = 0.007, and between baseline bullying and a subsequent hostile work climate, β = 0.15, p = 0.002. The forward association between a hostile work climate and bullying depended on gender, β = −0.23, p < 0.001. Originality/value: The findings point to a possible vicious circle where a hostile work climate increases the risk of bullying, which in turn risks creating an even more hostile work climate. Furthermore, the findings point to gender differences in bullying, showing that the effect of a hostile work climate on workplace bullying was stronger for men.

  • How discretionary HR practices influence employee job satisfaction: the mediating role of job crafting

    Purpose: This study aims to examine the relationship between discretionary human resource (HR) practices and job satisfaction, as well as the mediating role of job crafting in the relationship between discretionary HR practices and job satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from 302 employees working in an information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Turkey. Structural equation modelling and bootstrapping procedure were used to test the hypothesized relationships. Findings: The findings suggest that discretionary HR practices are significantly and positively related to employees' job satisfaction. The results also show that discretionary HR practices stimulates job satisfaction through job crafting. Research limitations/implications: Because this study was conducted using a cross-sectional research methodology with data acquired from the same source, conclusions concerning the causality of the variables cannot be inferred. The findings in this study have significant implications for human resource practitioners and business owners who invest in their employees to enhance both employee and organizational performance. The findings show that investment in HR practices prompt employees to be more proactive in devising measures and ways of performing their jobs which increases their job satisfaction hence bringing about desirable and favorable organizational outcomes. Originality/value: This study adds to the growing body of research on the relationship between HRM and job satisfaction by investigating at the predictive influence of discretionary HR practices as well as the mediating role that job crafting plays.

  • Motivational cultural intelligence and well-being in cross-cultural workplaces: a study of migrant workers in Taiwan

    Purpose: This study sought to advance understandings of migrant worker labor outcomes by examining (1) the relationship between migrant employees’ motivational cultural intelligence (CQ) and employee well-being and (2) whether voice behavior at work mediates this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: Working with leader–member exchange (LMX) theory and conservation of resources theory, the author proposed a multiple mediation model to explain the relationship between motivational CQ and employee outcomes and how employee voice may mediate this relationship. LMX and voice behavior were tested for the mediating effects in a cross-cultural context. To test the model, a questionnaire was conducted with Vietnamese migrants working in Taiwan (343 valid responses were collected). The results were analyzed using regression and bootstrapping. Findings: Higher motivational CQ was associated with higher levels of work engagement and lower levels of job burnout. Strong employee voice mediated this relationship: high motivational CQ enabled workers to learn cultural nuances that helped them speak up in appropriate ways (in part by building strong relationships with leaders), which positively influenced work engagement and job burnout. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to clarify and contribute to the research domain of cross-cultural management and motivational CQ among Vietnamese migrant workers living in Asian cultures. Past studies regarding CQ have seldom studied Southeast Asian migrant workers and the impact of motivational CQ on job burnout and work engagement. This study fills this gap and provides empirical evidence that may prove helpful for international human resources and organizational leaders.

  • How do young employees perceive stress and job engagement while working from home? Evidence from a telecom operator during COVID-19

    Purpose: The study examines the extent to which job demands and resources are related to job stress and engagement among young employees exposed to remote work. The study draws on the job demands–resources (JD-R) model, adapted to working from home during the pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: The study uses data from a survey among young employees (35 years and younger) in a large, telecommunications company in Norway (N = 303), conducted in May 2021. Linear regression analysis was employed. Findings: The results show that the difficulty of work tasks is positively related to stress while time spent working from home, managing work–life balance and receiving support from leaders are negatively related to stress. Furthermore, overtime, support from leaders and colleagues and managing work–life balance are positively related to job engagement. Having a dedicated workspace at home is not related to either job stress or engagement and no gender differences exist. Originality/value: The study theoretically contributes to the literature by showing that the nature of work plays out differently for the well-being of employees working from home. In terms of practical implications, the study suggests that adjusting the level of difficulty of work tasks and providing support can alleviate stress among young employees. Providing the option to work from home may reduce stress among these young employees, however working from home may face limitations regarding enhancing job engagement.

  • Dependent self-employed individuals: are they different from paid employees?

    Purpose: This study focusses on dependent self-employment, which covers a situation where a person works for the same employer as a typical worker whilst on a self-employment contractual basis, i.e. without a traditional employment contract and without certain rights granted to “regular” employees. Design/methodology/approach: The research exploits the individual-level dataset of 35 European countries extracted from the 2017 edition of the European Labour Force Survey (EU LFS) and compares the characteristics of employees and dependent self-employed individuals. Methodologically, the study relies on the estimation of a multivariate logistic regression model. Findings: The main hypothesis assuming that dependent self-employed work most often in low-skilled occupations was empirically supported. There was also a non-linear (u-shaped) relationship between the years of accumulated experience (with a turning point at 35 years) and the likelihood of being dependent self-employed. Other results showed that dependent self-employed are less likely to be women and the dependent self-employed are more likely born outside of the countries where the dependent self-employed participate in the labour markets. Originality/value: The study contributes to the field by adopting a comparable definition of dependent self-employment and exploiting the recent theoretical support of The Work Precarity Framework. The phenomenon should still be addressed by policymakers and labour office representatives, aiming to protect, primarily, vulnerable lower-skilled workers. The ongoing research should study the longitudinal dimension of dependent self-employment with a focus on motivational aspects.

  • Why do firms adopt collective incentives? An analysis of family and non-family firms

    Purpose: By combining structural contingency theory and socio-emotional wealth (SEW) theory, this study aims to identify the organizational determinants of collective performance-related pay (PRP) adoption by examining the interplay between a firm's ownership characteristics (i.e. family or non-family ownership) and other organizational characteristics. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts a quantitative approach, conducting empirical analyses of a longitudinal dataset of 4,222 Italian companies in the manufacturing sector for 2009–2017. The probability of adopting collective PRP schemes is estimated using the average marginal effects of the probit and linear probability models (LPMs). Findings: The results show that family firms are less likely to adopt collective PRP schemes than non-family firms. Moreover, ceteris paribus, firm characteristics such as size, age and past (firm and labor) productivity are important determinants of firms' adoption of collective incentive pay; however, the significance and magnitude of their effects vary depending on a firm's ownership structure. Originality/value: This analysis has two major elements of novelty. First, it increases the knowledge of how organizational contingencies differ in family versus non-family contexts regarding pay decisions. Second, it brings new theoretical perspectives to the pay debate by combining structural contingency theory and SEW theory, thus developing new and fertile theoretical grounds for advancing our understanding of the pay determinants. To the best of authors' knowledge, this is one of the first (if any) studies to shed light on collective PRP in family and non-family firms.

  • Smart working as an organisational process or as a social change? An Italian pandemic experience

    Purpose: Along the coronavirus pandemic, huge business challenges are facing as a result of collapsing customer demand and organisational significant changes supported by digital development, while the increasing social and environmental needs involve business and individuals. The authors argue that this trend is modifying organisational and market logic, replacing them with values and practices linked to community-based models. The present work aims to study the impact that smart working (SW) has on the worker, seen both as a member of the organisation and the social community. Design/methodology/approach: The study data were collected from a computer-assisted web interview administered in 2020 to public employees working for health agencies across the Campania region, in South Italy. To test the conceptual model, partial least squares-structural equation modelling is used. Considering the abductive soul of the research, the study represents a pilot survey that will deliver stochastic results to be subsequently replicated in all Italian health agencies. Findings: The results of the research highlighted how the evolutionary dynamics of SW employees tend towards a reconceptualisation of workspaces, a redefinition of time and emotions and a better balance between work and personal life, thus creating a greater space for social and community aspects and determining a greater involvement in their working life. Originality/value: This research introduces a new win-win logic in the labour market, one capable of generating advantages for people, organisations and the entire social system by allowing workers to better reconcile working times with their personal needs and with flexibility demands coming from companies.

  • The effects of transformational leadership and HRM practices on employee outcomes and productivity in the Greek hospitality industry during COVID-19

    Purpose: The present study investigates the role of “Transformational Leadership (TFL)” on employees' work engagement and its effect on their “Productivity” and “Extra-Role Customer Service” behaviors. In doing so, the present study examines the mediating role of two crucial variables, namely the creation of a “Service Climate” and the role of “Trust” that employees show toward their managers. Last but not least, this research examines the potential role of High Performance Work Systems (HPWS) as a moderator. Design/methodology/approach: Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) was used on a sample of 459 customer-contact employees across thirteen 4- and 5-star Greek hotel organizations. Findings: This study reveals the mechanism through which “TFL” impacts employees' productivity. Specifically, “TFL” first impacts employees' “Trust” toward their managers and helps toward creating a “Social Climate”. In turn, both “Trust” and “Social Climate” directly impact employees' “Work Engagement” who respond by showing increased “Productivity” and by exhibiting “Extra-Role Customer Service” behaviors. Nevertheless, the role of HPWS as a moderator was not confirmed. Practical implications: The present study underscores the need for hotels' management to pay the required attention on creating an employment relationship based on “Trust”, as well as on creating a “Service Climate” in order for their employees to become work engaged and highly productive. Originality/value: This is among the first studies that examine the “TFL” effects on employee outcomes in the Tourism and Hospitality sector, during the COVID-19 era.

  • Making the ethical case for effective domestic abuse policy and practice: the role of trade unions

    Purpose: This paper focusses on the role of trade unions in policy and practice designed to address the workplace impact of domestic abuse. The paper aims to examine this union remit through the lens of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Design/methodology/approach: In-depth interviews were conducted with 39 union representatives in a region of England to capture their views on and experiences of supporting members experiencing domestic abuse. Findings: There is a clear ethical model by which the unions might articulate the key moral, legal and business drivers in determining effective domestic abuse policy and practice. Furthermore, the degree of “proximity”, in terms of union deliberation with employers and particularly joint action following disclosure, suggests that unions could play a key part in achieving “substantive” domestic abuse policy and practice within organisations. Originality/value: Despite unions' capacity to offer significant support to employers and employees, the role of unions in addressing the workplace impact of domestic abuse is under-researched. With reference to the concept of CSR, the article adds to the knowledge of how to address the workplace impact of domestic abuse.

  • Voicing perceptions of local job seekers and employees toward workforce nationalization and employment

    Purpose: This study explores local Qatari job seekers' and employees' perceptions of the workforce nationalization strategy to address an inadequacy in the workforce nationalization literature in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. It also unpacks the factors that attract or discourage local job seekers and employees when considering a new job. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected through in-depth interviews with 28 local job seekers who were either currently unemployed or employed and seeking another job at the time of the interviews. Findings: The data revealed that nationals perceive Qatarization as a means to replace expatriate employees with nationals, particularly in the public sector and leadership positions. This misinterpretation of the strategy leads to complications, such as the waithood phenomenon and a sense of entitlement for guaranteed employment. The findings also provide insights into nationals' attitudes toward employment, including job attraction and discouraging factors. Research limitations/implications: The results provide policymakers with insights into the misinterpretation surrounding nationals' perceptions of workforce nationalization and remedies for better implementation of the strategy. Originality/value: The study addresses two clear gaps in the workforce nationalization literature: (1) examining how nationals perceive the workforce nationalization strategy and (2) unpacking the factors that make employment attractive or unfavorable for nationals.

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