Special Issue of Human Resource Management
Strategic Human Resource Management in the Era of Environmental Disruptions
Director for Master of HRMIR programs
The University of Sydney Business School, Australia
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies
California Lutheran University School of Management, USA
Professor of HRM and OB
School of Management, UNSW Business School, Australia
Background, Objectives, and Subject Coverage of the Special Issue:
Environmental disruptions – usually referred to as ecological situations where people face life-threatening changes in their living conditions (Ehrlich, 1981) – are now discussed beyond its original context of the natural environment. In management literature, scholars developed lively discussions about disruptive innovation (Christensen, Raynor, & McDonald, 2015) and disruption of established institutional norms and practices (Seo & Creed, 2002). Environmental disruptions are distinctive from related concepts of environmental uncertainty and environmental turbulence in the sense that it implicates the displacement of existing arrangements. The current COVID-19 crisis is a livid example of such an environmental disruption.
With increasing degree of frequency, organizations around the world have experienced environmental disruptions that require them to reassess and reformulate their way of managing employees. The economic transition of China and the Eastern European region forced many organizations to reinvent their entire systems of human resource management (Cooke, 2011; Zupan & Kaše, 2005). The Asian financial crisis in 1997 mandated companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korean to abandon some of their long-held HR systems and practices (Bae, et al., 2003). The global financial crisis in 2008 pushed some organizations to experiment with new models of strategic HRM (Martin & Gollan, 2012). The emergence of digital technologies dictates many companies to reconsider the traditional way of managing their workforce (Levenson, 2018). Disruptive changes in immigration policies in Europe and the USA push employers to reconsider their strategies to acquire and retain global talents (Cumming, Wood, & Zahra, 2020). The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing mobility restrictions led many companies to rethink the established notion of the physical workspace (Brynjolfsson et al., 2020) and traditional ways to organize international HRM (Caligiuri et al., 2020). This pandemic is certainly not the last environmental disruption organizations will have to face in the near future, which therefore accentuates the need for more scholarly insight into this phenomenon and its consequences.
This special issue of Human Resource Management invites HR scholars to reflect on the implications of environmental disruptions to organizational HR systems, and thereby make novel contributions to the literature of Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM). SHRM scholarship can be defined as “the study of HRM systems (and/or subsystems) and their interrelationships with other elements comprising an organizational system, including the organization’s external and internal environments, the multiple players who enact HRM systems, and the multiple stakeholders who evaluate the organization’s effectiveness and determine its long-term survival” (Jackson, Schuler, & Jiang, 2014: 2). Despite the notable achievements made over the last four decades, SHRM scholarship still has many areas for further development (Cooke, Xiao, & Chen, 2021; Jiang & Messersmith, 2018). Jackson et al. (2014) noted that future SHRM researchers should investigate dynamic interactions between HR systems and firms’ environments, particularly in the context of a globalized economy. This special issue intends to be a platform for researchers who wish to answer this call by giving special attention to environmental disruptions.
Key themes that we hope the special issue will explore and examine include, but are not limited to:
• New SHRM theories that take into account the role of environmental disruptions.
• The future of HRM in the course of ongoing environmental disruptions.
• Attracting, developing, deploying, and retaining global talent during an environmental disruption.
• The changing nature of talent management in the era of environmental disruptions.
• Cross-national differences in HR strategies towards environmental disruptions.
• HR (sub)systems and practices that enhance organizational resilience against environmental disruptions.
• Deinstitutionalization of HR systems and practices under environmental changes.
• The role of HR professionals and HR department in the midst of environmental disruptions.
• Managers’ involvement in HR activities in the context of environmental disruption.
• Diversity and inclusion practices during environmental disruption.
• Strategic human and social capital under environmental disruptions.
• Employees’ perception, understanding and attribution of HR in the context of environmental disruption.
• HR in entrepreneurial organizations that drive disruptions in the field/industry.
• Social construction of environmental disruptions and its implications to SHRM.
Submission Deadline: February 15, 2021
Authors can submit their paper to HRM for review at any time, but no later than the submission deadline of February 15, 2021. Papers should be prepared and submitted according to the journal’s guidelines:
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/1099050x/homepage/forauthors.html. All papers will be reviewed upon receipt and subject to the same double-blind peer review process as regular issues of HRM. If you have questions about a potential submission, feel free to contact any of the guest editors.
Bae, J., Chen, S. J., David Wan, T. W., Lawler, J. J., & Walumbwa, F. O. (2003). Human resource strategy and firm performance in Pacific Rim countries. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 14(8), 1308-1332.
Brynjolfsson, E., Horton, J. J., Ozimek, A., Rock, D., Sharma, G., & TuYe, H. Y. (2020). Covid-19 and remote work: An early look at us data (No. w27344). National Bureau of Economic Research.
Caligiuri, P., De Cieri, H., Minbaeva, D., Verbeke, A., & Zimmermann, A. (2020). International HRM insights for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic: Implications for future research and practice. Journal of International Business Studies, 1.
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Cooke, F. L. (2011). The role of the state and emergent actors in the development of human resource management in China. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(18), 3830-3848.
Cooke, F. L., Xiao, M. T. and Chen, Y. (2021) Still in search of strategic human resource management? A review and suggestions for future research with China as an example. Human Resource Management (in press).
Cumming, D. J., Wood, G., & Zahra, S. A. (2020). Human resource management practices in the context of rising right‐wing populism. Human Resource Management Journal (in press).
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Levenson, A. (2018). Using workforce analytics to improve strategy execution. Human Resource
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Martin, G., & Gollan, P. J. (2012). Corporate governance and strategic human resources management in the UK financial services sector: the case of the RBS. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(16), 3295-3314.
Seo, M. G., & Creed, W. D. (2002). Institutional contradictions, praxis, and institutional change: A dialectical perspective. Academy of Management Review, 27(2), 222-247.
Zupan, N., & Kaše, R. (2005). Strategic human resource management in European transition economies: building a conceptual model on the case of Slovenia. The International Journal of
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