Tensions in Managing Human Resources: Introducing a Paradox Framework and Research Agenda

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Title: Tensions in Managing Human Resources: Introducing a Paradox Framework and Research Agenda
Authors: Aust, Ina
Brandle, Julia
Keegan, Anne E.
Lensges, Marcia
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9395
Date: 14-Sep-2017
Abstract: Of all areas of management and organization science, one cannot imagine an area where tensions are more evident than in human resource management (HRM). Paauwe holds "we are finding increasing evidence of the dualities and paradoxes entailed in HRM today" (Paauwe 2004: 40). Stiles and Trevor (2006) further assert "the theoret- ical position that embraces the notion of tensions or paradoxes or dilemmas seems to be the most accurate re ection of the lived experience of HR professionals" (Stiles and Trevor 2006: 62). Notwithstanding, HRM researchers have not extensively mobilized paradox theory to understand tensions. Also, paradox theorists "who study a wide range of management issues such as leadership (Manz, Anand, Joshi, and Manz 2008; Zhang, Waldman, Han, and Li 2015), strategic decision-making (Smith 2014), innova- tion (Andriopoulos and Lewis 2009), and managerial decision-making (Lüscher and Lewis 2008)" have engaged little with HRM (for exceptions see Aust, Brandl, and Keegan 2015; Ehnert 2009; Kozica and Brandl 2015). In this chapter, we examine pre- vious research on tensions in HRM, focusing on the contributions and limitations of these perspectives for understanding and handling tensions. Second, we focus on what characterizes the dynamics of coping with tensions. Here, we draw on paradox theory to consider conditions for alternative response/coping strategies and processes that char- acterize reinforcing cycles. We o er insights from the (limited) body of work in HRM that draws on paradox theory. irdly, we o er a paradox framework to aid the study of HRM tensions. Finally, we conclude with suggestions for further HRM research on tensions and coping responses enriched by insights from a paradox perspective.
Type of material: Book Chapter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Copyright (published version): 2017 Oxford University Press
Keywords: Human resource managementTensionsParadox theory
Other versions: https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-oxford-handbook-of-organizational-paradox-9780198754428
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Is part of: Smith, W.K., Lewis, M. L., Jarzabkowski, P., Langley, A. (eds.). Oxford Handbook of Organizational Paradox
ISBN: 9780198754428
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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