Now showing 1 - 10 of 23
  • Publication
    Online Labour Platforms, Human Resource Management and Platform Ecosystem Tensions: An Institutional Perspective
    (Edward Elgar, 2021-08-17) ;
    This chapter addresses the tensions arising from institutional complexity that are associated with the use of human resource management (HRM) activities by many online labour platforms (OLPs). OLPs rely on HRM activities to control gig workers who ought to be autonomous in their work. This creates tensions between the institutional logics of the market (i.e. free and unregulated competition among freelance gig workers) and corporation, which manifest as institutional complexity. In this chapter, we examine why the business model of online labour platforms, and platform ecosystems they create, requires the use of HRM activities and how this creates institutional complexity. Moreover, we explore the consequences of the institutional complexity for gig workers, platforms and societal stakeholders, and solutions on the platform and societal level to address the institutional complexity associated with HRM activities that serve to control gig worker performance.
  • Publication
    Line managers and the gig economy: an oxymoron? Paradox navigation in online labor platform contexts
    (Edward Elgar Publications, 2022-11-11) ; ;
    This chapter discusses the implications of platform-enabled gig work for line managers. Platform-enabled gig work concerns short-term work assignments (or "gigs") where supply and demand for labor is matched by online labor platforms like Uber, Deliveroo and Fiverr. Many gig workers do not have an employment relationship with the platform they work for and are managed by software algorithms that automate HRM activities and managerial decision making. In this chapter, we ask the question whether OLPs diminish the role and status of line managers or render them more important than ever? We argue that the role of line managers in the gig economy involves the navigation of the paradoxes posed by online labor platforms. These paradoxes - and ways to navigate them - are different depending on whether line managers (1) are employed by a standalone freelance platform, (2) source labor using a freelance platform, (3) work for an organization that has a spin-off freelance platform, (4) organize an intra-organizational gig platform themselves, or (5) supervise workers that perform work via an intra-organizational gig platform.
  • Publication
    Tensions in Managing Human Resources: Introducing a Paradox Framework and Research Agenda
    (Oxford University Press, 2017-09-14) ; ; ;
    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.
  • Publication
    State-of-the-art and future directions for HRM from a paradox perspective
    Managing HRM related tensions is a matter of practical and theoretical significance. Despite increasing interest among HRM scholars in understanding the nature of tensions in managing the employment relationship, attempts to explore these tensions that go beyond the mapping of dualities or naming of the negative aspects of tensions are somewhat rare. Furthermore, discussions on managing HRM tensions tend to be of limited value for practitioners due to their overly abstract nature contributing to what several commentators lament is a growing theory-practice gap in HRM research. This Special Issue aims to advance the discussion on tensions in HRM by drawing on a recent paradox perspective from organization theory. Along with the contributors to the Special Issue, we explore how a paradox perspective can support HRM researchers in a more systematic analysis of types of HRM paradoxes and tensions and in deepening awareness of practical strategies for coping actively and constructively with tensions. In this introduction to the Special Issue, we first provide a synthesis of the features of a paradox perspective and contrast it with previous research on tensions in organization theory and HRM. Next, we illustrate how a paradox perspective can be applied to analyzing HRM tensions presenting key examples of such analysis. We then introduce the contributions to this Special Issue all of which draw, albeit in different ways, on a paradox perspective on HRM. Finally, we explore opportunities for future research. In particular, we focus on the need to move from a duality perspective to a paradox perspective on HRM, on opportunities to explore the links between HRM, paradox and organizational sustainability and on the skills and capabilities needed for coping with HRM paradoxes both at individual and organizational/HRM levels.
      570Scopus© Citations 49
  • Publication
    Exploring the Role of Leadership in Enabling Contextual Ambidexterity
    Sustainable success calls for contextually ambidextrous organizing. According to theory, this entails enabling simultaneous high levels of exploration and exploitation within a subsystem. The practices involved in enabling contextual ambidexterity form a major and relatively unexplored leadership challenge. Our main aim is to draw on a combination of ambidexterity and complexity theory insights to understand how contextual ambidexterity emerges in dynamic contexts. We contribute to the literature on the role of leadership in enabling contextual ambidexterity by exploring the daily practices leaders enact to stimulate exploration and exploitation as well as to shift dynamically between them to (re)gain contextual ambidexterity. We present the results of two qualitative studies exploring leadership in project-based organizations where the pressure for contextual ambidexterity is relevant. We show that in responding adaptively to environmental stimuli, leaders shift between practices to emphasize exploitation or exploration to (re)gain the needed high levels of both, and their enactments are bounded by the conditions of keeping exploration and exploitation simultaneously high. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding contextual ambidexterity as a dynamic accomplishment that emerges in everyday interactions, the role of leaders in enabling contextual ambidexterity, and the need for HR managers to support leaders in enacting this dynamic form of leadership.
      1564Scopus© Citations 87
  • Publication
    Dynamism and realignment in the HR architecture: Online labor platform ecosystems and the key role of contractors
    Given the widespread contribution of independent contractors to organizational innovation and competitive advantage, it is timely to reassess assumptions about the HRM practices appropriate to their management and the rationale for organizations to work with them. In the original and highly influential HR architecture model of Lepak and Snell (1999), contractor status is viewed as an outcome of the low value and/or low uniqueness of human capital resulting in the proposition to externalize and manage them using either none or minimal compliance-based HRM practices. Developments in digital technologies and algorithmic management epitomized by online labor platforms prompt us to reconsider these assumptions and to challenge the proposed links between value/uniqueness of human capital, employment mode and HRM practices that are assumed by the HR architecture model. Using insights from online labor platforms, we argue that the significant benefits to firms of working with contractors, coupled with the possibilities offered by algorithmic management to efficiently monitor and regulate their behavior, provide a compelling reason for organizations to choose external employment modes even when workers are key to value creation. We challenge the alignment and stability of the relationships proposed by the HR architecture model, and offer propositions to extend the model by reconsidering the rationale for, and nature of, HRM practices associated with contractors. This reassessment is both timely and relevant given the growing prominence of business models where externalizing workers is central alongside the development of new forms of algorithmic human resource management to control them.
      173Scopus© Citations 15
  • Publication
    Organizing the HRM function: Responses to paradoxes, variety, and dynamism
    We develop empirically based insights from five case studies and argue that how actors respond to paradoxical tensions helps to explain variety and dynamism in how the HRM function is organized. It also helps to clarify why widely popular models with clearly prescribed structures take on a variety of forms in practice and are dynamic. We contribute to theorizing on the HRM function by introducing a dynamic, tension-centered perspective, based on paradox theory, that builds on previous research on the organization of the HRM function and the challenges facing HRM practitioners working within any particular model to organize HRM work. We discuss the limitations of our study, as well as offering suggestions for future research and practical implications from paradox theory for HRM practitioners dealing with tensions in their work.
      2394Scopus© Citations 38
  • Publication
    Conceptualizing human resource management in the gig economy: Toward a platform ecosystem perspective
    (Emerald, 2019-05-13) ;
    Purpose – Although it is transforming the meaning of employment for many people, little is known about the implications of the gig economy for human resource management (HRM) theory and practice. This paper conceptually explores the notion of HRM in the gig economy, where intermediary platform firms design and implement HRM activities while simultaneously trying to avoid the establishment of employment relationships with gig workers. Design/methodology/approach – To conceptualize HRM in the gig economy, we offer a novel ecosystem perspective to develop propositions on the role and implementation of HRM activities in the gig economy. Findings – We show that HRM activities in the gig economy are designed to govern platform ecosystems by aligning the multilateral exchanges of three key gig economy actors: gig workers, requesters, and intermediary platform firms, for ensuring value co-creation. We argue that the implementation of HRM activities in the gig economy is contingent on the involvement and activities of these gig economy actors. This means that they are not mere recipients of HRM but also actively engaged in, and needed for, the execution of HRM activities. Originality/value – Our study contributes to research by proposing a theoretical framework for studying the design of HRM activities, and their implementation, in the gig economy. From this framework, we derive directions for future research on HRM in the gig economy.
      5210Scopus© Citations 159
  • Publication
    Doing it for themselves?: Performance appraisal for project based organizations, the role of employees, and challenges to theory
    We explore performance appraisal in project‐based organisations and provide novel insights into appraisal processes in this context. These include the central role of employees in orchestrating the appraisal process, the multiple actors that have input to appraisal including project managers, the distance between employees and their official line managers, and the weak coordinating role of human resource specialists in these systems. We draw attention to the drawbacks of current theorising on appraisal to predict and explain outcomes from appraisal systems that are not premised on stable line manager/employee dyads. Theorising based primarily on social exchange theories needs to be reconsidered in this context and new theories developed. We also question how human resource specialists can better support employees, and managers of all kinds, in their implementation roles in polyadic human resource management systems to ensure transparency, equity, and fairness of appraisal processes in a project‐based organisational context.
      315Scopus© Citations 30
  • Publication
    Human resource management and project based organizing: Fertile ground, missed opportunities and prospects for closer connections
    We explore publishing trends regarding HRM and PBO in the main journals in the field of project management to highlight key empirical and theoretical contributions during the period 1996¿2016. We offer three contributions to the field of project management. The first is theoretical where we analyze twenty years of research in key project management journals by adapting and extending the framework of Wright and Boswell (2002), and identifying categories of HRM research at three levels of analysis. This analysis provides an overview integrating exemplary research to date on the HRM-PBO link at different levels, showing areas where research is well-developed and also areas that, while promising, have not been examined in a systematic manner to date.Our second contribution is that we highlight a variety of theoretical as well as methodological resources from the HRM field that can be applied in project studies and in so doing promote cross-fertilization of ideas and approaches between these two fields.Finally, a key managerial contribution is that we introduce the project as a temporary organization level of analysis, explicitly making visible HRM practices on the project. This can guide both HRM practitioners, and project managers, in terms of the importance of projects as sites for human resource management and employment activities including careers, employee participation and employment relations all of which are critical issues and deserve more attention.
      1352Scopus© Citations 61