Address the following questions in an essay format which includes an introduction and conclusion (not a Q & A format):
Provide private-sector employer examples of HRM programs, systems, processes, and/or procedures as you address the assignment requirements. Provide names of the employers in your examples. Use different employer examples in this course than what have been used previously in your other papers and courses.
Utilize information from at least 2 sources from the Online Library to help strengthen and validate your discussion.
Paper length: 3–4 pages (not counting the cover and reference pages).
Editorial introduction: An introduction to employer engagement in the field of HRM.
Blending social policy and HRM research in promoting vulnerable groups’ labour market participation Rik van Berkel, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University, The Netherlands Jo Ingold , Leeds University Business School, UK Patrick McGurk, University of Greenwich Business School, UK Paul Boselie, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University, The Netherlands Thomas Bredgaard, Department of Political Science, University of Aalborg, Denmark Human Resource Management Journal, Vol 27, no 4, 2017, pages 503–513 Contact: Dr. Rik van Berkel, Utrecht University, Bijlhouwerstraat 6, 3511ZC Utrecht, Netherlands. Email: [email protected]
INTRODUCTION HRM and vulnerable groups
The aim of this special issue, and our challenge to HRM scholars and practitioners, is to bring vulnerable labour market groups into the mainstream of HRM. In doing so, this special issue introduces the relatively novel concept of “employer engagement.” We define employer engagement as the active involvement of employers in addressing the societal challenge of promoting the labour market participation of vulnerable groups. Since its origins in the early 1980s (Paauwe, 2009), the discipline of HRM has focused on the added value of human resources, human capital, and employees. It does so largely with a focus on the HRM of core employees, in terms of high-skill workers, managers, and specialist functions within large multinational companies (Keegan and Boselie, 2006; Lewin, 2011). A focus on the “most valuable employees” is also visible in the emphasis on talent management in strategic HRM theory and practice, with the potential consequence of reproducing distinctions between groups of workers (Lepak and Snell, 2002). Comparatively, HRM in relation to “vulnerable workers” has received modest attention. It has been highlighted in critical management studies (Thompson, 2011) and in publications focusing on specific “vulnerable groups” inside or outside the labour market. Such groups typically include older workers (e.g., Taylor and Walker, 1998), workers in precarious jobs (e.g., Burgess, Connell, and Winterton, 2013), long-term unemployed people (e.g., Deckop, Konrad, Perlmutter, and Freely, 2006), ethnic minorities (e.g., Kamenou and Fearfull, 2006), disabled people and those with long-term health conditions (e.g., Kulkarni, 2016), and groups with other barriers to labour market entry or job retention. Vulnerable labour market groups represent a large and growing cohort in many countries (OECD, 2013), being adversely impacted by cumulative economic, social, and labour market changes resulting from globalisation and financialisation (Thompson, 2011). Labour market entry is often protracted and difficult for younger workers. At the other end of the age spectrum, increased life expectancy often means working longer and delaying retirement. At HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL 27, NO 4, 2017 503 © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd Please cite this article in press as: van Berkel, R., Ingold, J., McGurk, P., Boselie, P. and Bredgaard, T. (2017) ‘Editorial introduction: An introduction to employer engagement in the field of HRM. Blending social policy and HRM research in promoting vulnerable groups’ labour market participation’. Human Resource Management Journal 27: 4, 503–513 doi: 10.1111/1748-8583.12169 bs_bs_banner the same time, workers are increasingly experiencing periods of unemployment or underemployment, as well as interruptions to labour market participation, or reduced work capacity for reasons such as disablement or caring responsibilities. The context of economic recession has also resulted in growing labour market inequalities in terms of wage levels, the “low-pay, no-pay cycle” (periods of short-term, low-paid work followed by periods of joblessness), a rise in the number of zero hours/casualised contracts, and high rates of in-work poverty (Brown and Marsden, 2011; Standing, 2011). This “new reality” for vulnerable workers across the life course poses significant challenges for HRM at the organisational level. These challenges require innovative and interdisciplinary responses and dialogue, and from a societal well-being perspective (Beer, Boselie, and Brewster, 2015), addressing these challenges is in the interest of long-term organisational success.
More than a match? Assessing the HRM challenge of engaging employers to support retention and progression
Paul Sissons , Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University Anne E. Green , Institute for Employment Research (IER), The University of Warwick to 31 May 2017, and City-REDI, Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham from 1 June 2017 Human Resource Management Journal, Vol 27, no 4, 2017, pages 565–580
This article considers employer engagement within a changing landscape of active labour market policy (ALMP). Employer engagement in ALMP has focused on supporting job entry for disadvantaged groups, through working with employers to attain changes on the demand side or using dialogue with employers to implement changes on the supply side. Employer engagement in this model is orientated to a point in time: the job match. However, ALMP policy in the UK is beginning to give greater emphasis to the sustainability of job entries and progression opportunities. This potentially creates a quite different set of expectations around employer engagement and asks more of employers. Yet securing strong engagement from employers in ALMP has tended to be difficult. This article examines the challenges that such a change in focus will have for existing models of employer engagement and on associated implications for HRM theory, policy and practices. Contact: Dr Paul Sissons, Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK. Email: [email protected] Keywords: low pay; precarious employment; welfare; training and development; employer engagement; active labour market policy.
ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET POLICY, HRM AND SOCIETAL VALUE
Recent contributions in the HRM literature have stressed the need for development of HRM theory and practice that is ‘more relevant at the societal level’ (Boxall, 2014: 588; Paauwe, 2004, 2009; Thompson, 2011). There is a clear societal importance in understanding the drivers of, limits to, and outcomes from employer engagement in ALMP. HRM practices should have an important role to play in enabling the connection of ALMP with opportunities for individuals entering work to progress, for example, through addressing issues of ‘learning traps’ and barriers to personal development (Boxall, 2014). Such issues are important to contemporary concerns regarding equality of opportunities and outcomes at the heart of the inclusive growth agenda (OECD, 2014). The study of ALMP offers the potential to make important contributions to HRM theory. Notably, the evolution of ALMP presents fertile ground to test the assumptions of the ‘consensus HRM discourse’, which it has been argued has been built primarily on research that has engaged with studies of ‘the development of core employees (“happy few”) in large multinational companies’ (Keegan and Boselie, 2006: 1501). The extent to which the ‘neutrality or benevolence of HRM practices and policies’ (Keegan and Boselie, 2006: 1505) is extended to job entrants from ALMP is an area of both theoretical and societal significance. Much of the existing evidence from ALMP and job entry that we review in the following sections suggests such benevolence is not widespread. Institutional accounts have been prominent in developing a wider societal perspective on HRM, arguing that the survival of firms depends not only on their financial performance but also on their social legitimation (Paauwe, 2004; Boon et al., 2009). This legitimation relates to stakeholders, including employees, customers, governments and unions (Paauwe and Boselie, 2005), and is based on criteria such as trust and fairness (Paauwe, 2009). Paauwe (2009) outlines a multidimensional conception of HRM, where conventional concerns (productivity, profits, etc.) are viewed alongside performance (flexibility, agility, etc.), employee well-being and impacts at a higher institutional level (for example, the economic sector and society more broadly). This lens allows for a more comprehensive treatment of the successes and benefits of HRM policy and practice. Institutionally based accounts of HRM have stressed that context matters (Paauwe, 2009). The ways in which HR practices are conceptualised and operationalised varies across employee groups and across economic sectors (Paauwe and Boselie, 2005). Drawing on the work of DiMaggio and Powell (1983, 1991), Paauwe and Boselie (2003: 61) provide a framework of new institutionalism in HRM. Different institutional mechanisms are posited to influence HRM practice: • coercive – implementation as a result of regulatory pressures; • mimetic – imitation (of HRM practices) as a result of uncertainty/or as a result of new trends/fads; • normative – management control system, structured by the professionalism of an employee group. Institutional settings in different countries will influence HRM practices in context-specific ways. That context matters opens up a range of opportunities for comparative research across Challenge of employer engagement 568 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT JOURNAL, VOL 27, NO 4, 2017 © 2017 The Authors. Human Resource Management Journal Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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