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Existing research on the relationship between human resources management (HRM) and worker reactions to practices rarely explore differences between occupational classes and their receptiveness to HRM initiatives. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approachUsing data from a single case organization, the authors examine whether HRM practices apply uniformly across distinct occupational groups, and if there are differing impacts by occupational class on commitment, motivation and satisfaction.FindingsUsing occupational identity, the results indicate that different groups of employees have varied perceptions of, and reactions to, the same HRM practices.Practical implicationsThe paper adds that human resource practice application may have a tipping point, after which distinct employee groups require different HR architectural configurations.Social implicationsHRM policy and practice may be better tailored to the different specific needs of diverse occupational groups of workers.Originality/valueThe paper argues that existing theory and practice advocating universal or high potential HRM as a route to positive employee outcomes are potentially flawed.
Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 31, 2020
Keywords: Occupational identity; Employee motivation; Employee outcomes; HR performance; Occupational class
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