ISSN 1175-5407

NZJHRM 2009 First Special Issue Volume 9(1): Organizational Behaviour Editorial

Welcome to the first of our set of Special Editions of the New Zealand Journal of Human Resource Management (NZJHRM). The idea behind the current set of Special Issue’s was trying to promote emerging research and researchers from New Zealand and Australasia undertaking research of interest to Human Resource Management professionals, academics, and researchers. A number of these papers were presented at the Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) Conference in Auckland 2008 and as such, I would like to acknowledge the initial work of reviewers from the conference through the various HRM-related streams.

The new focus of the NZJHRM has been broadened to encompass the wider settings of other Australasian countries because often the lessons these studies provide are as applicable to New Zealand as they are to their specific local setting. The present Special Issue covers a wide variety of cultural settings including Australia, Malaysian, and India. Given the growth of globalization and the cultural diversity found in New Zealand, I believe the lessons found here are likely to be at least somewhat transferable to our New Zealand setting and should provide greater understanding of commonalities in HRM within our Australasian region.

This first Special Issue is focused upon papers with a strong Organizational Behavior focus. The first paper by Peter Standen and Maryam Omari focuses on the destructive cycle of workplace bullying. While bullying is well recognized internationally, there has been little research on this phenomenon in New Zealand or Australasia in general. The authors undertook a qualitative research project using multiple methods to investigate bullying in the Australian Public Service and highlighted situations where members of a dyad bully each other. Overall, the study highlights the difficulties that staff can face in disentangling personal and professional relationships in the context of a highly formal and hierarchical organizational use of power.  Given the lack of attention currently placed on bullying in New Zealand, this paper has some strong implications and warnings for New Zealand HRM professionals and researchers.

The second paper by Yin Lu Ng looks at the role that employer image plays in how employees formulate perceptions of organizational attractiveness and how that in turn influences job satisfaction and turnover intentions. The author suggested that when employees perceive that the image prior to entry into the organization differs from the image they perceive after entry, it results in an image mismatch. Using a small sample of Malaysian workers, the study found the mismatch of image was linked to lower organizational attractiveness and job satisfaction and higher turnover intentions. Further analysis showed that organizational attractiveness fully mediated the effects of mismatch of image towards job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Overall, the study highlights the importance for employers in convey an accurate image of their workplace so that applicants will be more satisfied with their work and less likely to leave.

The third paper by Sugumar Mariappanadar uses motivational gratification theory to explain how employee’s self-regulate ‘production’ and ‘reduction’ of effort, using the coactive activation of pleasure and displeasure, a theory of emotion. The author suggests that little focus has been applied to coactive activation in management and that by focusing upon motivational gratification, researchers might be better able to understand employee disengagement and behavioural outcomes. The implications for HR managers is through designing HR policies based

The third paper by Sugumar Mariappanadar uses motivational gratification theory to explain how employee’s self-regulate ‘production’ and ‘reduction’ of effort, using the coactive activation of pleasure and displeasure, a theory of emotion. The author suggests that little focus has been applied to coactive activation in management and that by focusing upon motivational gratification, researchers might be better able to understand employee disengagement and behavioural outcomes. The implications for HR managers is through designing HR policies based on dominant and passive types of motivational gratification instead of just using only the dominant type of motivational gratification.

The fourth paper by Josh Gantor and John Cordery tests the potential mediating and moderating effects of job embeddedness towards the relationships between organizational justice dimensions and job satisfaction and turnover intentions. Using a sample of 560 Australian managers and structural equation modeling, the authors found support for job embeddedness mediating the effects of organizational justice towards outcomes, but no support for moderation effects was found. The authors suggest this has implications for organizations and HR managers because greater on improving the ways rewards are administered contribute to how an employee feels bonded to their job and subsequently, their likelihood of staying with their organization.

Our last two paper look at psychological contracts on workers from India and Malaysia. The paper by Upasana Aggarwal, Shivganesh Bhargava and Sumita Datta have responded to calls for greater cross-cultural research on psychological contract, through identifying organizational obligations that are valued by employees in India. Using a sample of 215 Indian employees from two different sectors (IT workers and call-centre employees); a large number of psychological contract items were tested. Significant differences were found towards vacation benefits, recognition, creativity, consultation, and supervisor involvement between the two different sectors. The findings highlight the difference amongst industry sectors towards psychological contract aspects that have important implications for HR Managers.

The last paper by Rasidah Arshad examined psychological contract violation with a sample of 281 Malaysian workers who ‘survived’ their organizations downsizing. Using data from two times (pre- and post- downsizing) findings indicate that employees who perceived a stronger contract violation were more likely to leave their organization. Further, moderating effects found that employees who perceived the downsizing in an unfavourable manner were more likely to leave when contract violations were high compared to those with more favourable perceptions of the downsizing. A number of implications, especially factors for organizations contemplating downsizing, are addressed in ways for HRM Professionals to improve the situation for downsizing survivors.

I hope you enjoy this first issue for 2009 – especially with its international focus. Given our current economic challenges, the papers presented here are especially useful, as they focus on aspects in the workplace such as bullying, image, compensation, and psychological contracts, which are likely to influence an employee’s attitudes towards their organization, including whether they would like to remain. In times of economic stress and potential downsizing, firm’s are going to need to retain their top talent like never before, and hopefully this Special Issue will provide some ‘food for thought’ amongst HRM Professionals towards the complexities of the workplace relationships and some of the potential issues facing organizations today.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge all those reviewers involved in this Special Issue. Without you, this process would have taken a lot longer to get through. Also, a special thank you for those involved directly with NZJHRM, specifically the editorial team. Thank you!

Associate Professor Jarrod Haar, University of Waikato

August 2009

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