The HRM Cockpit: an instrument for developing and evaluating sustainable HRM in an organizationReport as inadecuate

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(2015)Sustainable HRM and Employee Well-Being, Proceedings.p.1-27 Mark abstract These days, a new approach is emerging in the field of Human Resource Management (HRM). Where strategic HRM has been the main approach for the last decades, nowadays more and more scholars are connecting sustainability to HRM (Ehnert, 2009, 2014, Kramar, 2014). There are many different conceptualizations for sustainable HRM, but most scholars agree on defining it as an extension of strategic HRM (Ehnert, 2009; Kramar, 2014). Thereby they agree that sustainable HRM has a broader focus on the organization’s performances than only accounting for the financial success of the organization. In fact sustainable HRM incorporates the triple bottom line, namely people, planet and profit (Elkington, 1997) and tries to balance these three different aspects. Even though literature (Ehnert, 2009, De Prins et al., 2014) provides different models about sustainable HRM, we face a lack of practical tools to explore and exploit sustainable HRM in an organization. To develop a practical tool for monitoring sustainable HRM in an organization, an extended literature review was conducted, complemented with qualitative data (i.e. explorative interviews with practitioners, trade unions and a test panel) to define the field of sustainable HRM. The development of the tool started with a literature review in several different domains such as strategic HRM, sustainable HRM, HR scorecards and strategy mapping. The tool is based upon the idea of scorecards and measuring progress in realizing an HRM strategy. Deriving from the literature review, two concepts were used as basic principles during the development of the tool. First, the idea of the HR value chain where an input, throughput and output model is presented as a strategic approach to sustainable HRM (den Hartog, Boselie & Paauwe 2004; Vanderstraeten, 2014). Secondly, to increase the applicability of the model, strategic mapping, starting with Kaplan & Norton (2004) and further developed in the field of HRM by Becker (2001) and Huselid (2005), is used as a guideline for implementing sustainable HRM. After the literature review, a first draft of the tool was developed. We used the Delphi methodology to gain consensus among practitioners about the components and definitions that were used in the first draft of the tool (Linstone & Turoff, 1975). HR managers of twelve organizations participated in this part of the development. This resulted in a tool with 12 different components. The resulting tool can be used to guide social profit and public organizations in the development of a sustainable HRM or to support the evaluation of their current sustainable HRM. For each of the different components (12) in the tool, validated questionnaires and measures are available so that organizations can collect data and measure their progress towards a sustainable HRM. Six experts in HRM were consulted to allocate the measures to the components. To further test the practical usefulness and correctness of the tool seven organizations were willing to test it more in detail and even started implementing it. Because of the importance of sustainability in organizations and the support that a sustainable HRM can provide in transitioning towards such an organization it is important to encourage more organizations towards sustainable HR. The developed tool provides organizations can guide them towards sustainable HRM. In addition more organizations can make the shift towards a sustainable organization based on a scientifically validated and evidence based HRM practice. Future research should reexamine the implementations that were made, their effectiveness and extend the implementation of the tool to different organizations.

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Author: Alex Vanderstraeten



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