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Human Resource Management in times of the pandemic: Clustering HR managers' use of High-Performance Work Systems

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many organizations and the way work is performed, emphasizing the importance of human resource management (HRM). Although the HRM literature confirms the vital role of HR managers for firm recovery and survival during a crisis, knowledge remains scarce about what HR managers actually do in times of high disruptions, like a crisis. In this chapter, we explore the use of high-performance work system (HPWS) practices among 269 HR managers during the COVID-19 pandemic; a common set of HRM practices used to engender employee and organisational performance. Using cluster analysis, we identify two distinct groups of HR managers, engaging either in high or low levels of HPWS practices during the crisis. We then investigate how these two clusters relate to organizational and individual characteristics, as well as HR managers’ perceptions of the pandemic. For instance, we find that those managers implementing HPWS to a high degree perceive more changes in their work context than their counterparts do. Our findings provide unique and new insights into group-specific differences associated with high and low levels of HPWS practices. We thereby contribute to the HR literature a fuller understanding of HRM system use in times of a crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVirtual Management and the New Normal : New Perspectives on HRM and Leadership since the COVID-19 Pandemic
EditorsSvein Bergum, Tone Vold, Pascale Peters
Number of pages20
Place of publicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication year2023
ISBN (print)978-3-031-06812-6
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-06813-3
Publication statusPublished - 2023

    Research areas

  • COVID-19 crisis, Cluster analysis, HR managers, High-Performance Work Systems (HPWS)

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