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Title: HRM in de sierteeltsector. Is er speelruimte voor goed werkgeverschap? Invloed van HRM op welzijn & betrokkenheid en de rol van ervaren werkdruk bij medewerkers in de sector
Authors: Burger, G
Issue Date: 16-Dec-2014
Publisher: Open Universiteit Nederland
Abstract: ‘Human resources are key to organisational success or failure’ (Baron & Kreps, 1999). There is a wide range of (empirical) studies that prove Human Resource Management (HRM) does influence performance of organisations (Boselie & Paauwe, 2004; Huselid, 1995; Paauwe & Richardson, 1997). To date however, scientific research to the application of HRM within small organisations barely has been practiced (Boselie, Dietz & Boon, 2005). In addition, it seems there is not much of interest among researchers to investigate sectors that particularly deal with difficult circumstances and where surviving is a bigger theme rather than being profitable (Edwards & Ram, 2006). A study of Kroon in 2013 (study in the field of agriculture and horticulture to what extent HRM systems bring advantages for both the organisation as well as for the employees, if the context of the organisation is taken into account), constitutes an exception to this and can be labelled as innovative. Kroon appeals to follow-up research, to which this study responds in it’s own way. Within this study, the dynamic and suppressed horticultural sector is put central as field of research and is aimed at investigating to what extent the HRM policy is related to the well-being and commitment of employees in this sector and whether the perceived workload of these employees plays a role or not. One out of many definitions of HRM is: ‘HRM comprises all activities that are accompanied by managing employees within an organisation’ (Boxall & Purcell, 2003). The outcomes of HR activities which are central within this study are: · employees’ well-being (need for recovery) · employees’ commitment · employees’ perceived workload For all three outcomes is investigated to what extent HR activities are of influence. Next to that, the perceived workload is used as mediating variable and the influence of the perceived workload on the outcomes well-being and commitment is investigated. From this, following central research question for this study has been formulated: ‘In what way do HR activities influence well-being and commitment of employees in the horticultural sector and to what extent is perceived workload mediating this relation?’ A quantitative research has been conducted under 16 growers of the horticultural sector, in which a total of 93 employees participated. The questionnaire was made available by ‘Open Universiteit’ and has a total of 106 questions. It appears from the results that in general not many HR activities are being undertaken in the horticultural sector, or at least it is not perceived that way by employees (average score of 18.04 for 38 questions, or 0.47 per item). The analysis shows there is no significant (positive or negative) relation between HR activities and well-being (need for recovery) of employees in the horticultural sector. This outcome does not connect to the ‘mutual gains’ perspective (Appelbaum, Bailey, Berg & Kalleberg, 2000) which assumes that both employers and employees benefit from HR activities. It can be concluded in response to the results though, that HR activities are significant positively related to commitment of employees in the horticultural industry. This is in correspondence with the ‘social exchange theory’ (Blau, 1964), which states that when organisations evolve more HR activities, it may be expected that employees feel more involved in the company they work. The hypothesis that HR activities relate positively to workload for employees in the horticultural sector, has been rejected. To be able to conclude that workload has a mediating effect in the relation between HR activities and the well-being and commitment of employees, first a number of conditions must be answered. Although HR activities do have a positive influence on commitment and referring to the results also can be stated that workload has a significant influence on well-being (need for recovery), not all conditions are fulfilled, so this conclusion can not be made. With reference to the results, a number of recommendations is formulated for follow-up research. Since the results only show a limited influence of HR activities on HR outcomes (only commitment shows a significant relation), there is an appeal for more investigation to the effect of HRM on HR outcomes and whether HR outcomes are influenced by other factors rather than HRM. In connection with validity and reliability, it is of importance though that future research is done on a larger scale. If possible, future research is of a longitudinal nature, in order to deduct possible negative effects of only one measurement time. It is recommended to differentiate two groups of respondents, that is ‘office staff’ and ‘staff that works on the nursery’, in order to investigate whether there are different HR outcomes for these two different groups. This study has been conducted in spring, which is an important peak hour for many growers. For follow-up research, it can be highly recommended to avoid this peak hour, as it might have effects on the results and on the response rate. Finally, there is a practical recommendation, namely that organisations in the horticultural sector in general undertake more HR activities than it is now. HRM does have a positive influence on the HR outcome commitment, so for sure it is worth to keep investing in HRM.
Appears in Collections:MSc Management Science

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