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Raising the Curtain in People Management by Exploring How Sustainable HRM Translates to Practice: The Case of Lithuanian Organizations

Živilė Stankevičiūtė () and Asta Savanevičienė ()
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Živilė Stankevičiūtė: School of Economics and Business, Kaunas University of Technology, Gedimino g. 50, LT-44249 Kaunas, Lithuania
Asta Savanevičienė: School of Economics and Business, Kaunas University of Technology, Gedimino g. 50, LT-44249 Kaunas, Lithuania

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-31

Abstract: Arguing for the necessity to re-think human resource management (HRM), as human resources are becoming scarce, HRM practices themselves can be even harmful for employees, and the mainstream HRM is more interested not in the employee well-being, but in the search for the link between HRM and performance, the paper introduces sustainable HRM as an alternative approach to people management. Sustainable HRM is seen as a design option, which allows one to maintain, renew and restore human resources. Although previous works have broadened the understanding of the meaning given to sustainable HRM and its core characteristics, research into how sustainable HRM translates into practice is still lacking. Thus, the purpose of the paper is to reveal the practices through which 11 characteristics of sustainable HRM are expressed in real people management in organizations. In doing this, qualitative data were collected from Lithuanian organizations using semi-structured interviews with 19 human resource (HR) managers. The research indicated a variety of applied practices, which differ by maturity. Care of employees, profitability, external partnership, fairness and equality, and employee development were revealed as the characteristics of sustainable HRM most explicitly expressed through HRM practices. Nonetheless, the organizations need more heterogeneous HRM activities, which simultaneously consider the economy, environment, society, and human aspects.

Keywords: sustainable human resource management; characteristics of sustainable human resource management; practices of sustainable human resource management; sustainability (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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