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APJBA special issue call for papers: Sustainable people management practices in the Asia Pacific

Special issue call for papers from Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration

Manuscript submission deadline: 31st January 2014

Emerald Publishing is extending an invitation and call for papers for a special issue of the Asia Pacific Journal of Business Administration (APJBA) focused on the theme of Sustainable People Management in the Asia Pacific. The invitation is to scholars generally, but to scholars in the Asia Pacific region in particular, in the quest to contribute a regional voice to this growing research area.

Guest Editors

Drs. Sugumar Mariappanadar and Robin Kramar (Australian Catholic University)

Dr. Mariappanadar and Professor Kramar have research interests and publications in the areas of: people management practices, human resource management (HRM) and sustainability. Dr Mariappanadar has particular interests in sustainable HRM practices and employee wellbeing. Professor Kramar has special interests in the relationships between HRM, sustainability and organizational performance.

Background to proposed Special Issue

People management practices which seek to achieve primarily strategic and economic outcomes have become common throughout western economies. These practices represent a proactive approach to managing people and are known as strategic human resource management (SHRM). Much of the research on SHRM has emphasized the contribution of people management practices to financial outcomes. When social or human outcomes are acknowledged they tend to focus on the positive outcomes, such as job satisfaction, employee wellbeing, employee engagement and morale which contribute to financial outcomes.
However the focus on these positive human and economic outcomes neglects the detrimental impact of particular people management practices on a variety of stakeholders. Boselie et al. (2005) in reviewing the commonalities and contradictions in human resource management (HRM) and performance research found that the “side-effect” or possible negative effect of organisation performance oriented strategic HRM is under represented in the literature. They also found that outcomes (financial, organisational and HR related) from the perspective of stakeholders, other than the owners, proved rather less prevalent in the HRM literature reviewed. Furthermore, Budhwar and Mellahi (2007) have clearly indicated that the voice of those at the receiving end of organization’s profit maximization focused management practices such as the stakeholders (i.e., employees, their families and the society) has tended to be under represented in the HRM literature. 

Sustainable HRM is an emerging field of interest in people management. It represents practices) which enhance both profit maximization for the organization and also reduce the harm on internal and external stakeholders (e.g., employees, their families and communities). A contribution to the discourse on sustainable HRM practices and increasing knowledge about the negative impact of people management practices on people within the organisation and the community will facilitate the identification of the tensions, conflicts, and paradoxes associated with HRM. The sustainable HRM approach makes explicit its ethical position and adopts a broad view of organizational performance and corporate sustainability.

Emerging trends in HRM have started appearing in the literature. For example, Ehnert (2009) examined sustainability from a paradox framework for sustainable HRM and  a number of frameworks have been proposed to explain a harm indicator framework such as a cost framework to measure the harm of HRM practices (Mariappanadar 2013) Pfeffer (2010), Harris and Tregidga (2012) and Wagner (2011) have all highlighted the need for organisations to develop HRM practices that help maximize returns to shareholders without compromising wellbeing or minimizing harm on the stakeholders (employees, their families and the society). Kramar and Steane (2012) attempted to recast the role of HRM to organizational success from a financial to a more sustainable focus. Their work on sustainability attempts to connect sustainability to human resource service delivery within an organization. This growing interest among researchers in sustainable HRM practices suggests greater focus today on organisations achieving holistic corporate responsibility along with strategic HRM perspective.

There are currently many countries in the Asia Pacific that have become economic engine-rooms in the global market for the supply of talent and educated human resources. There is greater competition over these resources among local and transnational companies. Hence, the scope of this special issue is on Sustainable People Management in the Asia-Pacific region.
The special issue invites both scholarly articles of a theoretical and empirical nature, from researchers and practitioners on sustainable HRM strategies, policies and practices. Themes which could be developed in the special issue include:

• The harm or the ‘side effects’ of strategic HRM practices.
• Occupational negative health outcomes relating to job strain, time strain etc.
• Corporate social responsibility and sustainable HRM
• Sustainable HRM practices and employee wellbeing outcomes
• Explore the role of HRM systems of a firm in shaping sustainable HRM practices.
• Sustainable HRM practices and green environment

Please contact one of the Guest editors with your proposal (maximum 500 words)

• Sugumar Mariappanadar – [email protected]
• Robin Kramar - [email protected]

 Submission details

All submissions to the journal are made through ScholarOne Manuscripts found at More information on using the system can be found here.

The call for papers deadline is 31st January 2014


        Boselie, P., Dietz, G., and Boon, C. (2006) “Commonalities and contradictions in HRM and performance research”. Human Resource Management Journal, 15(3), pp. 67-94.
        Ehnert, I (2009) Sustainable human resource management: A conceptual and exploratory analysis from a paradox perspective. Heidelberg, London, New York: Springer.
        Harris, C., and Tregidga, H. (2012) “HR managers and environmental sustainability: strategic leaders or passive observers?” International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(2), pp. 235-254.
        Kramar, R and Steane, P (2012) "Emerging HRM skills in Australia", Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, 4 (2), 139 – 157.
       Mariappanadar, S. (2003) “Sustainable Human Resource Management: The Sustainable and unsustainable dilemmas of downsizing”, International Journal of Social Economics, 30(8), 906 – 923.
       Mariappanadar, S. (2013) “A Conceptual Framework for Cost Measures of Harm of HRM practices”. Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration. 5 (2), 15-39.
       Pfeffer, J (2010) “Building Sustainable Organizations: The Human Factor”. Academy of Management Perspectives, 24(1), 34-45.
       Wagner, M (2012) “Green’ Human Resource Benefits: Do they Matter as Determinants of Environmental Management System Implementation?” Journal of Business Ethics, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1356-9 (online first).