Sustainable HRM practices and organizational performance: Relationships of Association or Impact?



Sustainable Human Resource Management (SHRM) encapsules what an organization’s human resources can do, and should do with regards to economic, environmental and social goals, and focuses on both the employing organization and society more widely. SHRM research has shed a spotlight on the complexity of applying the multifaceted concept of sustainability and the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to the management of people and work organizations.

The extant literature emphasizes the role of leadership and stakeholder involvement in minimizing the negative impacts on the natural environment and on workers and communities, whilst acknowledging the tensions and paradoxes between HRM practices and organizational performance. Taken together previous studies have highlighted the significant relationship between SHRM practices and organizational performance, but one of the issues that remains is the role of SHRM for the adoption and implementation of SDGs and the achievement of sustainable organizational performance.

The extant SHRM research suggest that the UN’s SDG 8 “decent work and economic growth” is a critical contingency factor for sustained, inclusive economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all. Moreover, existing studies emphasize that “decent work for all” is necessary to achieve the other objectives within this goal and for achieving the UN’s 17 SDGs more broadly.

Unlike economic and environmental goals that can be more easily evaluated using quantitative indicators, social sustainability requires a balance between quantitative and qualitative indicators and there is still some ambiguity about what social sustainability actually means within an organizational context. There is a need for more SHRM studies to adopt multilevel analysis and examine the relationships between the sustainability and SDGs and organizational performance.

Considering the research gap and the challenges in measuring and evaluating SHRM and sustainable performance within an organization, this special issue invites researchers and practitioners, regardless of methodological approach, to contribute theoretically-informed original empirical articles or case studies that will enhance the knowledge of the complex relationships between SHRM practices and sustainable organizational performance.Contributions that examine these relationships using a multi-stakeholder, multi-level or longitudinal approach are particularly welcome.

List of topic areas:

  • Sustainable Human Resource Management,
  • Green Human Resource Management,
  • Socially Responsible HRM,
  • Triple-Bottom Line HRM,
  • Common Good Human Resource Management,
  • Sustainable and Environmental Leadership,
  • Organizational Performance

Submissions Information:

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available at the journals ScholarOne page! Click here to submit! 

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Go to the author guidelines tab on the journal webpage. Click here for JOEPP.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Guest Editors: 

Andrew Bratton,
Edinburgh Napier University, United Kingdom (email: [email protected]

Douglas Renwick,
Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom (email: [email protected])

Pascal Paillé,
NEOMA Business School, France (email: [email protected])

Sarah Leidner,
Bournemouth University, United Kingdom (email:[email protected])

Brian Matthews,
The Vienna University of Economics and Business, Austria (email: [email protected])

Key deadlines:

Please input key dates that have been agreed with the publisher. If opening date is applicable, please include. Opening date for manuscripts submissions (if agreed with publisher): 17th of March, 2023
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30th of September, 2023 

Email for submission queries: [email protected]