ISSN 1175-5407

NZJHRM 2010 General HRM Issue vol 10 (1)

Welcome to the first edition of the New Zealand Journal of Human Resource Management (NZJHRM) for 2010. I’d like to welcome Maree Roche, who is joining me as a guest-editor for this edition.

We are pleased this edition is ready so early in the year, and hope this is testament to the journals growing popularity and interest by Human Resource Management professionals, academics, and researchers.

The revised focus of the NZJHRM has allowed for a greater collection of researches from countries other than New Zealand to present research that will facilitate understanding in a New Zealand HR context. The current issue supports this expanded role of the journal and presents research by Australian, UK and African researchers. By embracing research from diverse locations, New Zealand HR professionals glean insight into local and international issues relevant to HRM. 2009 was known as the year of the financial crisis, with resultant impact on HR.

However, 2010 presents another year of continued challenge for HR including continued change and restructure, re-engaging of the workforce, and refocusing on retention of talent. As such, the current issue works towards providing insight into managing the complexity and challenges 2010 will continue bring.

The first paper, by Carolyn Ward and David Preece, provides a perspective in considering the changes in the Management of Social Housing in Australia and UK. The paper highlights the complexity of challenges faced in the Management of Social Housing.
Social, economic and political conditions have produced restructuring and significant change to this sector, although it remains one of the least understood sectors in HR terms. The paper concludes by illuminating the importance of understanding the role of HR policy and practice at the strategic and operational level in order to support change.

The second paper by Hitendra Pillay, Kathy Kelly and Megan Tones presents findings from an Australian project into the management of mature local government workers. The research outlines the importance of HR strategy and policy in a sector faced with difficulty attracting qualified and experienced staff, coupled with a rapidly aging workforce. The major themes explored in this paper support the importance of forward HR planning in age management and highlight the importance of combing HR policy and practice with mature workers goals and needs.

The third paper by Linda Shallcross, Sheryl Ramsay and Michelle Barker introduces the concept of workplace mobbing and the consequences of this destructive behavior. Their findings, from 212 self-identified targets, established that in organizations where gossip and rumor are valued as sources of information, there is greater risk to workers.

Further, these authors suggest HR can be manipulated into joining in on this action. The authors examined how the role of gossip and power, high turnover, and a culture of justification of such, enhanced the risk factors conducive to mobbing, and the negative consequences of these toxic workplaces for HR.

Our fourth author Gerry Truren examined informal recruitment techniques, such as network ties, which are used increasingly to combat skill and talent shortages, and the implications of this for gender segregation and diversity in the workplace.
Using an Australian sample of graduates, these findings suggest that same aspects of gender segregation were supported, in that both men and women are more likely to refer people of the same gender to workplaces already predominately of the same gender. However, unlike earlier findings, Truren found no adverse implications for the use of cross gender contacts on post hiring satisfaction, and person-job or person-organisation fit.

The last paper by Julius Omona examines New Zealand’s Education Review Office (ERO), and the enhancing role that HRM has played in the development of the organisation’s effectiveness. Interviewing 78 elite employees, Omona found that HR practices positively influenced ERO’s performance and gained favorable attention from within New Zealand and overseas.  Commenting on the development of ERO’s growth and global connectedness, recommendations are made for further integration of HR, both for ERO, and more widely in the general business environment.

In conclusion, we hope you find the first issue for 2010, particularly with its diverse topics and issues, as useful and sagacious as we have!

As always, we gratefully acknowledge the reviewers for their insight and development of papers, without their motivation this process would be extremely time consuming.

Maree Roche, WINTEC
Jarrod Haar, University of Waikato

February 2010

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