What is the aim of a “Common-Good HRM” research agenda?
Recently, due to the increasingly apparent moral limits of the market, and models of global governance, exposed again by recurring crisis, scholars from the distinct but complementary streams of virtue ethics and institutional economics have renewed interest in a “Commons Paradigm” and the need to increase awareness of the “Language of the Commons”. Drawing on literature from business ethics (the Common-good of the Firm), institutional economics (Institutions of Collective Action, Economics of Conventions), and strengthened by Critical Theory, the heart of our research is motivated by the ambitious aim of shifting the purpose of business and HRM towards the goals of societal transformation and human emancipation, which in turn, ideally acts as a driver for an ecological transition.
Due to a current lack of agreement on conceptualization, a clear strategic plan as how to operationalize Sustainable HRM has yet to emerge. Specifically we aim therefore to develop a new “Common-Good HRM” paradigm (including a distinct definition, characteristics and an operational framework), to help organizations and future scholars overcome institutional bias, asymmetries of value and to contribute more to the common-good. Our research focuses on but is not limited to addressing the following questions, namely:
1. How suitable are current “business-sustainability” HRM models in addressing the “Grand Challenges of our time and in achieving the objectives of the UNOs Sustainable Development goals?
2. To what extend would a more inclusive, bottom-up, “Common-Good HRM” model offer a better alternative to top-down models of global governance?
3. What contribution can a Common-Good HRM approach make to workplace democracy and employee engagement?
4. What are the operational implications for HRM policy, strategies and practices in introducing a more collectivist, action-based “Common-Good HRM” perspective?
5. What is the role of organizational structure and context, localized frames of reference and established labour-conventions in the implementation and acceptance of a paradigm shift towards the common-good?
6. How important are employee perceptions, beliefs and motivations?
7. From a common-good perspective, how does the rise of Digital-Capitalism and the Platform Economy represent a particular threat to the aim of Sustainable HRM?
8. How can a reliable instrument be developed to capture, measure and evaluate the common-good effectiveness of this new paradigm as a tool for future Sustainable HRM scholars?
9. How can the new insights gained from our research be utilized to help to enhance our professional reflexivity, bridge the growing theory to practice gap and positively impact our teaching and the student learning experience?