Title

Using the Harvard HRM model to conceptualise the impact of changes to supervision upon HRM outcomes for different types of Australian public sector employees

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Brunetto, Y, Farr-Wharton, R & Shacklock, K 2011, 'Using the Harvard HRM model to conceptualise the impact of changes to supervision upon HRM outcomes for different types of Australian public sector employees', International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 553-573.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2011.543633

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Within the Australian context of a shortage of skilled professionals, this article uses the Harvard model of human resources management (HRM) to conceptualise how changes in stakeholder interests coupled with changes to situational factors affect public sector HRM policy choices that in turn affect HRM outcomes for different types of public sector employees. The findings obtained using path analysis suggest that the proposed model explained almost 50% for nurses and less than 14% for police officers. In the case of nurses, the strong significant relationship between HRM inputs and outputs may provide a further plausible explanation for one of the long-term consequences of new public management - namely, the inability to retain skilled employees (especially those in the health sector) across numerous OECD countries. The implication of these findings is that the present public sector HRM policy choice should be re-examined because of its impact on HRM outcomes. Moreover, public sector employees should not be regarded as one uniform group that responds alike to the same policy. Whilst the merits of pursuing a strong auditing focus may have benefited organisations financially, the benefits can only remain if public sector employees, including professionals, are prepared to work under those conditions. The inability to retain nurses in numerous countries, coupled with past studies that have identified (poor) management as a contributing factor, suggests that past HRM policy choices may have to be replaced by new HRM policy choices that focus on employees' perceptions of well-being. However, more studies using different types of professionals are required to confirm the generalisability of these findings.