RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

Editorial

Welcome to the June issue of research and Practice in Human Resource Management. The articles in this issue reflect the increasingly complex nature of contemporary human resource management strategies, processes and practices; the diverse forms of their applications in different countries; and the growing geographical reach of our authors and readership. In addition, the context of this issue combines human resource management theory and research findings with their varied implications for HR professionals, a central theme of the Journal.

The first article thus, explores the dark side of the ‘employee commitment’ discourse through a study of employee alienation – ‘powerlessness, meaninglessness, isolation, and self estrangement’ – a state of mind with which many readers will no doubt identify, but which is inherently destructive to individual employees, their teams and work cultures, and ultimately, to the effectiveness of entire organisations. The manuscript by Graeme R. Tonks and Lindsay G. Nelson suggests that employee alienation is often the result of the failure of HR practices rather than its theory. The following article by Aizzat Mohd Nasurdin and Khor Lee Hsia reports on Malaysian research concerning the efficacy of the support provided by the managers and partners of accounting professionals in work-life balance issues, using gender as a moderating variable. The findings confirm those results from similar Western studies, but they also suggest that different country contexts may require diverse HR responses.

The article, written by Okechukwu E. Amah, focuses on the crucial relationships between employees and their managers in the provision of effective performance feedback, as experienced in two Nigerian organisations. This study found that the two most important variables in ensuring developmental feedback were the self esteem of the employees and the quality of their connection with their managers, which are important issues for astute HR professionals. The following article from Nigeria, which is prepared by S.A. Oke, U.V. Ukwuegbu, O.G. Akanbi and O.O. Oke, presents a more traditional, but nevertheless important approach to the minimisation of employee costs and the maximisation of productivity through the implementation of a staff scheduling system using Microsoft Excel software.

The last two research articles, in this issue, discuss the choice of remuneration strategies in Malaysian multinational chemical industry corporations; and the management of occupational health and safety (OHS) in the Papua New Guinea mining industry. In the first article, Hooi Lai Wan explores the reasons behind the choice of either global or local reward strategies.

The second manuscript, authored by Peter Kanaparo, highlights the tensions between politics and ‘best practice’ in OHS policies and practices in the OK Tedi, Porgera and Lihir gold mines. Both articles have clear implications for HR professionals.

The Practitioner Perspective, authored by Patricia Richards, raises the important issue of how to identify and develop prospective organisational managers and leaders within organisations, using an australian financial institution as its focus. As with all the research based articles, this manuscript also provides a rich source of information and assistance for both HR academics and practitioners.

A research note is presented in this issue. This manuscript is authored by Katherine Nie, who documents support for the internal and external validity of an instrument for evaluating business strategy orientation.

This issue also has three book reviews.

The Editors have enjoyed the compiling of the issue and would hope that readers share a similar experience. There is also an expectation that the content may encourage others to subscribe a manuscript to the Editors.

Dr Alan Nankervis
Dr Cecil Pearson
Editors
June 2008