Sustainability and human resource management: what really matters? Italian HR managers and sustainability officers' perceptions

Matteo Pedrini, Marco Guerci

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Sustainability-driven change is the organizational transformation requested by the development of the corporate sustainability. This transformation involves a variety of agents, but two actors play a relevant role in this change process within the organization: Human Resource manager and Sustainability manager. The consensus between the two managers is relevant to assure the development of a “strength” HR system to sustain sustainability-driven change. The aim of this paper is to explore the perceptions of HR managers and Sustainability managers on the HR system (processes and activities) which can support sustainability-driven organizational change. The paper is based on a survey which involved 89 managers (HR managers and Sustainability managers) from Italian companies of CSR Manager Network Italia, the professional association of managers in charge to implement sustainability in the firms. We analyzed differences in perceptions related to relevance of HR processes and activities in the view of sustainability-driven change. The main results of our research are: the identification of major elements of the HR management system for sustainability-driven change; the comprehension of differences in perception of HR managers and Sustainability managers relating to HR processes and activities that support sustainability-driven change. Findings confirm the existence of some differences between the perceptions of the two professional groups on the contribution of the HR system to the sustainability-driven change. Those differences are important, because a “strong” HR system should be built upon the consensus of key HR decision makers (in the case of sustainability-driven change: the HR manager and the Sustainability manager). Indeed, the practical implications regard the need for planning, in advance, consensus building processes that allow those managers to share a common vision on sustainability-driven change and the contribution of HR system to that change. In the light of the consensus requested by “strong” HR systems, the paper contributes to the development of a relatively novel stream of study in HR management. Previous literature has tested differences in perceptions of agents. This paper compares the alignment of perceptions between HR managers and Sustainability managers, that is requested to collaborate for implementing sustainability-driven change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEIASM - 26TH WORKSHOP ON STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Pages1-33
Number of pages33
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event26TH WORKSHOP ON STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT - Reykjavik
Duration: 16 May 201217 May 2012

Workshop

Workshop26TH WORKSHOP ON STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
CityReykjavik
Period16/5/1217/5/12

Keywords

  • human resource management
  • sustainability

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