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On being warm and friendly: The effect of socially responsible human resource management on employee fears of the threats of COVID-19

On being warm and friendly: The effect of socially responsible human resource management on employee fears of the threats of COVID-19

He, Jie, Mao, Yan, Morrison, Alastair M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0754-1083 and Coca-Stefaniak, J. Andres ORCID: 0000-0001-5711-519X (2020) On being warm and friendly: The effect of socially responsible human resource management on employee fears of the threats of COVID-19. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 33 (1). pp. 346-366. ISSN 0959-6119 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-04-2020-0300)

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Abstract

Purpose
This paper aims to investigate the influence of socially- responsible human resource management (SRHRM) on employee fears of external threats during the COVID-19 outbreak, based on social support and event system theories. COVID-19 caused sharp profit declines and bankruptcies of hotels, restaurants and travel agencies. In addition, employees faced threats to their health and job security. How to overcome employee anxieties and fears about the negative impacts of this crisis and promote psychological recovery is worthy of attention from researchers and practitioners. This research investigated the impacts of SRHRM on employee fears through organizational trust, with the COVID-19 pandemic playing a moderating role between SRHRM and employee fears.

Design/methodology/approach
The hypotheses were tested through multiple linear regression analysis based on a survey of 408 employees in hospitality and tourism firms in China. Qualitative data were also gathered through interviews with selected managers.

Findings
The results showed that SRHRM had a negative influence on employee fears of external threats by enhancing trust in their organizations. In addition, the strength of the COVID-19 pandemic positively moderated the effect of SRHRM on employee fears. When the pandemic strength was more robust, the negative effects of SRHRM on employee fears were more significant.

Research limitations/implications
This research illustrated the contribution of SRHRM in overcoming employee fears of external threats in the context of COVID-19. It shed light on the organizational contribution of SRHRM to hospitality and tourism employee psychological recovery during the crisis.

Originality/value
This research explored strategic HRM by examining the effects of SRHRM on employee fears in the midst of a severe crisis, specifically COVID-19. The moderation effect of event strength and mediation effect of organizational trust were tested. It is of great value for hospitality and tourism firms to foster employee psychological recovery during a crisis such as COVID-19.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Socially-responsible HRM (SRHRM); COVID-19 event strength; organizational trust; fear of external threats; social support theory; event system theory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Faculty of Business > Tourism Research Centre
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2021 10:21
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/30102

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