Employee perceptions of HRM and well-being in nonprofit organizations: unpacking the unintended

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Adopting a process-based HRM lens, this study addresses how nonprofit workers perceive their HR practices and the ways in which these perceptions of HRM impact their wellbeing. Drawing on a multiple case study of eight social services NPOs in the UK, the impact of the employment relationship on the psychological, social and physical dimensions of wellbeing is examined in this climate of austerity. The findings highlight the increasing precariousness of this employment relationship alongside relatively weak HR systems characterized by low consistency and consensus, leading to variation in the interpretation and application of HR practices at the level of line managers and the front-line. Moreover, the analysis shows how these divergent perceptions amongst HR system features manifest themselves in unintended consequences. By examining employee perceptions of HR practices, this study contributes to ongoing debates on why nonprofit employees view HRM in unintended ways and why HR practices may fail to bring about their intended effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1912-1937
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number14
Early online date17 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2017


  • Employee well-being
  • Employee perceptions
  • HRM implementation
  • Process-based approach
  • Nonprofit organizations


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