HRM reforms and job-related well-being of academics

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of human resource management (HRM) reforms on job-related well-being of academics in Chinese universities. It also tests the mediating effect of work intensification (WI) and affective commitment (AC), and the moderating effect of perceived organizational justice (OJ) on the HRM‒well-being relationship to understand the influence mechanisms and boundary conditions. Design/methodology/approach: A questionnaire survey was conducted in 25 Chinese universities, obtaining 638 usable questionnaires. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was used as the analytical technique to examine the model fit and test hypotheses. Findings: The findings reveal that the relationship of HRM and well-being is neither direct nor unconditional, and a win‒win scenario for both management and employee well-being is possible when organizations pursue HRM innovations. Research limitations/implications: The limitations of this study are that data were collected at once and at a defined time, with no time lag being involved. In addition, all variables were self-reported. Practical implications: Commitment-oriented HRM practices can create a win‒win scenario; when control-oriented HRM practices are necessary, managers should ensure OJ to offset their negative influence on employees. Originality/value: This study is among the first to examine the impact of HRM on employee well-being in the context of Chinese higher education, contributing to the limited studies on HRM in Chinese public sector and the on-going debate on the nature of HRM in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-619
Number of pages23
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Affective commitment
  • Human resource management
  • Job-related well-being
  • Organizational justice
  • Quantitative
  • Work intensification

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