Managing flexible work arrangements in small not-for-profit firms: The influence of organisational size, financial constraints and workforce characteristics

Townsend, Keith J., McDonald, Paula, & Cathcart, Abby (2016) Managing flexible work arrangements in small not-for-profit firms: The influence of organisational size, financial constraints and workforce characteristics. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. (In Press)

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Abstract

Small, not-for-profit organisations fulfil a need in the economy that is typically not satisfied by for-profit firms. They also operate in ways that are distinct from larger organisations. While such firms employ a substantial proportion of the workforce, research addressing human resource management (HRM) practices in these settings is limited. This article used data collected from five small not-for-profit firms in Australia to examine the way one significant HRM practice – the provision and utilisation of flexible work arrangements – operates in the sector. Drawing on research from several scholarly fields, the article firstly develops a framework comprising three tensions in not-for-profits that have implications for HRM. These tensions are: (1) contradictions between an informal approach to HRM vs. a formal regulatory system; (2) employee values that favour social justice vs. external market forces; and (3) a commitment to service vs. external financial expectations. The article then empirically examines how these tensions are managed in relation to the specific case of flexible work arrangements. The study reveals that tensions around providing and accessing flexible work arrangements are managed in three ways: discretion, leadership style and distancing. These findings more broadly inform the way HRM is operationalised in this under-examined sector.

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ID Code: 92600
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Flexible Work Arrangements, Not-for-profit Organisations, Human Resource Management Practices, Small to Medium Enterprises
DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2015.1136671
ISSN: 1466-4399
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT (150300) > Human Resources Management (150305)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Taylor & Francis
Deposited On: 02 Feb 2016 23:39
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2016 02:06

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