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Journal cover: Employee Relations

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Online from: 1979

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Restructuring the employment relationship in South Eastern Europe?: Total quality-based changes on managers' careers and job security


Document Information:
Title:Restructuring the employment relationship in South Eastern Europe?: Total quality-based changes on managers' careers and job security
Author(s):Alexandros G. Psychogios, (CITY College (International Faculty of the University of Sheffield), Thessaloniki, Greece)
Citation:Alexandros G. Psychogios, (2010) "Restructuring the employment relationship in South Eastern Europe?: Total quality-based changes on managers' careers and job security", Employee Relations, Vol. 32 Iss: 3, pp.310 - 327
Keywords:Careers, Europe, Middle managers, Organizational change, Service industries, Total quality management
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/01425451011038816 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – This paper aims to address the generic research question of how promising management practices such as total quality management (TQM) initiatives affect employee relations in South Eastern European (SEE) countries by focusing on managers' professional lives. In particular, this study focuses on the effects of TQM programmes on middle managers' (MMs') career prospects and job security.

Design/methodology/approach – A multi-modal research approach was applied based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. A total of 1,800 middle managers from 73 service organizations in both the public and private sectors participated in the research (19 and 54 respectively).

Findings – The implementation of TQM programs was found to have a positive impact on MMs' careers and job security. Nevertheless, it was related mostly to the “hard”, rather than the “soft”, side of TQM. The strong impact of TQM practices on MMs' responses to various aspects related to their physical work, as compared to the small impact of the “soft” side, implies a more pragmatic view of restructuring of the employment relations covenant due to the application of management models in SEE region.

Research limitations/implications – The business literature has presented limited measurement tools for the “soft” and “hard” aspects of TQM. This paper provides a new, more reliable, and valid measurement of both sides of TQM. More research is required in order to further verify the use of such a measurement tool.

Practical implications – Managers should be aware of a somewhat more linear path to career progression and job security through the use of “hard” quality management practices while anticipating less importance to be given to concepts such as empowerment and employee involvement.

Originality/value – This study expands our understanding of how industrial relations can be formed from the application of promising management practices. In particular, it argues that managers' familiarity with the “hard” side of TQM seems to both positively and negatively influence career development and job security, while being influenced by employment sector and educational background.



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