Special Issue-The International Journal of Human Resource Management

Call for Papers for the Special Issue
The International Journal of Human Resource Management


New ways of working
Understanding the implications for employees across different cultural and organisational contexts


Guest editors:  Kerstin Alfes, Argyro Avgoustaki, T. Alexandra Beauregard, Almudena Cañibano, Maral Muratbekova-Touron


Background of the Special Issue

Organisations are increasingly implementing new ways of working to address the challenge of becoming more agile and dynamic in a work environment fuelled by new technologies, digitalisation and artificial intelligence. First, the timing of work is becoming increasingly flexible giving some employees more autonomy to decide when, how much or how continuously they would like to work (Society for Human Resource Management, 2015) and others less. Second, work is becoming ubiquitous, giving certain employees more options regarding where they work, including in the office, from home, in shared locations, or while commuting (Kossek & Lautsch, 2018) and imposing continuous availability on others. Third, the type of work that individuals carry out becomes increasingly malleable. For example, microwork is emerging as a work pattern, where individuals perform work on-demand outside traditional employment relationships via the internet (Sundararajan, 2017). At the same time, conventional management hierarchies are evolving towards more agile, participative (e.g. holacracy) and more automated (e.g. algorithmic) ways of working (Cappelli & Tavis, 2018; McIver, Lengnick-Hall, & Lengnick-Hall, 2018). While research has explored the potential benefits and downsides of modern work arrangements for organisationally-relevant outcomes, we know relatively little about their implications for employees. This is surprising as these changes fundamentally disrupt the way employees experience work and will lead to deep-level changes regarding how work will be carried out in the future.

The objective of this special issue is to bring together research, which explores the implications of new ways of working for employees’ attitudes, performance, and wellbeing. We welcome theoretical and empirical submissions which provide a more nuanced understanding of how employees experience and are affected by work in less traditional work structures in order to depict a holistic picture of contemporary work arrangements (Cañibano, 2019). Specifically, we are interested in studies which explore how employees experience telecommuting, holacracy, empowerment-based team structures, amongst others. We also encourage submissions which analyse how employees react to organisational changes driven by digitalisation and artificial intelligence (Mazmanian, Orlikowski, & Yates, 2013; Orlikowski & Scott, 2014). Moreover, we welcome studies which analyse the positive and negative implications of platform-based employment structures and algorithmic management, i.e. management via automated digital platforms (e.g. Amazon, Lyft, Uber, etc.) for employees. Potential research areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Individual experiences of new ways of working.

We welcome research that explores how employees make sense of novel ways of working and how they live through them. For example, in what way is the work experience of dispersed, international or mobile teams different to that of more local and traditional teams? How do independent workers make sense of their relationship with organisations? Does flexible working change employees’ understandings of the nature of work? Do new forms of organising (e.g. holacracy) shift experiences of power and control?

  • The implications of new ways of working for employees over time.

Changes in the way work is conducted have significant effects on employees (Fein, Skinner, & Machin, 2017; Felstead & Henseke, 2017). However, longitudinal studies of such effects are scarce. We encourage processual analyses that are able to capture the tensions and trade-offs emerging from new forms of work over time. For example, how do wellbeing consequences of flexible work evolve over time? How do attitudes of employees towards agile work change at different implementation stages?

  • The increasing segmentation of the workforce and the implications of new ways of working for different sub-groups of the workforce.

New ways of working are not equally distributed among the workforce and may yield different experiences and consequences across occupations (Avgoustaki & Frankort, 2019; Kossek & Lautsch, 2018). We encourage studies that examine these differences. Are employees across different occupational categories or levels exposed to different flexibility types? Do employees of different occupations and levels benefit equally (in terms of attitudes, performance, and wellbeing) or are disadvantaged from new work arrangements?

  • The implication of algorithmic management for employees’ careers and wellbeing.

We encourage studies that examine how workers experience their career path within algorithmic management structures. What are their responses to the benefits and constraints of algorithmic management in terms of career patterns and philosophies? Is this modern approach to work for the benefit of employees or a form of exploitation with limited workplace protection, which in turn can have negative effects for them?

  • Digitalisation and new ways of working.

We are interested in studies which explore employees’ lived experiences of digitalisation. To what extent does digitalisation increase or decrease inequality in the labour market? How do employees experience working in an increasingly digital environment? How do individuals react to digital and automated HR processes such as who is selected to join a company or put forward for promotion? How do digital professionals react to conventional versus novel HR practices to match their different job values (see for example, Muratbekova-Touron & Galindo, 2018)?

  • Changing approaches to work in diverse cultural and institutional contexts.

We invite the submission of papers that provide new theoretical insights and empirical contributions from unusual and under-researched organisational, industrial and cultural environments in the context of new ways of working (Chung & Tijdens, 2013). How do employees’ experiences of new ways of working vary from country to country? To what extent do modern work arrangements improve chances to participate in the labour market for employees in developing or under-developed countries? To what extent does modern technology help to improve working conditions in underdeveloped countries (e.g., Blockchain technology)?


Submission Guidelines

This special issue is linked to the 2020 International HRM conference hosted at ESCP Europe’s Paris campus in June 2020. Authors have the opportunity to submit a paper to the conference and participate in a developmental session, before submitting the manuscript to the IJHRM. We invite authors to submit abstracts for the “Special Issue IJHRM” sub-theme via www.ihrm2020.org. In case the abstracts have been accepted, the authors will upload a full paper to the conference in May 2020.

Authors of prospective papers are welcome to discuss their ideas with any of the guest editors in advance.

Provisional Timeline

  • Submission Deadline: July 31, 2020
  • Deadline for revised submissions: February 28, 2021
  • Deadline for final revisions: June 30, 2021
  • Final decision about papers to be included in the special issue: July 31, 2021

Guest Editors:

Kerstin Alfes holds a chair in Organisation and Human Resource Management at ESCP Europe Wirtschaftshochschule Berlin. Her research interests include employee engagement, strategic human resource management, and overqualification. She has written on these topics in journals such as Human Resource Management; the International Journal of Human Resource Management; European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology; Gender, Work & Organization; and International Public Management Journal. She currently serves as Associate Editor for the International Journal of Human Resource Management. Contact Details: kalfes@escpeurope.eu; ESCP Europe Wirtschaftshochschule Berlin, Heubnerweg 8-10, 14059 Berlin, Germany.

Argyro Avgoustaki is an Associate Professor in Management at ESCP Europe London campus. Her research focuses on employee incentive practices and organisational performance, flexible working arrangements, antecedents of employee work effort and wellbeing and work-related implications of work effort. Her work has been published in Industrial and Labour Relations Review and Human Resource Management. Contact Details: aavgoustaki@escpeurope.eu; ESCP Europe London Campus, 527 Finchley Road, NW3 7BG, London, United Kingdom.

T. Alexandra Beauregard is Reader in Organizational Psychology at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research focuses on the work-life interface, flexible working arrangements and diversity management, with a particular focus on gender and gender identity. She has published on these topics in journals such as Human Resource Management, British Journal of Management, Human Resource Management Review, International Journal of Management Reviews, and the International Journal of Human Resource Management. She currently serves as co-editor for Work, Employment and Society. Contact details: a.beauregard@bbk.ac.uk; Department of Organizational Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX.

Almudena Cañibano is an Associate Professor in Human Resource Management at ESCP Europe Madrid Campus. Her research focuses on the changing nature of work and its impact on employee wellbeing. She is interested in how workers in the digitised economy construct and develop psychological contracts outside of traditional employment relationships and in the connection between new forms of work and employee outcomes. Her research has appeared in Human Relations, Management Decision and the Oxford Handbook of Participation in Organizations. Contact Details: acanibano@escpeurope.eu; ESCP Europe Madrid Campus, Arroyofresno, 1, 28035, Madrid, Spain.

Maral Muratbekova-Touron is Professor of Human Resource Management at ESCP Europe, Paris Campus. Her present teaching and research interests focus on the intersection of international human resource management, talent management, and organisational behaviour with specific attention to particularities of different institutional and cultural contexts. Her research has appeared in Human Resource Management, the International Journal of Human Resource Management, European Management Journal, Management International Review, and Thunderbird International Business Review among others. She currently serves as senior editor for Management and Organization Review. Contact details: mmuratbekova@escpeurope.eu; ESCP Europe Paris Campus, 79 avenue de la Republique, 75011, Paris, France.



Avgoustaki, A., & Frankort, H. T. (2019). Implications of work effort and discretion for employee well-being and career-related outcomes: An integrative assessment. ILR Review, 72(3), 636-661. doi:10.1177/0019793918804540

Cañibano, A. (2019). Workplace flexibility as a paradoxical phenomenon: Exploring employee experiences. Human Relations, 72(2), 444-470. doi:10.1177/0018726718769716

Cappelli, P., & Tavis, A. (2018). HR goes agile. Harvard Business Review, 96(2), 46-52.

Chung, H., & Tijdens, K. (2013). Working time flexibility components and working time regimes in Europe: using company-level data across 21 countries. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(7), 1418-1434. doi:10.1080/09585192.2012.712544

Fein, E. C., Skinner, N., & Machin, M. A. (2017). Work intensification, work–life interference, stress, and well-being in Australian workers. International Studies of Management & Organization, 47(4), 360-371. doi:10.1080/00208825.2017.1382271

Felstead, A., & Henseke, G. (2017). Assessing the growth of remote working and its consequences for effort, well‐being and work‐life balance. New Technology, Work and Employment, 32(3), 195-212. doi:10.1111/ntwe.12097

Kossek, E. E., & Lautsch, B. A. (2018). Work–life flexibility for whom? Occupational status and work–life inequality in upper, middle, and lower level jobs. Academy of Management Annals, 12(1), 5-36. doi:10.5465/annals.2016.0059

Mazmanian, M., Orlikowski, W. J., & Yates, J. (2013). The autonomy paradox: The implications of mobile email devices for knowledge professionals. Organization Science, 24(5), 1337-1357. doi:10.1287/orsc.1120.0806

McIver, D., Lengnick-Hall, M. L., & Lengnick-Hall, C. A. (2018). A strategic approach to workforce analytics: Integrating science and agility. Business Horizons, 61(3), 397-407. doi:10.1016/j.bushor.2018.01.005

Muratbekova-Touron, M., & Galindo, G. (2018). Leveraging psychological contracts as an HR strategy: The case of software developers. European Management Journal, 36(6), 717-726. doi:10.1016/j.emj.2018.01.001

Orlikowski, W. J., & Scott, S. V. (2014). What happens when evaluation goes online? Exploring apparatuses of valuation in the travel sector. Organization Science, 25(3), 868-891. doi:10.1287/orsc.2013.0877

Society for Human Resource Management. (2015). 2015 employee benefits: An overview of employee benefits offerings in the U.S.   Retrieved from www.shrm.org

Sundararajan, A. (2017). The future of work. Finance Development, June 2017, 6-11.