How has HRM evolved in a post-disaster situation?
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
The post-disaster period following the Christchurch 2011 seismic disaster resulted in a variety of changes for HR practitioners. A multiple-case study analysis surrounding post-disaster experiences of 11 HR practitioners showed that the focus of HR practitioners evolved from immediate employee welfare, to creative retentive practices, to ensuring employee wellbeing. There also became an increasing awareness of the importance of employee-focused HRM, resulting in a changed outlook for some practitioners. The post-disaster period provided a potential learning experience for practitioners, along with an opportunity for practitioners to introduce new initiatives. As a result, some participants felt HRM gained increasing legitimacy within their organisations. Throughout the period, both employees and HR practitioners adapted to the ‘new normal’ at varying rates, influencing their ability to perform at work. The study brings awareness of the need for HR practitioners to utilise a more employee- centred style of HRM in both normal and post-disaster environments.