Call for Submissions: Special Issue on Sustainable Work and Employment in Social Care, Human Resource Management

Call for Papers

SUSTAINABLE WORK AND EMPLOYMENT IN SOCIAL CARE: NEW CHALLENGES, NEW PRIORITIES?

Guest Editors:

Ian Kessler (King’s College London, UK, ian.kessler@kcl.ac.uk)
Aoife McDermott (Cardiff University, UK, mcdermotta@cardiff.ac.uk)
Valeria Pulignano (KU Leuven, Belgium, valeria.pulignano@kuleuven.be)
Lander Vermeerbergen (Radboud University, The Netherlands, lander.vermeerbergen@ru.nl)

Brian Harney (Dublin City University, brian.harney@dcu.ie)

Rationale and objectives:
The social care workforce supports the most vulnerable members of society through the
provision of personal support and practical assistance, typically in a community, residential or
domestic setting. Yet this is a workforce itself vulnerable to low pay, precarious employment,
and limited career development opportunities (Harley et al., 2010; Rubery et al., 2015). Despite
these challenges, and indeed the significant and growing scale of the social care workforce in
most developed countries (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2022), social care work and
employment have received limited attention in the HRM literature, particularly relative to the
healthcare sector (Cooke & Bartram, 2015). While the health and social care sectors are
interdependent, often dealing with the same vulnerable groups at different stages of their care
journey, they remain structurally and organizationally distinct. Social care is a fragmented
sector, comprising many small and medium-sized care providers, limiting their capacity to
develop a supportive HRM infrastructure, in turn contributing to endemic problems of
recruiting and retaining staff in the sector. Most recently liberalization has introduced new
market forces into the sector placing downward pressures on workforce terms and conditions
as employers seek to compete on the basis of cost (Hermann & Flecker, 2012).
The workforce challenges in social care have become even more pressing in the wake of
COVID-19. Often treated by policy makers as the ‘poor relation’ to healthcare in fighting the
pandemic, social care has been inadequately prepared and resourced to deal with the crisis,
placing inordinate and intense job demands on employees (Barnett & Grabowski, 2020).
Indeed, COVID has generated new workforce concerns for the sector, relating to: employee
well-being; the balance between risk and reward; and the effective articulation of employee
voice (Butterick & Charlwood, 2020; Johnson & Pulignano, 2021). In focusing on social care,
this Special Issue aims to deepen understanding of workforce management in a much neglected
but growing sector, emerging from a crisis with challenges to traditional assumptions about the
low value and poor treatment of its workforce. The Special Issue is keen to bring together
international, comparative, and critical perspectives on the nature, causes and consequences of
employment systems in social care. It seeks to shape the future research agenda on HRM in the
social care sector, and to contribute to the development of policy and practice as a means of
improving care and the quality of life for those giving and receiving it.

Potential theoretical advancement and practical significance:
Social care work and employment raise myriad theoretical issues. First, multi-level analysis
allows for contributions examining cross national, national, organizational, and individual

employee approaches to and experiences of work and employment in social care. However, the
Special Issue provides a chance to consider how these different levels interact with one another,
shaping developments and experiences. Thus, there is an opportunity to draw upon and
contribute to institutional theory, for instance, by examining how the form assumed by national
welfare states influences the architecture of employment systems in the social care sector, in
turn influencing choices available to and constraints on social care employers as they manage
their workforces and with implications for how employees experience work.
Second, with the social care workforce heavily feminized and often ethnically diverse,
theoretical issues on or relating to the value (or lack of) attached to the care work performed
by these employees move ‘center stage’. The intersection between gender and ethnicity,
perhaps overlapping with migrant status, assumes particular importance in explaining the
often-precarious working lives of social care workers (Burns et al., 2016; Rubery et al., 2015).
Closely related there is scope to advance theory on segmented labor markets, especially the
creation of secondary labor markets for social care workers, generating low paid, low status
jobs. Employers are often “the architects of inequalities in labor markets’ (Grimshaw et al.,
2017) encouraging an interest in whether, why and how social care providers, perhaps along
with other actors such as the State, contribute to the degraded work and employment terms and
conditions of their workforce.
Third, the Special Issue is keen to theorize on the relationship between workforce management
and organizational outcomes in social care. The strategic HRM literature (SHRM) centers on
the connection between HRM practices and organizational performance, principally viewed in
terms of financial outcomes (profit, shareholder value) (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). In social care,
organizational performance assumes a very different form, for example, as public value
(Brewer, 2013), along with the well-being of vulnerable community members. This prompts
interest in whether and how the management of the social care workforce impacts these
outcomes. The mainstream SHRM literature focuses on a positive link between organizational
performance and ‘soft’ workforce management practices, typically characterized as ‘high
commitment’ or ‘high involvement’ (Guest, 2017). This would appear to be at odds with the
‘harder’ cost minimization practices often associated with the social care sector.
Finally, the Special Issue can advance theory on interest aggregation and articulation,
particularly given the various actors involved in HRM in social care, with shared, but often
conflicting interests. Stakeholder interaction has been studied through various perspectives
within the HRM literature (Heery, 2017), with pluralists and radical approaches focusing on
traditional HRM actors – employers, workers, and the State – typically seeking to manage
tensions through the collective regulation of employment. In social care, other potential HRM
actors come to the fore (Vermeerbergen et al., 2021), for example: the generic user of social
care services, their family, and friends; civil society organizations, representing these user
interests; and individuals with lived experience of conditions – homelessness, substance abuse,
mental illness – increasingly employed in the social care sector workforce (Kessler & Bach,
2011). Whether, and how these new stakeholders combine with more traditional actors to
address shared workforce issues, and with what consequences, becomes a central issue, not
least given the generally disorganized nature of employment regulation in social care.
Contributions might use and contribute to mobilization or advocacy coalition (Tattersall, 2010)
theory, with paradox theory helping to examine how different and competing interests of
groups might be balanced and pursued (Jarzabkowski et al., 2013).

Key themes/scope of focus:
Broadly aligned with the four theoretical streams outlined above, this Special Issue invites
papers to discuss themes and issues including but not limited to the following:
Theme 1: Antecedents of sustainable work and employment systems in social care:
• How do national models of the welfare state, and approaches to the delivery and funding
of social care impact the sector’s employment system?
• How resilient has this employment system been? Has it been subject to change, for
example in the context of austerity or financialization bringing forth new types of social
care provider, and with what implications for the social care workforce, HRM and its
actors?
• How and to what extent are key challenges like recruiting and retaining staff in the
social care sector effectively addressed by national and organizational policies?
Theme 2: Workforce diversity and precarious employment in social care
• Why and how do secondary labor markets founded on low pay, low status, insecure
employment, and poor career development opportunities emerge in social care?
• How do gender, ethnicity, and migrant status intersect to shape the work and
employment treatment and experience of social care workers?
• To what extent and how will the workforce challenges exposed by Covid be addressed
by the State, employers, labor unions and other actors, not least in securing a fairer
balance between the high societal value displayed by a largely feminized social care
workforce and the rewards received?
Theme 3: Strategic HRM in social care
• Are there examples of ‘best practice’ in the management of the social care workforce,
whether in terms of pay, career development, work design, workforce planning or skill
mix, and is the adoption of such practice related to organizational outcomes?
• How developed is the specialist HR function in social care, especially given the small
and medium sized nature of many social care providers, and what role do line managers
play in dealing with the social care workforce?
• With care delivered to different user groups in a variety of settings – care homes for the
elderly and children at risk, sheltered accommodation for those with disabilities and
personal residences for those with less severe chronic conditions, does the treatment of
the workforce vary according to these market segments and if so how and why?
Theme 4: New HRM actors in social care
• Are new HRM actors, such as civil society organizations, services users, volunteers,
and personal assistants playing a role in shaping the workforce management agenda in
social care, and if so, what forms does it take?
• Are coalitions in social care being developed between traditional HRM actors, for
example trade unions, and newer actors to pursue shared and complementary goals?
• In wake of Covid are employees and perhaps employers seeking a stronger employee
voice in social care, and the development of collective institutions to regulate work and
employment relations?

Submission Process:
Authors can submit their paper between March 1st – 31st 2023 to HRM for review. Details on
the manuscript submission process will be made available nearer to the submission period.

Papers should be prepared and submitted according to the journal’s
guidelines: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/page/journal/1099050x/homepage/forauthors.html
All papers will be subject to the same double-blind peer review process as regular issues of
HRM.
The management of social care work and employment can be studied through various
disciplinary lenses, with this Special Issue providing scope for collaborations between scholars
from, for example, public management, public policy, and finance as well as HRM. The papers
do, however, need to relate and contribute to debates in the field of HRM, advancing theory
and practice.
If you have questions about a potential submission, we encourage you to make email contact:
lander.vermeerbergen@ru.nl

Submission Window: March 1st – 31st 2023

Member Publication: Gendered Interpretations of Job Loss and Subsequent Professional Pathways

Check out this new article by OOW member Aliya Hamid Rao:

Citation

Rao AH. Gendered Interpretations of Job Loss and Subsequent Professional Pathways. Gender & Society. Online First. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/08912432211046303

ABSTRACT

While we know that career interruptions shape men’s and women’s professional trajectories, we know less about how job loss may matter for this process. Drawing on interviews with unemployed, college-educated men and women in professional occupations, I show that while both men and women interpret their job loss as due to impersonal “business” decisions, women additionally attribute their job loss as arising from employers’ “personal” decisions. Men’s job loss shapes their subsequent preferred professional pathways, but never in a way that diminishes the importance of their participation in the labor force. For some women in this study, job loss becomes a moment to reflect on their professional pathways, often pulling them back from paid work. This study identifies job loss as an event that, on top of gendered workplace experiences and caregiving obligations, may curtail some women’s participation in paid work.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Soziale Welt on Career Paths Inside and Outside Academia

Special Issue of the journal Soziale Welt on
“Career Paths Inside and Outside Academia”

Guest editors: Christiane Gross and Steffen Jaksztat

The special issue aims to understand the social mechanisms of career decisions, chances, and paths of higher education graduates inside and outside academia. From a cross-cultural perspective, there is a huge variation of typical career paths both inside and outside academia. While most English-speaking countries provide tenured positions in academia beyond the professorship series (assistant, associate, full professor) – e.g. lecturer – the academic labour market in German-speaking countries is characterised by precarious working conditions and a declining proportion of full or associate professorships and other permanent researcher positions. However, conditions in academia are changing in most developed countries. Differentiation and stratification, as well as competition for resources, and evaluation of achievements are increasing among institutions of higher education.

More than in other areas of society, meritocratic principles are a functional imperative of the career system in academia. Robert K. Merton has described this norm as ‘universalism’; the recognition of academic achievements can only depend on objective performance criteria – regardless of social characteristics such as gender, social origin, or ethnicity. Although academia has established a variety of measures to ensure compliance with this principle, social inequalities remain an issue, for example with regard to promoting early career researchers or recruiting professors. More empirical research is needed to explore the social mechanisms underlying social inequalities in access to postgraduate education as well as inequalities in subsequent academic careers.

As research careers within academia become increasingly competitive, the demand for scientifically trained staff outside academia is high and likely to continue to grow in the future. A large number of doctorate holders work outside academia – in the public service, in company research and development departments, or in non-governmental organisations. Moreover, career paths in science management, administration, and services become increasingly relevant for doctorate holders. In general, the scientific workforce is recognised as a key factor in the ability of modern economies to innovate, and in the ability of societies to solve future problems. At present, its great societal relevance is clearly demonstrated by the global Covid-19 crisis. Yet there is still insufficient knowledge on doctorate holders’ career paths and success outside academia, on the relevant decision-making processes, on job requirements, and on potential social barriers to career success.

Fortunately, various research projects have recently helped to improve data availability. In
light of this situation, a number of questions arise:

  • Who decides to stay in academia following graduation and why? What are the prerequisites for successfully completing postgraduate education?
  • Is academia producing more highly qualified researchers than can be absorbed by the labour market?
  • Are career decisions and chances determined by social origin, gender, migration background, or intersections of these dimensions? And what role do new career paths (e.g. tenure-track positions) play in this context?
  • Which countries provide the most meritocratic (academic) labour markets? And what are the driving forces?
  • What achievements are particularly rewarded inside and outside academia (e.g. publications, international mobility experiences, raised research funds, or patents)?
  • Are there discipline-specific determinants of career success? And if so, how can they be explained theoretically?
  • Are cooperation patterns in science changing? Does cooperation foster new ideas and innovations? Do scientists benefit from being part of interdisciplinary, international, or non-scientific professional networks?
  • What are the mobility patterns between the different labour market sectors?
  • To what degree are tasks in jobs outside academia related to the skills acquired during the studies and/or the doctorate?

Contributions that examine other than these research questions, but are still related to the topic, are also welcome. The special issue will include both theoretical and theory-driven empirical contributions. We encourage international and national contributions from all social science disciplines. The special issue will be published with open access and no OA fees for authors. The publication will be listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI). The guest editors will conduct a fair but challenging peer-review process to guarantee the high quality of the special issue.

Deadline for the submission of proposals is May 31, 2021. Please send your proposal (up to 3,000 characters) to christiane.gross@uni-wuerzburg.de and jaksztat@dzhw.eu

Timeline

  • Notification of acceptance or rejection of proposals: July 2021
  • Submission of manuscripts: Feb 2022
  • Peer-review process: Mar-May 2022
  • Submission of revised manuscripts: Oct 2022
  • Notification of final acceptance or rejection: Nov 2022
  • Language editing/proofreading: Dec 2022
  • Publication of special issue: First half of 2023

The guest editors

Prof. Dr. Christiane Gross is professor for quantitative methods in the social sciences at the University of Würzburg.

Dr. Steffen Jaksztat is researcher at the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW).

Click here for information on the journal.

Call for Papers: 2020 Industry Studies Association Annual Conference

Organizations, Occupations and Work

June 3 – 5, 2020 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, MA, USA

Submission Deadline: January 17, 2020

The Industry Studies Association (ISA) cordially invites submissions of individual paper abstracts and proposals of panels for the 2020 ISA Annual Conference to be held June 3 – 5, 2020 at the Samberg Conference Center on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. Industry studies research is grounded in observations of firms and workplaces and in a deep understanding of the markets, institutions, and technologies that shape the competitive environment. It draws on a wide range of academic disciplines and fields including economics, history, sociology, and other social sciences, management, marketing, policy analysis, operations research, engineering, labor markets and employment relations, and other related research and policy areas.

The conference welcomes research from all disciplines that incorporates this approach. ISA is especially interested in organized panels and papers that are…

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Job Posting: Assistant Professor Position at Queens College

The City University of New York Career Opportunity
QUEENS COLLEGE
Rank: Assistant Professor
Queens College—City University of New York
Employment level: Tenure Track
Category: Sociology, Data Analytics
Website: http://www.qc.cuny.edu

FACULTY VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT
The Department of Sociology seeks to fill a vacancy at the rank of Assistant Professor. This is a tenure track position set to start in Fall 2019.

We are seeking candidates with a strong empirical bent and expertise in advanced analytics techniques, whether quantitative or qualitative. Area of specialization is open, but the ideal candidate will have a research agenda that applies computational research techniques to mainstream sociological topics. We seek a candidate who can, in addition to producing cutting edge research, help us to move our curriculum forward at both the MA and BA level, which share an emphasis on data analytics.

Continue reading “Job Posting: Assistant Professor Position at Queens College”

Message from Outgoing OOW Chair, Elisabeth Clemens

Dear OOW members,

With exams and annual reports mostly behind us, I hope that all are enjoying hammocks or beaches or international conferences – each to his or her own taste.  But before heading off on my own escape, I want to finish some of the most important section business for the year – elections, awards, and membership – as well as to highlight some of the events to come when ASA meets in Philadelphia in mid-August.

Continue reading “Message from Outgoing OOW Chair, Elisabeth Clemens”

New Book: Everitt on Teacher Orientation and Training

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new book (Rutgers University Press) from OOW member, Judson Everitt.   Everitt is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Loyola University Chicago.  The book is titled, Lesson Plans: The Institutional Demands of Becoming a Teacher.
Continue reading “New Book: Everitt on Teacher Orientation and Training”

OOW at ASA 2018

We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia this August for the annual ASA meeting.  Thank you to the Section Council, Committees and volunteers for your efforts in preparing an exciting program.  This year, we have five section panels, and over twenty roundtables, scheduled for Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12.  There are 14 additional regular panels in Family and Work, Gender and Work, Jobs, Occupations and Professions, Labor Market, Labor/Labor Movements, Organizations and Work and the Workplace scheduled from Saturday, August 11 through Tuesday, August 14.

Also on Saturday, August 11, we invite you to attend the Section Business Meeting and announcement of Section awards in the morning.  In the afternoon, we welcome you to attend the invited session on “Rethinking Organizational Power,” organized by OOW Chair, Elisabeth Clemons.  Please also join us for our Reception from 6:30-8:10pm in the Pennsylvania Convention Center (Level 100, 103C).

Please see below for a list of Organization, Occupations and Work Panels.

Continue reading “OOW at ASA 2018”