From flexibility human resource management to employee engagement and perceived job performance across the lifespan: A multisample study

P. Matthijs Bal, Annet H. De Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)
312 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of flexibility human resource management (HRM) on employee outcomes over time, as well as the role of age in these relations. Based on work adjustment theory and AMO theory, it was predicted that availability and use of flexibility HRM would be positively related to employee engagement, as well as higher job performance. Moreover, we postulated different hypotheses regarding the role of employee age. While generation theory predicts that younger generations would react more strongly to flexibility HRM in relation to engagement, selection, optimization, and compensation theory of ageing predicts that older workers respond more strongly in relation to job performance. A longitudinal study among US employees and a study among employees in 11 countries across the world showed that engagement mediated the relationships between availability of flexibility HRM and job performance. Moreover, we found partial support for the moderating role of age in the relations of flexibility HRM with the outcomes: Flexibility HRM was important for younger workers to enhance engagement, while for older workers, it enhanced their job performance. The study shows that the effectiveness of flexibility HRM depends upon employee age and the type of outcome involved, and consequently, theory on flexibility at work should take the age of employees into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-154
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
Volume88
Issue number1
Early online date26 Aug 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2015

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