Special Issue: of "Flexibility in HR Practices"




Journal Title

Journal ISSN



Volume Title





Peer reviewed



Research on the concept of ‘flexibility’ has produced a substantive scholarly in recent decades and has evolved as a focal area of management research (Mønsted, 1991; Sushil, 1994; Skipper et al, 2014; Krishna, Prakash & Manikandan, 2015). According to Sushil (2001) ‘Flexibility offers freedom of choice and is highly context specific’. Here, ‘context specific’ refers to the role of contingencies within flexibility which might render it as a form of a firm’s dynamic capability. The dynamic capability scholarship argues that in order to achieve excellence, organizations should develop capabilities complementary to their competencies (Helfat et al., 2007; Teece et al., 1997). Thus, flexible HR practices can help organizations in achieving sustainable competitiveness through creating, integrating, reconfiguring, and building on its human resource base. For example, organizations can achieve competitive edge by customizing training and development programs. Conventionally, flexibility has had a comparatively peripheral presence in human resource and organizational behavior research. Although, some pockets of research are able to be evidenced on a few areas related to HRM, for example: behavioral flexibility (Lindberg and Kaiser, 2004), managerial/people flexibility (Bamel et al., 2013, 2014; Jones et al., 2006; Verdú and Gómez-Gras, 2009), flexible pay structure (Riley and Lockwood, 1997), labor flexibility (Karuppan, 2004; Mihail, 2004) and flexible human resource deployment (Forrier and Sels, 2003), in general, this area is marginalized. In contrast, a wide span of HR functions and practices such as: flexible recruitment and selection, flexible career and succession planning, flexible pay structure, creating organizational structure and design which incorporate flexible HR practices have received considerably less attention. This special issue is therefore timely and this is underpinned by Prof. Sushil, Editor-In-Chief, Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, who has commented (2015): “organizations need to customize their employee services and offerings so that these services and offerings would address the employees’ needs. This will certainly result in more satisfied, motivated and productive workforce. Therefore there is a need for an extended scholarly examination of flexibility in HR practices and functions i.e. forms of flexibility in HR practices, designing and employing flexible HR practices, significance of flexible HR practices to organizations and also to individuals, and other related issues”. Thus, in response to the idea of “Flexibility in HR Practices”, the Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management has developed this special issue in order to stimulate intellectual debate on concerns related to flexible HR practices. The agenda of this special issue is aimed at advancing the scholarly debate and discussion on flexible HR practices and, in response, presents six research papers which explore the various aspects of flexibility in human resource management. In addition, these papers are complemented by two short communications which present important and valuable practitioner perspectives on the scope of on flexible HR practices in organizations.


Editorial - special issue


Flexibility, Human Resource Practices


Bamel, U. and Stokes, P. (2016) Special Issue: of "Flexibility in HR Practices". Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management. 17 (1), pp. 1–3


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)