Rethinking the strategic management of human resources: lessons learned from Covid-19 and the way forward in building resilience

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Numerous empirical studies and meta-analyses have offered ample evidence for the relationship between the strategic management of human resources and a variety of important organizational outcomes, such as individual- and firm-level performance. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, steered the discussion away from the traditional performance-related outcomes of the strategic human resource management and brought to the fore the importance of resilience. The purpose of this paper is to identify areas in which strategic human resource management can help organizations to become more resilient. Design/methodology/approach: On the basis of a brief overview of the different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the management of human resources, this conceptual paper uses the Ability-Motivation-Opportunity framework as the backbone for the development of suggestions for the strategic management of employees to create and maintain organizational resilience. Findings: A series of actionable suggestions regarding the way forward in building organizational resilience through the effective and ethical management of employees are presented and discussed. Specifically, the importance of using flexibility-oriented human resource management systems is highlighted. This “flexibility-orientation” involves all functions of human resource management, such as selection, training and compensation. Originality/value: The proposed suggestions can benefit organizations by offering actionable recommendations regarding the management of human resources by taking stock of lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-231
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 13 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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