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Merits, Volume 1, Issue 1 (December 2021) – 8 articles

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Article
Individual and Organizational Conditions Leading to Quality of Care in Healthcare: A Fuzzy-Set Qualitative Comparative Analysis
Merits 2021, 1(1), 71-86; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010008 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Quality of care is a complex performance measure of healthcare performance that considers the influence of several contributors. This study enlarges our understanding of how such influences occur. We analyze individual and organizational level characteristics that have a complex relationship with quality of [...] Read more.
Quality of care is a complex performance measure of healthcare performance that considers the influence of several contributors. This study enlarges our understanding of how such influences occur. We analyze individual and organizational level characteristics that have a complex relationship with quality of care. We examine specific patterns that lead to both the presence and absence of quality of care using a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. Our data comes from an online survey of healthcare professionals from a Portuguese university hospital, namely nursing and medical professionals. Our results reveal that combinations of individual-level characteristics, such as the quality of social support among professional peers and the perceived robustness of social networks, contribute to perceptions of quality of care. In addition, the results indicate that combinations of organizational-level characteristics, such as the presence of ethical leadership and the awareness of knowledge management systems, also lead to perceptions of quality of care. The solutions leading to the presence and absence of quality of care are discussed. We conclude that managerial practices in the university hospital should foster informal communication and peer support, given how pervasive their influence is on quality of care, even in circumstances where ethical leadership and awareness of knowledge management systems are absent from the configurations. Additionally, we reveal combinations of both individual-level and organizational-level characteristics that generate the absence of such quality of care, and thus we alert managers for the need to fight such situations. Full article
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Article
Career Networks in Shock: An Agenda for in-COVID/Post-COVID Career-Related Social Capital
Merits 2021, 1(1), 61-70; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010007 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 523
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic was a career shock for many, including early and mid-career researchers. Due to the (digital) transformation it has caused in the social domain, it may have lastingly changed the rules for career development. In this conceptual paper, we investigate how [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a career shock for many, including early and mid-career researchers. Due to the (digital) transformation it has caused in the social domain, it may have lastingly changed the rules for career development. In this conceptual paper, we investigate how the changed social environment created gaps in our understanding of academic career development and the role social capital plays in it. Our narrative review of the literature arrives at three major gaps: two are related to the nature, antecedents, and outcomes of (career-related) social capital, and one is related to the methodological backdrop of how knowledge is being generated in this domain. Based on the identified gaps, we specify avenues for further (and much needed) research. Full article
Article
Taking a Step Back? Expatriation Consequences on Women in Dual-Career Couples in the Gulf
Merits 2021, 1(1), 47-60; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010006 - 21 Jun 2021
Viewed by 555
Abstract
This article develops our understanding of how host country contextual features affect the career coordination strategies of dual-career couples (DCCs) from the perspective of expatriate women. The lived experiences of nine women expatriates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were explored through in-depth [...] Read more.
This article develops our understanding of how host country contextual features affect the career coordination strategies of dual-career couples (DCCs) from the perspective of expatriate women. The lived experiences of nine women expatriates in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) were explored through in-depth interviews. The findings challenge our understanding of the coordinated career strategies of DCCs by suggesting that sociocultural features of the host country context can hamper egalitarian career strategies such that they become hierarchical and subsequently negatively impact women expatriates’ career capital. Not only are women’s careers hampered while in the GCC, but the contextual setting has a long-term adverse effect on women’s career capital. The main results from this study suggest that sociocultural features of the host country setting, such as the inability to access professional networks due to gendered segregation, prevent women’s careers from being prioritised and force a ‘tipping point’, creating a lag in women’s careers and negatively impacting their career capital. Full article
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Review
The Individual and the Organizational Model of Quantum Decision-Making and Learning: An Introduction and the Application of the Quadruple Loop Learning
Merits 2021, 1(1), 34-46; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010005 - 15 Jun 2021
Viewed by 829
Abstract
The new Post Accelerating Data and Knowledge Online Society, or ‘Padkos’, requires a new model of decision-making. This introductory paper proposes a model where decision making and learning are a single symbiotic process, incorporating man and machine, as well as the [...] Read more.
The new Post Accelerating Data and Knowledge Online Society, or ‘Padkos’, requires a new model of decision-making. This introductory paper proposes a model where decision making and learning are a single symbiotic process, incorporating man and machine, as well as the AADD (ánthrōpos, apparatus, decider, doctrina) amalgamated diamond model of individual and organizational decision-making and learning processes. The learning is incorporated by using a newly proposed quadruple loop learning model. This model allows for controlled changes of identity, the process of creating and the sense-making of new mental models, assumptions, and reflections. The model also incorporates the recently proposed model of quantum decision making, where time collapse of the opted past and the anticipated future (explicitly including its time horizon) into the present plays a key role in the process, leveraging decision making and learning by human as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms. Full article
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Article
What Does HR Manage? Workforce Measurement and Control
Merits 2021, 1(1), 16-33; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010004 - 28 May 2021
Viewed by 779
Abstract
According to the long-standing axiom of management, one cannot manage what cannot be measured. Two questions emerge that are applicable to the Human Resource (HR) function. What does it manage? What should it measure? Prior answers recommend that HR should manage its functional [...] Read more.
According to the long-standing axiom of management, one cannot manage what cannot be measured. Two questions emerge that are applicable to the Human Resource (HR) function. What does it manage? What should it measure? Prior answers recommend that HR should manage its functional activities, the organization’s human capital, or certain strategically important factors in a balanced scorecare, none of which are fully satisfactory. This paper argues that the HR function should manage the organization’s workforce. To do that, one must measure aspects of that workforce. This paper provides a generic framework of measures for that purpose. The foundation measures focus on the structure of jobs in the organization, the demographic characteristics of the workforce, their attitudes, the flow of personnel, and certain moderating variables. Measures for special segments of the workforce, such as sales and service personnel and leaders, are also noted. Full article
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Article
Outsourcing of Human Resources: The Case of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Merits 2021, 1(1), 5-15; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010003 - 20 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 967
Abstract
The outsourcing of human resources has increased in recent years. As in other fields of management research, limited knowledge is available on outsourcing in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The aim of this paper is to present a study on the outsourcing of [...] Read more.
The outsourcing of human resources has increased in recent years. As in other fields of management research, limited knowledge is available on outsourcing in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The aim of this paper is to present a study on the outsourcing of human resources in Icelandic service SMEs in the period 2009–2018. Surveys were used to gather information on outsourcing, with the participation of 802 firms. The results show that three out of four firms have outsourced some activities, while only 21% have formulated a formal strategy for outsourcing. The main motives for outsourcing are accessing expertise and simplifying operations. Cost reduction comes in third place. SMEs tend to outsource human resources on a very limited scale, while 50% of firms outsource information technology and 39% outsource security services. Larger firms outsource human resources on a larger scale than smaller firms. Managers in companies that outsource human resources are more satisfied with many aspects of outsourcing compared to those managers who do not outsource those resources. Firms that outsource human resources also realise more actual cost reduction. Outsourcing in SMEs has little impact on employment, as 3% of firms lay off staff and 6% transfer staff to vendors. Larger firms and firms that outsource human resources are more likely to change their staff’s employment status after outsourcing. Full article
Editorial
Editorial from the Editor-in-Chief to Introduce the Journal
Merits 2021, 1(1), 3-4; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010002 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 770
Abstract
People at work is the focus of Merits, an international, peer-reviewed open access journal [...] Full article
Editorial
Merits—A Journal of Virtues and Talents and Human Resources
Merits 2021, 1(1), 1-2; https://doi.org/10.3390/merits1010001 - 18 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1248
Abstract
By way of introducing our new journal, Merits, allow me first to explain what the word “merits” means to me [...] Full article
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