A Kaupapa Maori Approach to Human Resource Management Practices in Aotearoa Workplaces

Project commenced:

What unique Human Resource Management (HRM) practices are offered in Aotearoa workplaces that directly engage in a positive way with Māori employees? 
What do these look like? How are the perceived (and received) by Maori and non-Māori employees? Do they positively shape attitudes as we might expect - and if not, why not? What are the barriers and drivers behind them? 

There is a strong international literature around the use of Human Resource Management (HRM) practices and how organisations that utilise these enjoy better performance, and workers report stronger attitudes, behaviours, and superior wellbeing. For example, organisations that provide greater training and development and use performance incentives, are more likely to be organisations that perform better. The theory behind how these mechanisms work is well established and indeed, this theory has been used to understand the potential benefits of other organisational decisions on Maori employee attitudes.

Despite there being empirical evidence based on New Zealand studies, there has not been a study of how these practices might be shaped specifically by Maori culture. For example, do Māori organisations engage such HRM practices differently? Do they have a stronger whānau focus? Do they focus more on the collective and specify policies around teamwork? Do non-Māori organisations do anything different if their workforce is highly concentrated with Māori? While Māori make up 13% of the Aotearoa/New Zealand workforce we simply do not know the extent that Māori and non-Māori organisations engage in HRM practices.

The present study will conduct case studies on four Māori organisations and two non-Māori organisations that have a high proportion of Māori employees, to gain an understanding of the rationales behind why/why not. We are interested in organisations adopting and providing Māori specific HRM practices and these will be captured through the kaupapa Māori approach of interviews/case studies.

Research Lead(s) and Team

Ngāti Maniapoto Ngāti Mahuta

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