The Tension Between Worker Wellbeing and Operational Performance: The Paradoxical Role of Firm Temporal Orientation



The wellbeing of workers is a key responsibility of sustainable operations management, but there are mixed findings on the relationship between worker wellbeing and firm performance. We address this issue by drawing from paradox theory to test the premise that firm temporal orientation determines how firms navigate tensions in the simultaneous pursuit of worker wellbeing objectives, and more traditional performance objectives. In addition, because the research designs used in previous research may have contributed to the mixed findings, we follow replication logic and adopt multiple measures to capture both worker wellbeing and performance. We test our hypotheses drawing from a sample of US based public firms. We find that firm temporal orientation was an important omitted variable in previous research as it moderates the effect of wellbeing on performance and that the operationalization of worker wellbeing and firm performance can impact the results. These findings help to clarify previous conflicting results and indicate that a focus on the long term facilitates firms in integrating worker wellbeing with other organizational goals while a short term focus leads to either or choices between wellbeing and performance.

This seminar will take place in T09-67. To join online, find the details below:

Meeting ID: 988 9417 4685