Sustainable human resources management (HRM) is an emerging discipline within the field of HRM which has attracted many international researchers and practitioners because of its relevance to corporate sustainability business strategy. Large corporations in India and abroad have adopted corporate sustainability due to external institutional pressures from the UN Compact, Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) for sustainability, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and civil societies. Corporate sustainability goes beyond the financial performance of companies in simultaneously achieving social and environmental outcomes for businesses. However, the current dominant strategic HRM practices in the field of HRM focuses on engaging human resources to improve just the financial performance of companies and hence strategic HRM is parsimonious in facilitating companies to simultaneously achieve environmental and social outcomes. Thus, sustainable HRM as a new discipline emerged in the field of HRM to engage human resources in companies to achieve complementary economic, environmental and social outcomes of corporate sustainability.
The record economic growth among developed economies have realized that this growth cannot last forever because of the concurrent negative impacts it has on the environmental and social outcomes. The economic prosperity in developed economies has created salary/wages depended 'slavery' through strategic HRM practices which legitimize employers to squander employees' non-work time for improved organizational performance. However, there is no doubt that improved organizational performance returned some financial and work flexibility benefits for employees but critical HRM perspective (Godard, 2001) highlights how improved organizational performance through employee engagement has impacted negatively on employee wellbeing. Countries in the Indian sub-continent have adopted strategic HRM practices from the developed countries with an earnest to provide mutual benefits for organizations as well as employees. Nevertheless, it is important for businesses operating in the Indian sub-continent to be aware of the negative impacts of strategic HRM practices on the internal and external stakeholders because it is not wise for businesses to disregard the negative impacts which in turn will negatively affect their business case. Hence, sustainable HRM highlights the corporate social responsibility of businesses in this region and about the ethics of care for stakeholders (e.g., employees and their families etc.,) to improve the business case (Mariappanadar, 2012).
Sustainable HRM as a discipline is here to stay and support large, medium and small businesses to promote corporate sustainability for the foreseeable future. Research on sustainable HRM started in early 2000 and has gained momentum since then. To trace the evolution of sustainable HRM research, the seminal work on sustainable HRM by Mariappanadar appeared in the literature in 2003 which highlighted the sustainable and unsustainable effects of HRM practices on employees, organizations and the community. Subsequently, Ehnert (2009) used paradox perspective to feature the tension organizations encounter to achieve complementary outcomes of corporate sustainability. The discipline of sustainable HRM extended its focus on the environmental outcomes of corporate sustainability through the relationship between environmental management and HRM (Jabbour & Santos, 2008; Jackson, Renwick, Jabbour & Muller-Camen, 2011).
Guerci, Shani, and Solari (2014) explored sustainable HRM from the stakeholder perspective. The negative externality or the harm of HRM practices on stakeholders (employees, their families and the society), such as the health and the social harm of work, were developed by Mariappanadar (2012; 2017); Mariappanadar and Ehnert (2018) to promote the social outcome of corporate sustainability for achieving stakeholders' well-being. Ehnert and her colleagues (2015) explored the role of GRI guidelines in shaping sustainable HRM practices in large corporations which disclosed the impacts of business practices on corporate sustainability. The synthesis perspective of sustainable HRM evolved recently to engage stakeholders (i.e. employees, their families, supply chain HR and communities) to achieve the diverse economic, social and environmental outcomes of corporate sustainability (Mariappanadar, 2014; Sun & Wang, 2016; De Prins, Stuer & Gielens, 2018). Therefore, there are abundant research opportunities for established and early career researchers from the Indian sub-continent to create a niche area of research for them in the field of HRM to provide improved understanding for engaging human resources to enhance corporate sustainability performance of corporations in this region.
The pre-conference workshop will be conducted by international experts, who have shaped the field of sustainable HRM through face-to-face and virtual modes. The pre-conference workshop will enhance established and early career researchers' interest in the field to understand potential research opportunities in sustainable HRM so as to transform the current HRM practices in business in the Indian sub-continent in order to achieve corporate sustainability. Furthermore, for the past thirty years no significant changes have been incorporated in the HRM academic curriculum since the introduction of strategic HRM. Thus, the pre-conference workshop also aims to promote academic teaching in the area of sustainable HRM by including this emerging discipline to the academic curriculum of postgraduate and undergraduate management and HR programs/courses in higher education institutes in the Indian sub-continent.