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Dialectics and dilemmas arising from COVID 19 immunity testing: presenting a workforce management paradox

Davies, Stephen, White, Gareth, Samuel, Anthony ORCID: and Martin, Helen 2021. Dialectics and dilemmas arising from COVID 19 immunity testing: presenting a workforce management paradox. Journal of Work Applied Management 13 (2) , pp. 227-240. 10.1108/JWAM-11-2020-0052

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Purpose Covid-19 has caused many businesses to rethink their short and potentially long-term workforce operations. The use of lateral flow serology can provide a clinically convenient approach for the assessment of prior infection with Covid-19. However, its widespread adoption in organisations seeking to use it to test for workforce immunity is controversial and confusing. This paper explores the paradoxical dilemmas and dialectics immunity workforce testing creates. Methodology This study involved capturing the ethnographical participation of a CEO dealing with the experience of managing the outcomes of Covid-19 workforce immunity testing. The aim was to take a snapshot in time of the CEO’s empirical world, capturing their lived experiences in order to explore how management actions resulting from Covid-19 immunity testing can played out. Findings Providing staff with immunity tests at first glance appears sensible, decent and a caring action to take. Nevertheless, once such knowledge is personalised by the workforce they can through dialectic dialogue feel disadvantaged and harbour feelings of unfairness. Subsequently this paper suggest that immunity testing may only serve to raise awareness and deepen the original management dilemma of whether testing is a worthwhile activity. Originality This paper aims to be amongst the first works to empirically explore the workforce management challenges that arise within small businesses within the service sector following the completion of Covid-19 immunity testing of their staff. It seeks to achieve this via utilizing the robust theoretical framework of paradox theory to examine Covid-19’s impact upon small business workforce management thinking and practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 2205-2062
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 25 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 22 January 2021
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2023 19:43

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