A Literature Review of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Effect on Sustainable HRM

Xiaoyan Liang*, Xiwei Zhang, Renee Paulet, Leven Jianwen Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to emerge across all facets of the world of work, including the field of human resource management (HRM). Sustainable HRM, drawing on the triple bottom line elements of the economic, environmental and social pillars of sustainability, provides an ideal basis from which to understand the intersection of the COVID-19 pandemic and HRM. In this systematic literature review, we analyze peer reviewed articles published in the nexus of the pandemic and sustainable HRM, identifying the dimensions and extent of research in this topical area of study. Our CEDEL model—complicator–exposer–disruptor–enabler– legitimizer—conceptualizes our understanding of the role of COVID-19 in sustainable HRM. This paper provides a framework from which future studies can benefit when investigating the impacts of COVID-19, and a comprehensive identification of future research avenues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2579
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable HRM
  • The COVID-19 pandemic
  • Triple bottom line


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