Employee Mental Illness: Moving Towards a Dominant Discourse in Management and HRM

  •  Mirella Lorenzo    


On a global scale, mental illness affects on average one in five employees in any twelve month period, and is well represented in the medical research literature as a dominant discourse. However, its presence in management and human resource management (HRM) research literature, while certainly on the rise, is less prevalent than it is in medical and related areas of research. At the same time, discussion of employee mental illness and its effects on employee performance and/or attendance, barely rates a mention in management and HRM textbooks, nor is it a common part of the curricula for university and other forms of higher education seeking to equip our future managers and HRM staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to be effective leaders. This paper will show that employee mental illness is a pervasive element of all workplaces, and as a consequence, policies to manage this phenomenon are not only vital, but overdue. Furthermore, it will be posited that this subject requires immediate inclusion in the teaching programs and textbooks of our future managers and HRM staff, and should be elevated from relative obscurity in such offerings to the status of a dominant discourse.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.