The Changing Roles of Personnel Managers: Old Ambiguities, New Uncertainties
AbstractThere have been notable attempts to capture the changing nature of personnel roles in response to major transformations in the workplace and the associated rise of 'HRM'. A decade ago Storey (1992) explored the emerging impact of workplace change on personnel practice in the UK and proposed a new fourfold typology of personnel roles: 'advisors', 'handmaidens', 'regulators' and 'changemakers'. Have these four roles changed now that HRM has increasingly become part of the rhetoric and reality of organizational performance? If Storey's work provides an empirical and analytical benchmark for examining issues of 'role change', then Ulrich's (1997) work in the USA offers a sweeping prescriptive end-point for the transformation of personnel roles that has already been widely endorsed by UK practitioners. He argues that HR professionals must overcome the traditional marginality of the personnel function by embracing a new set of roles as champions of competitiveness in delivering value. Is this a realistic ambition? The new survey findings and interview evidence from HR managers in major UK companies presented here suggests that the role of the personnel professional has altered in a number of significant respects, and has become more multifaceted and complex, but the negative counter-images of the past still remain. To partly capture the process of role change, Storey's original fourfold typology of personnel roles is re-examined and contrasted with Ulrich's prescriptive vision for the reinvention on the HR function. It is concluded that Storey's typology has lost much of its empirical and analytical veracity, while Ulrich's model ends in prescriptive overreach by submerging issues of role conflict within a new rhetoric of professional identity. Neither model can adequately accommodate the emergent tensions between competing role demands, ever-increasing managerial expectations of performance and new challenges to professional expertise, all of which are likely to intensify in the future. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.
Volume (Year): 40 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Iskra Panteleeva, 2013. "Changing roles and behaviour of human resources managers in the industrial businesses," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 3, pages 82-96.
- J Dawson & Neal Knight-Turvey & Andrew Neal & M West, 2004. "The Impact of an Innovative Human Resource Function on Firm Performance: the Moderating Role of Financing Strategy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0630, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Neal Knight-Turvey & Andrew Neal & Michael A. West & Jeremy Dawson, 2004. "The impact of an innovative human resource function on firm performance: the moderating role of financing strategy," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library 19962, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Stephen Frenkel & Karin Sanders & Tim Bednall, 2013. "Employee perceptions of management relations as influences on job satisfaction and quit intentions," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 7-29, March.
- David Guest & Christopher Woodrow, 2012. "Exploring the Boundaries of Human Resource Managersâ€™ Responsibilities," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, Springer, vol. 111(1), pages 109-119, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.