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Innovating the HR Function in a Commercialising British Public Sector Organisation: Towards a More Strategic Role for HR?


  • Francesca Andreescu

    () (University of Southampton, School of Management)


Although the body of research and practice on HR management in private sector organisations has grown at an astonishing pace in recent years, much less is known about the nature, role and meaning of a strategic HR department within public sector organisations undergoing commercialisation. This article addresses this gap by exploring the changing role of the HR function within a British public sector organisation responding to the New Labour government?s ?modernisation? agenda. The findings are based on in-depth interviews, focus groups, analysis of documentary evidence and observations carried out over a period of two years. Drawing on role-set theory and concepts of negotiated order, the study sheds light on the factors that support or hinder the shift towards a more strategic role for the function and suggests a number of conclusions and implications for both theorists and practitioners.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Andreescu, 2004. "Innovating the HR Function in a Commercialising British Public Sector Organisation: Towards a More Strategic Role for HR?," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 15(3), pages 344-363.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2004_03_andreescu

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Strategic Human Resource Management; Role of the HR Function; Organisational Change; Public Sector;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence
    • M10 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - General


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