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Personnel Departmental Power: Realities from the UK Higher Education Sector


  • Elaine Farndale
  • Veronica Hope-Hailey


The status of the Personnel function is subject to an ongoing debate in which attention has largely shifted from department to individual practitioner level. There remains, however, significant functional power in organisational structures, particularly in more institutionalised contexts. Aimed at the departmental level, the higher education state funding council for England (HEFCE) introduced an initiative to improve Personnel departments in Higher Education. However, survey evidence confirms the continuation of the low power position of the department. An exploration of the empirical data highlights why: the routine rigidity of power in organisational structures, the fragmentation of departmental power, and Personnel role ambiguity.

Suggested Citation

  • Elaine Farndale & Veronica Hope-Hailey, 2009. "Personnel Departmental Power: Realities from the UK Higher Education Sector," management revue. Socio-economic Studies, Rainer Hampp Verlag, vol. 20(4), pages 392-412.
  • Handle: RePEc:rai:mamere:1861-9908_mrev_2009_4_farndale

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    higher education; personnel department; power;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M50 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - General


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