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Management development on the edge: HRM in a knowledge intensive organization

Management development on the edge: HRM in a knowledge intensive organization Purpose – This paper aims to present a case of project‐based management development with a group of younger researchers in a medical faculty in a university. Design/methodology/approach – The case is based on documentation and recollections in which the first author was involved as a learning coach. The paper is a way to share a process of conversation between the authors and to highlight some critical issues through the elaboration of three perspectives: a macro perspective where the situation in the medical faculty is related to developments in the organizational field; a description from the consultant's point of view; and a human resource perspective in which the style of intervention is linked to the contingencies facing the organization at this point in time. Findings – In retrospect the program was found to create opportunities for identity‐work and sensemaking involving the participants' individual roles as well as their representations of how the medical faculty was organized. While normal human resource management (HRM) may be seen as a kind of regular maintenance of an organization, it is suggested that the style of management development (as part of an overall HRM strategy) described here is better understood as a form of organizational identity work. Originality/value – Distinguishing between different styles of HRM and relating them to contingencies in terms of threats to organizational identity contributes to a more nuanced discussion of the practical challenges, possibilities and risks related to different styles. There is a need for both large‐scale studies of the prevalence of new practices and in‐depth ethnographies of interventions like the one described in this paper, especially in situations where there are perceived threats to identity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Leadership in Health Services Emerald Publishing

Management development on the edge: HRM in a knowledge intensive organization

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References (22)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1751-1879
DOI
10.1108/17511870910978141
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to present a case of project‐based management development with a group of younger researchers in a medical faculty in a university. Design/methodology/approach – The case is based on documentation and recollections in which the first author was involved as a learning coach. The paper is a way to share a process of conversation between the authors and to highlight some critical issues through the elaboration of three perspectives: a macro perspective where the situation in the medical faculty is related to developments in the organizational field; a description from the consultant's point of view; and a human resource perspective in which the style of intervention is linked to the contingencies facing the organization at this point in time. Findings – In retrospect the program was found to create opportunities for identity‐work and sensemaking involving the participants' individual roles as well as their representations of how the medical faculty was organized. While normal human resource management (HRM) may be seen as a kind of regular maintenance of an organization, it is suggested that the style of management development (as part of an overall HRM strategy) described here is better understood as a form of organizational identity work. Originality/value – Distinguishing between different styles of HRM and relating them to contingencies in terms of threats to organizational identity contributes to a more nuanced discussion of the practical challenges, possibilities and risks related to different styles. There is a need for both large‐scale studies of the prevalence of new practices and in‐depth ethnographies of interventions like the one described in this paper, especially in situations where there are perceived threats to identity.

Journal

Leadership in Health ServicesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 17, 2009

Keywords: Human resource management; Management development; Knowledge management; Leaders; Hospitals

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