Letting go or holding on ‐ the devolution of operational personnel activities

Letting go or holding on ‐ the devolution of operational personnel activities here has been much talk about the devolution of operational personnel activities 1 from personnel specialists to line managers, and yet, to date, there has been little detailed research and analysis of what is actually happening. It is important that we are able to differentiate more clearly between the rhetoric and the reality of devolution. In much of the work that has been done dev olution has often been conf used with decentralisation, so we need to clarify from the outset the focus of this research. We are concerned here with the devolution of operational personnel activities to non-specialist line managers. We are not concerned with decentralisation of a central personnel function to personnel professionals at lower levels of the organisation. The literature in this area is often intermingled with that on decentralisation of the personnel function and it is dif® cult to disentangle the two. For example, IRS (1994) describe a combination of devolution to line managers and devolution to unit personnel under the title `devolving personnel duties’ . Purcell and Ahlstrand (1994: 98) discuss the trend to devolve key personnel activities... for example... the decentralisation of collective bargaining... As a result operational management and lower level http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Human Resource Management Journal Wiley

Letting go or holding on ‐ the devolution of operational personnel activities

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0954-5395
eISSN
1748-8583
DOI
10.1111/j.1748-8583.1998.tb00158.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

here has been much talk about the devolution of operational personnel activities 1 from personnel specialists to line managers, and yet, to date, there has been little detailed research and analysis of what is actually happening. It is important that we are able to differentiate more clearly between the rhetoric and the reality of devolution. In much of the work that has been done dev olution has often been conf used with decentralisation, so we need to clarify from the outset the focus of this research. We are concerned here with the devolution of operational personnel activities to non-specialist line managers. We are not concerned with decentralisation of a central personnel function to personnel professionals at lower levels of the organisation. The literature in this area is often intermingled with that on decentralisation of the personnel function and it is dif® cult to disentangle the two. For example, IRS (1994) describe a combination of devolution to line managers and devolution to unit personnel under the title `devolving personnel duties’ . Purcell and Ahlstrand (1994: 98) discuss the trend to devolve key personnel activities... for example... the decentralisation of collective bargaining... As a result operational management and lower level

Journal

Human Resource Management JournalWiley

Published: Jan 1, 1998

References

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