SUMMARY This paper relates an aspect of recent corporate change – namely, decentralization – to the strategic management of human resources. Corporate attention to human resources in the decentralized organization is of particular interest because it represents a significant departure from decentralized norms, and signals a major revision of thinking about the role, status, and activities of the personnel function. At the centre of the argument is the notion of the internal labour market, a hitherto neglected theme in treatments of decentralization. The paper begins by outlining the circumstances that encouraged decentralization in the 1980s. It then sets out the influences on the operation of a corporate internal labour market, before identifying initiatives taken by some firms to offset the shortcomings of decentralization without overturning it. In the process, the shift in the centre of gravity of the corporate personnel function, away from industrial relations management and towards human resource development, has been reinforced.
British Journal of Management – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1990
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