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Structural spoilers or structural supports? Unionism and the strategic integration of HR functions

Vernon, G. and Brewster, C. (2013) Structural spoilers or structural supports? Unionism and the strategic integration of HR functions. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24 (6). pp. 1113-1129. ISSN 1466-4399

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/09585192.2012.703416

Abstract/Summary

The strategic integration of the human resource (HR) function is regarded as crucial in the literature on (strategic) human resource management ((S)HRM). Evidence on the contextual or structural influences on this integration is, however, limited. The structural implications of unionism are particularly intriguing given the evolution of study of the employment relationship. Pluralism is typically seen as antithetical to SHRM, and unions as an impediment to the strategic integration of HR functions, but there are also suggestions in the literature that unionism might facilitate the strategic integration of HR. This paper deploys large-scale international survey evidence to examine the organization-level influence of unionism on this strategic integration, allowing for other established and plausible influences. The analysis reveals that exceptionally, where the organization-level role of unions is particularly contested, unionism does impede the strategic integration of HR. However, it is the predominance of the facilitation of the strategic integration of HR by unionism which is most remarkable.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:29811
Uncontrolled Keywords:HR director, HR function, joint regulation, strategic integration, union, unionism
Publisher:Routledge

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