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HR transformation or path dependent rigidity?


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Glaister, A. J. and Parkinson, A. (2013) HR transformation or path dependent rigidity? In: British Academy of Management (September 2013), 10th - 12th Sep 2013, Liverpool.

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This paper uses path dependence theory to examine the success of HR transformation measures including shared service centres, e-HR and HR outsourcing. Despite an embrace of these measures, the HR function remains locked-in, unable to shake free from its historically administrative roots. HR transformations themselves involve significant change and these responses conform towards a self-reinforcing process creating nothing more than a predefined response and outcome. The process orientation of path dependence highlights the factors that contribute to HR function lock-in and the ever-shifting HR identity and remit, their impact on senior manager perceptions and HR competencies appear to play a key role in this, confirming that lock-in is heavily dependent upon cognition, resources and organisational and professional norms. The paper contributes to the theoretical underpinnings of HRM and suggests that the process-outcome approach of path dependent theory is more likely to contribute to HR practice as well as HR theory.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions:Henley Business School > Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
ID Code:34353
Uncontrolled Keywords:path dependence, HR transformation, HR function, e-HRM, HR shared services, HR outsourcing

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