Responsibility for human resource management is being spread around organizations in two ways: by decentralization, the allocation of personnel tasks formerly undertaken centrally to more local parts of the organization; and by devolution, the allocation of rules formerly undertaken by personnel specialists to line managers. Evidence from The Netherlands indicates that both processes are working there but with a considerable degree of doubt as to whether line managers can handle devolved personnel tasks. Comparative data from across Europe show that The Netherlands is in the top half of countries devolving these functions. Such decentralization and devolvement may mean a new role for personnel specialists.
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