States that in respect of organizations’ attempts to devolve operational HR management to line managers, and the reconfiguration of HR work in general, one area of HR work that has received relatively little attention is the state of work relations between HR and line managers involved in the operation and execution of HR policy. Any research that has been done has often been a‐theoretical. Reviews the literature in the field and examines the themes raised by means of an exploratory pilot case study. The case findings are that conflictual relations are seen to exist, but are seen to be negated by moves towards more consensual relations by both parties. Concludes that it is useful to seek to derive a wider research agenda than that which presently exists for HR‐line work relations (especially the need for further case work), and to stress the need for further theory development in the field, so as to examine consensual theories’ explanations of why such developments are occurring.
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